As the media landscape continues to transform, we cannot but highlight the TV landscape being massively different from what it once was. Today, we are in the middle of the biggest revolution, with the constant rise of different viewing options that play a major role in how a person consumes content. As viewers adopt new ways to access video content, they sometimes still feel challenged to find the specific content they want to watch.
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Even with all the changes and long history of TV evolution, the core sources of value within the industry remain the same. Production of high-quality content and content rights have always remained and still are critical pieces of the puzzle.
Looking into the future, the linear TV industry is navigating its course on the strength of new insights, trends and behaviours that have emerged over the years. It is evolving to cater to an all-new set of needs and expectations, driven by consumers as well as advertisers. Today, the industry’s focus is what content producers are all after, differentiating themselves and capitalising on the evolving consumer demand towards quality content.
TV channels all around the world and across this region are finding themselves in the middle of a fierce battle for differentiation. The past few years have served as the most prolific period for TV content creators and have resulted in the establishment of many new benchmarks for high-quality exclusive productions. Within this context, marketers are now seeking associations that provide their brands’ opportunities to become a part of stories that connect with the audience. The need for tailor-made local productions has never been greater.
Great content creators who are rights holders are still well-positioned to succeed in this highly saturated industry. Many linear TV content providers, such as Abu Dhabi Media TV, for example, have made massive investments to stay in the game and are succeeding in their efforts.
With quality content now becoming almost a prerequisite to success, broadcasters are also striving to strengthen their distribution capabilities, and are taking on board a cross-platform approach. This has become an absolute necessity for attracting advertisers who are constantly seeking opportunities to associate their brands with content that can be extended, cut down or featured as snippets, to cover more consumer touchpoints. Today, television content invades the entire video ecosystem, encompassing social media, VOD, online streaming and more.
Within this fragmented video ecosystem, the need for a proper measurement solution that can measure video consumption across screens has become a necessity. The industry, driven by the Advertising Business Group (ABG) has already taken the initiative of challenging the status quo. Its initiative in the UAE was aimed at answering important matters such as who is watching what, where and how, and what amount of audience duplication exists across platforms.
Cross-media measurement is key to helping advertisers target and optimise better, making the most of their budgets by moving towards audience-based targeting. In the UAE, a new measurement solution that is passive, cross-screen and driven by analytics and real-time data is getting pitched by global research and tech players. In Saudi Arabia, people meters are making their way into the market. The significant momentum being witnessed in the TV industry proves that we are all moving in the right direction.
Although TV’s primary focus over the years has been on upper- and somewhat mid-funnel metrics, brands today have an appetite to be performance-driven while still adding TV into their media mix. Capitalising on consumer preferences, TV – fuelled by technology, data, analytics, and attribution modelling – has unravelled its potential as an equally powerful lower-funnel, performance asset. This has been proven by major global e-commerce players, who have returned to TV to increase their user base. In this region, Choueiri Group has introduced Brand4mance to the market to offer a cross-funnel solution that drives not only awareness but also conversions by connecting the offline TV world with the digital ecosystem. To ensure further confidence among advertisers investing in TV, brand lift studies are also part of the offering.
Looking ahead, especially on a local and regional market level, TV is ready for an upswing in terms of commercial activity, with some of the most highly anticipated mega-events such as Expo 2020 about to take place, serving as a key catalyst to revenue generation, and anticipated to lift up all the economies in the MENA region.
As a result of these major industry shifts, media companies have had to relook at the types of talent they recruit. The traditional sales model is no longer relevant. A business-led solution approach is the way forward, and hence talents with digital, data and measurement experience have become critical in today’s world.