‘18 Trend Series: #1 – Killing the “TV is Dead” Headline

02 January 2018 • tvsquared

Meg Coyle, Content Director
Meg Coyle,
Content Director

Happy New Year! 2018 is going to be a big one for TV advertisers of all shapes and sizes. Not only are sporting events like the Winter Olympics and the World Cup happening, but major advancements will also make TV an even more powerful performance-marketing channel (but more on that later).

In the first post of our 2018 trends blog series, based on our recent ebook, I need to address something that drove me crazy in 2017 – the sensational “TV is dead” headline.

Let’s get a reality check. Yes; TV is changing. People consume media differently, via different channels, devices and times. While the total amount of TV viewing time has dropped in the last few years, TV is not dead … not even close.

In 2018, we’ll see the end of this fear-mongering, and rely on fact-based talk about TV.

It’s accessible: In the U.S. alone, 304 million people make up the 2018 TV audience. This is up by 0.9% from last year. The number of households watching regularly scheduled TV programs has also increased by almost an hour in the last two years.

It’s watched: Pundits have argued that TV viewing time has dropped dramatically since the rise of digital. In reality, it hasn’t dropped much at all. The average American spent about 4 hours a day watching TV last year. This is expected to drop only 5 minutes in 2018, and 6 minutes in 2019 (3:47 a day)

This trend is reflected in other parts of the world too. Among 12 countries in Europe, TV viewing time dropped by only 3 minutes per day in two years. Globally, WARC estimates that viewing time decreased by only 7 minutes in the last five years.

When it comes to different generations, Millennials will consume 2.5 hours, and Gen X will account for about 4 hours of daily TV viewing time (and these are the lower estimates!). Those above 65, the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population, actually watch more TV vs. years past.

It’s effective: According to Accenture, close to 90% of TV viewers watch with second-screen devices in-hand or nearby. Due to this, TV has become a primary generator of digital response (site traffic, search, app activity, etc.) for advertisers.

Countless studies have found TV to be the most effective marketing channel. A recent one found that TV ads were 24% more impactful on short-term sales than YouTube ads, and 22% more than Facebook ads. WARC also found that “successful, high-budget campaigns allocate some 66% of their media spend to TV.”

Even digital-focused brands believe in its efficacy. E-commerce brands and tech giants (even those making their own play at “TV” like Netflix and Amazon) are one of the biggest group of linear TV advertisers. Google even doubled its TV ad budget last year to almost $110 million.

While TV, and the role it plays in our lives, is changing, it’s not at death’s door. This year is when we put that notion – and headline – to bed.

In our next article, we’ll explore how advertisers will use TV not only for reach, but greater precision too. If you can’t wait until next week, download TVSquared’s 2018 ebook to learn about the biggest opportunities for TV advertisers this year.