The phrase ‘game-changer’ is used perhaps a bit too often in our industry, but it’s undeniable that in recent years on-demand streaming services have upended the business entirely, ushering in a new era and new volumes of content, and putting traditional broadcasters under pressure like never before.
Where the main competition for eyeballs used to come from cinema, or latterly from gaming; now it’s from ‘within’. But whilst on-demand viewership may be accelerating around the world, linear remains critical to broadcasters’ top lines.
Take for example the 2022 World Cup; the tournament on linear cable and broadcast channels combined to deliver over 9.5 billion verified household TV ad impressions, representing a 28.9 per cent increase vs. the 2018 World Cup coverage. With this reach, linear TV still remains one of the best ways for advertisers to target genuinely large audiences.
It’s no real surprise then that when you look at the figures in detail, as Omdia did in their IBC 2022 exclusive report: The Advertising Revolution, you find that linear TV is predicted to remain critical to broadcaster top lines. Here, they outlined that advertising on traditional linear TV broadcasts will still account for over two-thirds of TV broadcaster advertising revenue in 2027. And while all media suffered during the pandemic and the consequent global ad pullback, in 2021 global ad spends on linear TV bounced back, with television advertising forecast to have grown 4 per cent globally in 2022. And yes, the spectacular pandemic viewing gains have receded, but they were only ever going to be a spike in the charts. The underlying trend is still a healthy one and the main family TV screen remains the most valuable way for audiences to consume TV content and therefore, the most efficient way for advertisers to reach them.
Whilst the grass is exceedingly green on the streaming side of the fence, especially with the launch of high-profile new AVoD options from the likes of Netflix and Disney Plus, advertisers and rights-holders are keeping linear TV firmly in mind when it comes to choosing appropriate avenues to increase revenues.
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