Where to for television?

  • Tradingpost
  • May 2, 2013
  • David Turner
Where to for television?

It’s been some time coming, but we can now see a small glimmer of light in the distance. With the well overdue roll out of fibre in New Zealand, we can start to lift our heads as we catch up to countries such as South Korea, Latvia, Romania, Israel and many more who have significantly faster broadband services than New Zealand.

Video via the internet was once painful, but it is now beginning to progress towards an easy and enjoyable experience. With this dream finally realised, all three major television networks appear to recognise the importance of this medium and have recently been advising the industry on advances made and how they will be progressing within this arena.

Once described as the death of television, it is now evident this is most definitely not the case. Yes, it will be a change in television as we know it, but it most definitely won’t be the death of it. TVNZ has recently been to market presenting its strategy, and although only a small step, it was a positive one for the future of screen media. 

The promise has been made to move emphasis towards its digital offering and stepping into an arena where it won’t just be catch-up TV. There’s still a long way to go to deliver an offering anywhere near as captivating as the BBC’s. But with the promise of more online-only content, extending beyond just catch-up TV and using Ondemand as a potential launch platform, this is very exciting 

  • Check out some of chief executive Kevin Kenrick's plans here

TVNZ was first to launch Ondemand in New Zealand and as you would expect they’re ahead of the pack, although not light years ahead. MediaWorks and Sky are close behind and in the midst of developing and improving their own offerings. The most exciting, which has potential to leap ahead of both free-to-air networks, is iSKY. With a plethora of content, live sport, movies, entertainment and the ability to link with your MySky it’s a true dual screen offering. There have been launch issues, but once all the kinks are ironed out iSky has the potential to become a game changer.

All that great stuff aside, this leads to the biggest elephant in the room and most important question of all. What common currency for audience measurement will be adopted? 

If we are progressing towards screen trading across a variety of devices there will inevitably need to be one single currency. Where does digital video fit into the puzzle? Media fragmentation is rife, local and international research confirms digital video penetration is on the rise and dual screen is fast becoming a way of life. How then can we trade and measure against two different currencies? The antiquated Cost per Tarp (CPT) model must surely disappear and CPM trading become the norm across all screen media. 

At OMD, we see little point in continuing with two currencies, as ultimately audience viewing habits will continue to change. In order to understand and consistently remain in line with consumer behaviour we must adopt one currency that encompasses all screens. Those communication agencies that push for this change and embrace it will most definitely lead the pack, drive better results and ensure their clients remain one step ahead of the competition.

  • David Turner is OMD's associate trading director. For more information or a deeper discussion on this topic contact him at david.turner@omd.com

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