to the Internet of Media

Posted by Christina So
Digital Account Director

Our homes are full with things connected to the internet, meaning more traditional media channels are now "logged on", Christina So explores.

More and more of the things we own are connected to the internet. Even without crazy products like internet-enabled fridges or toilets, I can count more than 10 devices in my home that are currently connected to WiFi.

Traditionally offline media channels like TV have become internet enabled and it’s changing the way we consume media. Connected TVs have become the device of choice for more than 50% of catch-up TV viewing according to both TVNZ and MediaWorks, with Smart TVs, Apple TV, Chromecast and FreeviewPlus (just to name a few examples) making it a lot easier to stream content from the biggest screen in the house. This shift opens up many more ways for advertisers to use previously digital-only capabilities, like targeting and programmatic buying methods, to reach specific audiences on a much larger screen.

We are also seeing an increase in people streaming live TV across all sorts of digital devices, including their TVs. Offline and online media consumption and measurement is more blurred than ever: linear TV ads are being streamed on all devices, but not being measured. Networks are reacting by introducing the capability for advertisers to digitally insert ads within live streams to engage this new audience, allowing brands be more targeted with their messaging than is possible on traditional TV. It also enables smaller advertisers or campaigns to have a form of TV presence without having to make a national TV investment.  

As fibre gets rolled out around the country and people continue to upgrade their TVs, the ways that people choose to access content will continue to change. TV aerials are likely to become a thing of the past. While buying digitally inserted ads on live TV may feel like buying media where we already are, if this becomes the way people routinely consume TV content, this form of digital buying may be how we transact TV advertising in the future.

AV isn’t the only medium that’s seeing this shift. Radio networks are making similar moves, developing mobile apps that digitize radio content to reach new audiences, and re-engage listeners who don’t have radios outside of their cars. These apps offer people new ways to listen, not only to broadcast radio, but also curated content and podcasts from radio personalities. As with live TV streams, stations are digitally inserting ads within streamed audio to capture additional revenue.

We’re also seeing a digital shift in OOH, where companies are making large investments into digital sites, making it a lot easier to dispatch and update creative, and paving the way for programmatic out of home, more granular targeting and dynamic creative capabilities that used to be exclusive to digital.

While we still differentiate between online and offline when we buy media, how it’s being consumed is less easily defined and measurement is still playing catch up. A screen and speaker agnostic planning approach for AV and audio activity is a start, but the ways we are able measure as an industry need to improve to better reflect the way content—and in turn, our ads—are being consumed. We also need to think about what these new capabilities mean, and how we can deliver the best experience for our customers.