The past year has seen increased viewership and, with it, fragmented viewing behaviours. The pandemic-related shut downs led to people and children working and learning from home and, all the while, with screens playing content in the background. In fact, linear made up a fair share of that increased television consumption across UK households.
In September alone, there was an increase in consumption across networks by 13% compared to the rest of the quarter. However, fragmentation continues to loom and scatter our attention as evidenced by the millions of UK. adults signing up for OTT and SVOD platforms.
As consumption trends continue to adapt, 2021 looks set to be an even more fragmented and competitive TV landscape than we’ve seen before.
In 2021 we should expect to see Netflix face growing competition from OTT providers such as Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video, but also players as diverse as BBC iPlayer and YouTube. Competition around sporting broadcast rights and direct-to-streaming launches for major films, as a result of continued Covid-19 disruption, is only likely to accelerate take-up.
A wider outcome of the OTT fragmentation is the dispersion of key audiences. Whereas brands would have traditionally used content schedules across a small number of channels to place expensive TV ads, audiences are now consuming content across linear and OTT platforms. This fragmentation elevates the importance of utilising omni-screen insights for advertisers to best target and optimise audiences across platforms.
Whether they are watching linear or a subscription service such as Disney+, advertisers and brands can leverage technologies like privacy-compliant and opt-in Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) to better understand household viewing patterns and drive additional ROI in their campaigns.