TV viewers in Europe not averse to short ads if content is free: research

NEW DELHI: This is something that could bring some cheer to the Indian television news channels fighting to remove any cap on advertising.


A study by a British research firm in the United Kingdom, France and Germany has shown that over four in ten people say they expect advertising if the content is free.


Another 12 per cent reported ‘there’s nothing wrong with ads’ and some respondents even said they enjoyed ads.


Brightcove commissioned Vanson Bourne to interview around 4000 viewers last month on the same. 


When asked for their opinion on the current state of advertising, 41 per cent of respondents cited advertising as a ‘nuisance’, but many were realistic about the necessity of ads. However, 39 per cent of viewers wanted the ads to be shorter, another 31 per cent wanted to be able to fast-forward through them and one in ten said they should be more targeted.


Based on this research, to really ensure optimal ad engagement, broadcasters need to be mindful of the type of advertising they are serving to the type of audience who is viewing it, taking extra care to consider the length of the ad in relation to the content itself and the relevancy of that ad to the content being consumed.


The study also showed that with new types of video services competing for viewers’ time, traditional players must respond to survive, according to Brightcove mobile business marketing director Tracy Williams.


The study showed that viewers remain markedly loyal to traditional television and rank it very important to their lives; cross-platform services are a near requirement as four in ten viewers watch on multiple screens; online video content is being viewed throughout the day, including in the morning; and viewers are surprisingly realistic about the role of ads, particularly when in exchange for free content.


Expectations are extremely high and broadcasters serve disparate audiences, grouped in this report into four notable segments. In fact, more than seven in ten (71 per cent) of European viewers surveyed said there is still a lot of room for improvement across content choices.


More than half (51 per cent) of the viewers said that television is either important or really important to their life and over two-thirds (67 per cent) of respondents described themselves as loyal watchers of television programmes. Around 24 per cent said they are ‘hugely passionate’ about TV.


Thus, while television is still important for European audiences, technical innovation is altering how they consume broadcast content. Moving from the choice of just a few channels in the 1950s and 60s, through to satellite and later digital TV, viewers can now pick from a huge range of live channels and on-demand content (both linear or online) and watch what they want, where they want and whenever they want.


About 75 per cent viewers prefer PC or laptops, over a third are now using mobile (33 per cent) and around 34 per cent use tablets to view video content, highlighting the continued need for high-quality cross-platform services.


Content owners who do not invest in delivering the complete service that viewers expect risk low adoption rates and loyalty to their services. Four in ten (41 per cent) European viewers use more than one screen when watching video content. This consumer behaviour adds both an opportunity and a risk for broadcasters - an opportunity to create interactions across both screens (through social channels, for example), and a risk through added competition for attention from the second screen.


The study also indicated that online video content is now being consumed round the clock.. On average, the evening period is still peak time with over half (55 per cent) of all viewing taking place then. However, daytime (24 per cent), overnight (15 per cent) and morning (six per cent) viewing are catching up. 

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