The Future of Media

Krystal Vela
Krystal VelaMedia Director

The media industry is constantly experiencing change, especially with the advancements in technology and major shifts in consumer viewing habits. Marketers are trying to understand how new digital capabilities fit into their marketing plans. Large traditional media companies are either prepared to offer digital capabilities or scrambling to get into the space. Smart devices have connected everything around us, and cross-device targeting is the new hot topic. In keeping up with media industry news and talking with media experts, there are a few trends that are repeatedly showing up in conversations. These trends are the effect of the new digital age and will continue to see growth.

The new TV viewer

There are three main points to highlight for the new TV viewer.

First, the popularity of smart TVs and OTT devices has had a large impact on how we consume TV content. The “connected TV” has made its way into about 71% of US households(1) and users are currently younger than traditional TV viewers, but the category is seeing growth in all demos(2) . For the consumer, they are able to access their same shows or TV programming through their connected TV and they see no difference. For marketers, it causes a huge gap in reach as traditional TV viewers switch to other live streaming or on-demand services.

Second, the cord-cutter trend continues as more and more consumers are opting for lower-cost alternatives to traditional pay TV. Live streaming and on-demand services that are available through platforms like Sling TV, Hulu and YouTube TV, give the consumer the option to watch what they want, when they want, for a smaller monthly fee than traditional pay-TV providers. In the month of January 2018, Hulu reached 18MM subscribers and is experiencing significant growth. Many large media companies are aware of this trend and have launched successful streaming TV platforms like CBS All Access and DirecTV Now to compete in this space. The problem for marketers in reaching this “new TV viewer” is a full understanding of this non-traditional TV environment and all the options available. It is a very fragmented environment that will continue to see growth in the future.

Third, consumers are subscribing to platforms like Hulu and Netflix for their “original” content. Hit shows like Orange is the New Black and Handmaid’s Tale have become award-winning shows and are starting to give the traditional TV networks more competition. There are only so many hours in the day to watch TV and as more consumers tune in to these subscription platforms, the less traditional TV they will consume.

One word: Geofencing.

Another trend that has come up in the media industry is geofencing, and everyone is doing it. The art of geofencing uses technology like GPS, RFID, or wifi to target consumers based on their location. Based on app permissions, they are tracking and following our every move. The thought is a little scary to consumers, but the technology offers an array of precise targeting options for marketers. This is a digital tactic that many companies have used for years, but what is more interesting is how traditional companies are utilizing the technology. Out of home companies are geofencing bulletin boards and capturing mobile device IDs as drivers pass by and then retargeting them with a digital campaign. Cinema advertising companies are also capturing device IDs by geofencing movie theaters and retargeting digital campaigns to customers that saw their ads on the big screen. Furthermore, newer advances in technology now offer marketers the option to capture those device IDs and attribute them back to a household, which then allows you to reach all of the devices that are linked to the IP address of that household. We currently have clients that are integrating this new digital tactic, into their digital plans to reach very niche target audiences, and the results have been great.

The future of media will continue to be driven by technology, and these are just a few trends that will continue to impact how we reach consumers. Ready or not, it’s time to fully embrace the new media era. This is a time for opportunity, not panic. As marketers, we have to be prepared and informed in order to provide our clients with successful marketing efforts. Please visit the Contact Us page to get in touch with our digital media team for any questions or interest in marketing opportunities related to this blog.

Sources: (1) eMarketer 2017: Connected TV Households (2) Nielsen Npower May 2017