Ratings falls but linear TV sustains advertiser demand | Ad Tech | News | Rapid TV News
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In its second annual State of Video report, GroupM has revealed a developing conundrum: a market perception implying linear TV is as effective and essential as ever despite the fact that such viewing continues to decline.
GroupM SOV 1Nov2018

The survey from WPP’s media investment group described an advertising world characterised by declining linear TV viewing, new addressable television capabilities, competitive digital video platforms, measurement, cord-cutting and more. It came to a stark conclusion that globally in 2018, linear TV has shown no new signs of life with ratings falling even with mainstays like NFL.

Even though GroupM recognised that despite these falls, linear TV has sustained advertiser demand, it asks for how long this will persist and in what balance relative to alternatives such as subscription VOD services. The survey highlights Amazon, Facebook, Netflix and YouTube as the top challengers to TV’s incumbent media owners and notes that among ad-supported players, YouTube has a ‘staggering’ number of non-traditional premium content producers. While it observed that the success of the newly launched Facebook Watch is unclear, it cautions that Facebook’s future in video should not be underestimated.

The survey also stresses that the TV industry must arrive at a measurement solution that enables better understanding of viewing patterns across all screens and channels. This is still a couple of years away even in the most advanced markets. GroupM believes that BARB’s Project Dovetail in the UK may set an example, albeit with imperfect inclusion, and is expected to combine current TV panel and census data with data from mobile devices.

It also shows that 2018’s megamergers may catalyse change within addressable TV which it regards as on the rise but far from ubiquitous. Several company combinations are enabling vertical integration between content and distribution, creating significant scale with homes served and content viewed, and GroupM suggests that should these merged companies succeed in making their owned inventory fully addressable on their platforms, it will help realise a long-promised future where TV is a more efficient, targeted and digital-like medium.

“The ranks of television advertisers are swelling with new entrants, mostly direct-to-consumer businesses that have exhausted all the reach and awareness ‘performance’ media afford them. It’s reminiscent of the dot-com boom for television in the late 1990s; maybe it will end better this time,” said GroupM senior advisor, Rob Norman . “One thing is for sure: linear television is still perceived to be as effective as ever, despite the absence of granular measurement.”