TV or Not TV; That is the Question

What does it mean to watch TV? That didn’t used to be a very complicated question; it meant turning on a TV set and watching it. But, like the channels we once had to get out of our seats to switch, the answer is changing. The latest issue of Deadline Hollywood featured an enlightening article by David Lieberman that shares some fascinating statistics about who’s watching on what (spoiler; much of it does not involve a TV).

Much of Lieberman’s report cites the 10th annual Digital Democracy Survey conducted by Deloitte a consulting firm known for delivering this kind of data. They surveyed 2,200 people last November and among the many facts they unearthed were some with a direct impact on product placement. The good news is that people are still consuming a great deal of TV.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the results:

-About a third of viewers overall, a dn half of Millennials are watching on Smartphones, tablets or their computer.
-Only 54% prioritize the use of a flat panel TV (down from 62% in 2014).
-TVs are now 4th pace behind Smartphones (76%), laptops (69%) and desktops (57%).
-Media drives like Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast and Amazon Fire Stick are used by about 27% (up from 14% in 2014).

But the big story is that home Internet is now the number one source for TV, favored by 95%! And Pay TV such as Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime are the favorite services; 79% mentioned them (up from 58% in 2014).

Streaming video is very popular to the tune of 61% (up from 17% in 2012!). The main reason for this is a viewer’s ability to choose the time and place they’d like to watch… and to avoid commercials. However, unlike watching shows recorded on a DVR, services like Hulu are providing TV shows replete with commercials that can not be skipped.

The combined effect of all of these trends adds up to pretty great news for brands employing product placement and brand integration. First, there is more content being produced overall. There are now about 400 scripted shows, the majority with potential for brand placements. It has also loosened the restrictions of brand integrations; when people must watch the commercials, the real estate within the show ceases to be so precious, and when a network, like Netflix, or HBO, is subscription-based, then no sponsors can complain when a brand receives “free” exposure within the show.

Ultimately, it shouldn’t matter to a product placement agency like HERO whether a viewer is looking at a Smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop; it just matters that they’re when they do, they’re seeing the brands we represent.