Stats to mull over over mulled wine

Last week I attended a stat-packed presentation by Oliver & Ohlbaum on the future of TV. As it is Christmas and a time for giving generously, here are some of those stats, gift-wrapped and placed beneath the Christmas tree of advertising knowledge.

Before I stat you up I, I’ll point out that, as usual, the O&O event was a fantastic use of time, full of genuine, impartial insight, and I would urge you to clamour to get to their future events.

O&O were full of cheer for the future of TV – and not only in the UK, but globally too. They highlighted TV’s ‘robust’ position within the display advertising market and predicted ‘slow but steady growth’ for TV ad revenues (their forecast went as far as 2017). This is fair enough and Thinkbox will be announcing the figures for UK commercial TV revenue in 2012 early next year. They’ll have to go some to improve on 2011’s record-breaking high of £4.3 billion – and some forecasts predict a small drop from the record high – but we’ll have to wait and see. Let’s not count our chickens before we carve our turkeys.

O&O looked at the prospects for TV in a connected world and the implications for on demand TV. They anticipate digital TV recorders becoming almost ubiquitous by 2017 (currently around half of UK homes have one), which we know is usually good news for advertisers as people tend to watch more TV and more ads when they increase their ability to control what they watch.

They also predict that, in 2017, linear viewing will ‘remain dominant’ but on-demand viewing, which has been additive to linear TV so far, is likely to ‘displace a small amount of linear viewing’.

This chimes with what we’ve been saying for some time. We’ve jumped the gun a few times in recent years when we’ve said linear TV viewing would stop growing only to see it continue. However, I think that when we analyse the full year viewing for 2012 we will finally see linear’s recent growth spurt settle and perhaps even dip. However the key point, that O&O’s analysis also shows, is that overall we’ll be watching more TV.

Currently, according to O&O, 43% of the UK multi-screen a week (IPA Touchpoints data has this at 50%). O&O see this increasing in the next five years to reach 62% of the population, driven by increased tablet ownership, which they predict will reach 68%. Our Screen Life research looked at multi-screening in detail (we put CCTV in people’s living rooms and then analysed the footage) and discovered that multi-screening brings a host of benefits to advertisers: it keeps viewers present for ad breaks, encourages more TV viewing, does not affect ad recognition, brings people closer to TV and its ads, and it appears to encourage more shared and family TV viewing. Multi-screeners are also more open, welcoming and positive about advertising than single-screeners.

So plenty of positive stats to mull over over the mulled wine.

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