Driven by a combination of ongoing broadcaster technology development and consumer habit change, the lines previously drawn between linear (or ‘traditional’) media consumption and the newer, digital variation are blurring. Where the two may previously have been at odds for consumer attention, and with it advertiser dollars, they are now fully converging. Consumer habits are changing – people watching linear, live broadcasts through their Connected TV and within the Broadcast Video on Demand (BVOD) apps, not simply on-demand catch up content. In Audio, the lines are blurring between linear radio and streaming and podcasts with many of the top podcasts being catch-up versions of top rating radio programming, and interestingly, radio networks increasingly giving air time to podcasts – to both create new audiences for the podcast or bring audiences to linear radio. Underpinning this is the ongoing developments in measurement across TV (VOZ, launched initially in mid- 2021), Radio (GFK’s Radio360 announced in September 2021)3 and even Out-of-Home (Move 1.5) aim to give buyers a more complete view of consumption. Media businesses are increasingly representing their media as ‘Total’ TV, Audio or Publishing, with media buyers able to deliver more seamlessly across offline and online environments. In many cases, the digital variation of channels remains the dominant revenue growth area, but the ability to measure audiences and advertising delivery on- and offline should result in a less dire outlook for traditional channels than previously expected, softening the transition to full digitisation.
BLURRING OF ADS AND MEDIA
Shoppable ads and retailer media growth. The rapid rise of e-commerce spurred by the ongoing pandemic, has further raised the importance of tying advertising investment to purchases and, as a result, has seen the rise of “shoppable” advertising units. In the US, NBCUniversal has developed NBCU Checkout, which allows viewers to purchase products without leaving its video player. In 2021, YouTube announced ‘brand extensions’, a new ad type for Connected TV devices, which are the platform’s fastest-growing screen in terms of watch time. Brand extensions allow viewers to use TV remotes to send a notification to their smartphone containing a link to a product being advertised on the screen.
More broadly, there have been releases of purchase-in-ad offerings within Facebook, Google, Instagram and Pinterest, with the latter offering shoppable pins that allow the user to buy the products featured in the image. This in-ad shopping reduces friction between advertising and purchase than previous click-throughs, while offering greater measurement of an ad’s effectiveness, and as such should lead to further revenue growth in channels which can offer this type of clickto-purchase. In another example of the blurring of the lines between media and commerce, some of the largest e-commerce platforms have become major forces in advertising. These are the new malls, places where people go with the intention of shopping, not entertaining themselves. And because of their scale, they now have the ability to monetise audiences with search and promotions. Amazon, Walmart and a number of US retailers are selling advertisements on their platforms, growing into truly large advertising businesses in their own right. Amazon’s global advertising revenue in 2021 rose to US$31 billion. In China — and increasingly elsewhere — advertising dollars are going to e-commerce on short videos. Australia too has not only seen a focus on retailers starting to develop their media offerings but growth from Amazon, albeit as a later entrant to the market than elsewhere. As these offerings which couple rich customer data with proximity to purchase grow, they will increasingly challenge other media channels for advertiser revenues.
Source: Australian Entertainment & Media Outlook 2022-2026 PwC