RTL AdConnect and RTL Group publish the 25th edition of TV (Total Video) Key Facts, an international report of digital and media trends and facts for brands and advertisers.
- US adults are still the biggest TV watchers at 4h47 daily, with European adult viewers a close second at 4h05
- Long-form content no longer the sole property of TV
- Local content essential for SVOD market penetration beyond the UK and US
- Influencers to form more professional partnerships with MPNs
- Investment in Addressable TV a priority for advertisers
- Coopetition not Competition is the new norm for broadcasters
26th September 2018: According to RTL Group’s TV Key Facts report during prime time, TV still attracts 263 million viewers in Europe in prime time, and TV ads are responsible for 71% of the total profit generated by advertising1. “Institutional” TV events gather mass audiences year after year, such as the Super Bowl attracting 112 million viewers, or the Chinese Spring Festival with 169 million viewers. New formats are also attracting massive audiences, for example BBC’s Blue Planet II series which had 14 million viewers, and the biggest audience of 2017 in the UK.
On average, European adult viewers are watching 4h05 of TV per day – up almost an hour daily from the findings in the first TV Key Facts report in 1993. 25 years ago, those hours would be limited to the leaving-room. Today, it’s not limited to one room or even one device; TV content travels from one screen to the next but according to RTL AdConnect, society is moving from a period of ‘device proliferation’ to a period of ‘device stabilisation’.
Content production: viewers expect more formats, more originals and more quality content than ever. Their preference for content is increasingly local over global – RTL AdConnect reports that 72.7% of the top series in 24 European markets are local productions – creating a challenge for SVOD’s like Netflix and Amazon Prime video (who still have limited penetration across Europe due to the limited amount of local content they offer).
Despite VR and AR dominating the headlines with latest innovations, according to RTL AdConnect it’s addressable TV that is going to dominate advertising budgets in the future, with 58% of advertisers in Europe prioritising investment in this area over AR / VR and Branded Content.^
Stephane Coruble, MD of RTL AdConnect: “We’ve come a long way since our first edition of this study in 1994, and despite the industry predicting the demise of TV for the last decade – or so it feels –, the bottom line is the same. TV is successfully reinventing itself for the new era – it is a driver of innovation, creating opportunities for new ways of programmatic buying, and paving the way for more immersive viewing experiences. The new battle is the battle for attention of the consumers. Whether it’s TV content or advertising, it’s increasingly about experience, convenience and the customer journey. Broadcasting and digital offers both bring valuable strengths to the market; they are complementary, not competitive. The mix of reach, scale, precision in measurement in TV, and precise targeting, flexibility, rich data for the
digital, makes for impressive results.”
Top 5 TV Key Facts Trends
Viewers watch an hour more TV daily than they were 25 years ago. And they are a lot more selective about how and what they consume on their screen. TV continues to have incomparable reach – but TV advertising is most effective when thinking about the long term: (58% of advertising’s profit return is overlooked when ignoring the long term).
Long form content no longer the sole property of TV: With a triple digit yearly growth (130% CAGR) SVOD platforms have exploded in the European market with a particular focus on fiction (62% of content). This accumulation of streaming services has led to a shift in content production: users have more choice and tend to binge watch shows – which has led to more titles but shorter seasons.
Local content essential for SVOD market penetration beyond the UK and the US: Despite growing fast, SVOD services still have a limited penetration in Europe (13% for EU). Still limited by the amount of local content they deliver (E.G: Only 15% local content for Netflix in Germany). Local broadcasters are enforcing their original production capacities to answer this new challenge and offer more & more local content (90% for RTL in Germany, +15% content investment or ITV that commissioned 480 exclusive local programme – 66% own produced). SVOD is also an opportunity for European broadcasters that are capitalizing on their catalogue of local content to create local SVOD champions (Salto or Freeview) or to provide a freemium hybrid model between their AVOD platforms & SVOD (Videoland or TV Now Plus).
Influencers are forming more professional partnerships with MPNs: Brands want to work with influencers to promote their content differently. And influencers are now benefiting from the power of the MPNs; producing more professionalised content, less like what videos on YouTube used to be, and more mirroring of the codes of television, with real production and quality.
The Rise of Addressable TV: Advertisers are prioritising investment in Addressable TV over branded content and VR / AR. Rapid advancements in use of data and technology will make this the norm, not the exception and provide advertisers with more precision. 58% of advertisers said they would look to increase investment in addressable TV over other innovations (branded content, AR/VR, drive-to-web measurement) in the next year.
Coopetition not Competition: Regional and local broadcasters are teaming up to face a more global competition – for example with new data alliances (Gravity, Log-in Alliance), events (ITV, BBC & Sky in the UK with the Big TV Festival), SVOD alliances: ITV and BBC with common SVOD platform Britbox intended for UK people based in the US and M6, France Télévisions & TF1 partnering with common SVOD platform Salto.
By genre analysis
The most popular genre was entertainment, which accounted for 23.1% of viewing time in 2017, up from 18.1% the previous year, with The Voice registering as the best loved format show – including a version for older contestants in The Netherlands.
Sport was the second most popular genre at 22.3%, down from the top spot in 2016. The change is partly accounted for by the fact that the UEFA European Championships attracted huge numbers of viewers in 2016, providing Europe’s biggest single audience that year, with 30 million viewers for the semi-final between France and Germany.
Fictional series also grew in popularity, rising from 13.3% of viewing to 19.2%, with local productions providing the most popular shows in 72.7% of markets. Crime series were the most successful, with 38.9% of the genre, and drama second at 30.0%.
Factual TV made up 15.4% of viewing, up from 9.8%, partly thanks to the popularity of the BBC’s Blue Planet 2.
Time shifted TV boosts overall viewing time, particularly with shows aimed at a younger audience such as ITV2’s “Love Island” and French reality show, “Les Marseillais en Australie,” which reached 84% more viewers on catch up than on live TV.
About The Report
The TV Key Facts database features TV and digital insights, gathering data from the following institutes: Eurodata TV Worldwide, IAB Europe, IHS Markit, ComScore, IAS, and RTL Group calculations. It covers 35 European countries as well as India, China, Japan and the United States. Written in collaboration with independent media consultants as well as experts from audience institutes and production companies, the report provides varied insights into today’s media world.
In particular, TV Key Facts details the TV landscapes with domestic and foreign channels, pay TV and digital TV as well as viewing patterns, differentiated audience figures and advertising expenditures, covering 35 European and 4 overseas countries (India, China, Japan, United States).
In particular, it details digital ad spend in 24 countries, top 20 video desktop properties of 10 countries, top 20 multi-platform properties, viewability and brand risk data on desktop video, online video consumption covering daily reach, daily usage, viewing over 24 hours and usage per device (here the set of data available varies, coming from the platforms we represent in our markets).
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