Still looking good


Dick Hobbs. TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
by Dick Hobbs
Issue 107 - November 2015

The television industry is in crisis, as we all know. Experts everywhere are telling us that consumers want content on demand, wherever they are. Online and mobile platforms will mean the end of the broadcaster and the channel as a brand.

But heres the thing. While all these experts are telling us this, consumers are not reading the memo. They are continuing to watch television as if nothing had changed.
I love a good cake, so I was glued to my television just a couple of weeks ago as the lovely Nadiyah (rightly) won Great British Bake Off. I was one of more than 15 million viewers of the show. For those who claim television is dead, note that a quarter of the total population of the UK was watching some nice people make unnecessarily elaborate cakes in a marquee.

In the same week, Strictly Come Dancing got an audience above 10 million, and Im guessing that a lot of readers of this magazine were among that 10 million, because whether or not you enjoy the camp costumes and dodgy dancing, you have to love the astonishing craftsmanship that goes into the show. A real live band, with 15 or more new arrangements a week! Remarkable camera work and live direction! I just wish they would not scrimp on the scripts and get the gormless blonde to say something coherent.

Back to the research, and according to Thinkbox total average daily viewing in the UK in 2014 was three hours, 44 minutes and 30 seconds a day. That is higher than it was 10 years ago.

In America, according to eMarketer, the 2015 figure is four hours and 35 minutes, plus another hour and 16 minutes watching video on other devices. That is five hours and 31 minutes, compared with four hours and 56 minutes in 2011.

Ah yes, I hear you say, but all this is changing. Younger viewers are more dependent upon their connected devices, and find traditional television less relevant.

Well no. UK research by IPA Touchpoint finds that television is actually the most popular medium for 16 34s, representing 41% of their chosen media time, with its reach and cultural influence undiminished you only have to read what they comment about on social media.

The next argument is that television as we used to know it is doomed, because its commercial business model is failing. No-one watches the adverts any more: we all scroll through them because we are watching from our Sky+ box (other digital delivery platforms and personal recorders are available).

And yet advertisers do not think so. Total advertising revenue for television in the UK increased by 6% in 2014, to a record high of £4.91 billion. That was the fifth consecutive year that television advertising revenues have grown in the UK and we can all remember what economic life was like back in 2008 and 2009.

800 new companies or companies that had not used television advertising for at least five years started on-screen campaigns last year. I find that statistic as staggering as any.

Of the three and three quarter hours that Brits watched television a day, 65.8% was on commercial channels. That equates to 45 ads a day seven more than 10 years ago. Among the 16 34s the proportion of commercial channels watched was 74.8%, which suggests they are seeing a lot of adverts. And the BBC needs to reposition some of its programming.

Advertisers continue to trust television despite its limitations, and despite a proliferation of digital alternatives, said Paul Verna, senior analyst at eMarketer. The resilience of television comes partly from inertia, but also from marketers concerns that digital video ads are not always viewable or watched to completion. Until the digital advertising industry overcomes these hurdles, dollars will continue to flow disproportionately to television.

He backs this up with data. In 2015, 40.2% of US advertising spending is on television, with just 4.4% going to digital media. In the UK, one of the biggest growing sectors booking advertising was online services. According to Nielsen, in 2014 Amazon and Google each spent £10.5 million on UK television advertising, and Netflix which some would argue is out to kill broadcast television spent £8.5 million.

One of the surprisingly interesting conference sessions at IBC was an interview with Lord Dobbs, who as Michael Dobbs wrote the original novel House of Cards and subsequently adapted it, first as the classic BBC series then as a blockbuster Netflix project directed by David Fincher and starring Kevin Spacey.

He is now working regularly as an executive producer at Netflix, and eloquently made the point that this is a golden age of television. Hollywood names want to work in television: not just Fincher and Spacey apparently Woody Allen, no less, has been signed up to create a series for Netflix. According to Dobbs, what is driving television forward is a desire for quality.

And that has to be a good thing. Especially for those working on the successors to good programming, to follow Downton Abbey and Doctor Foster and Great British Bake Off. Long may content be king.

Tags: iss107 | television industry | content | on demand | stats | figures | audience | advertiser | dick hobbs | Dick Hobbs.
Contributing Author Dick Hobbs.

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Volicon discuss creating content and publishing for online and social platforms

    Volicon discuss creating content and publishing for online and social platforms

  • Viaccess-Orca content security at IBC 2015

    Viaccess-Orca content security at IBC 2015

  • TMD at NAB 2013: Content Intelligence

    TMD at NAB 2013: Content Intelligence

  • Object Based Storage Solutions from Object Matrix at NAB 2017

    Object Based Storage Solutions from Object Matrix at NAB 2017

  • Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2016

    Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2016

  • Prime Focus Technologies at IBC 2016

    Prime Focus Technologies at IBC 2016

  • Elemental Technologies at IBC 2015

    Elemental Technologies at IBC 2015

  • ROOT6 Technology at IBC 2015

    ROOT6 Technology at IBC 2015

  • Haivision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Haivision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Front Porch Digital on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Front Porch Digital on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Primestream on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Primestream on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • TMD talk asset management solutions on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    TMD talk asset management solutions on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Blue Lucy Media at IBC 2013

    Blue Lucy Media at IBC 2013

  • ChyronHego Paint at IBC 2013

    ChyronHego Paint at IBC 2013

  • Facilis at IBC 2013

    Facilis at IBC 2013

  • Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2013

    Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2013

  • Facilis at NAB 2013

    Facilis at NAB 2013

  • TMD at NAB 2013: MediaFlex Reporting Module

    TMD at NAB 2013: MediaFlex Reporting Module

  • TMD at NAB 2013: MediaFlex Systems

    TMD at NAB 2013: MediaFlex Systems

  • Root6 at NAB 2012

    Root6 at NAB 2012

  • Prime Focus at IBC2011

    Prime Focus at IBC2011

  • Cambridge Imaging Systems at BVE 2014

    Cambridge Imaging Systems at BVE 2014

  • Pixel Power at IBC 2013

    Pixel Power at IBC 2013

  • Pixel Power at NAB 2013

    Pixel Power at NAB 2013

  • Pixel Power at NAB 2014

    Pixel Power at NAB 2014

  • Pixel Power on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Pixel Power on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013


Related Shows
  • Training for the future with ITTP: BVE Day 2

    Training for the future with ITTP: BVE Day 2


Articles
Using Wireless Transmission
Jeremy Benning Wireless acquisition is a staple of live sports, entertainment and reality shows where cable free capture permits shots not previously possible, for health and safety reasons, and gives the camera-operator greater artistic licence to roam. The same is increasingly true of narrative drama where cinematographers are keen to work handheld or Steadicam where that helps tell the story. Any equipment which frees their movement and time by being lighter, easier to use and reliable in performance is going to tick a lot of boxes.
Tags: iss134 | wireless | 4k | transmission | Jeremy Benning
Contributing Author Jeremy Benning Click to read or download PDF
An Epiphany Moment
Peter Savage 2 I had been negotiating the sale of my company and had reached the really hard end of the bargain. We were close to agreeing the final sum after a lot of too-much-give-and-not-enough-take negotiation. The solicitors were calling me, keen for a deal. It had come down to one sticking point and, in my hard ball “I am the Wolf of Wall Street” guise, I wasn’t going to let it go. It would make a value difference of 1.5% on the total outcome. Not much, you might think, but I had already nearly fallen out with the solicitors over their fees and I was giving my advisors an extremely hard time because the corporate adviser couldn’t see how I had already given more than an inch and the buyers were taking more than a mile. I was not going to let them win.
Tags: iss134 | azule | finance | Peter Savage 2
Contributing Author Peter Savage 2 Click to read or download PDF
Accelerated Workflows with eGPU
Mike Griggs From the UK’s National Trust to magazine publishers to manufacturers, digital content creator Mike Griggs has a wide and varied portfolio of clients for whom he creates 3D art, motion graphics and multimedia exhibits. A typical day might involve sampling birdsong near Virginia Woolf’s country estate or creating 3D animations for VR. To keep on top of these demands, Griggs wanted to take the full power of the GPU computing revolution on the road.
Tags: iss134 | sonnet | egpu | amd | post production | editing | Mike Griggs
Contributing Author Mike Griggs Click to read or download PDF
University and Mental Health
Rhiannon Jenkins University study and mental health has been in the media quite a bit over the last year, and I’m sure there are many people wondering what is going on? The issues are complex, and I suppose the focus of employability off the back of a degree course has raised the stress stakes for a lot of young people. I’m only qualified to talk about this from my perspective, and my story began when I joined a course not knowing I had a mental health condition.
Tags: iss134 | portsmouth uni | mental health | student | tvfutures | Rhiannon Jenkins
Contributing Author Rhiannon Jenkins Click to read or download PDF
Protecting the continuity of transmission
Lorna Garrett Your viewers love you. You consistently bring them their preferred channels 24/7. They’ve come to rely on you for their viewing pleasure. They never miss cheering on their beloved sports teams. They’re the envy of their friends as they watch live concerts of their favourite bands. They gather the family around and catch up on their must-see shows. They don’t have a bad word to say about you.
Tags: iss134 | garland | gpl | streaming | artel | disaster recovery | Lorna Garrett
Contributing Author Lorna Garrett Click to read or download PDF