Linear TV is still a force in marketing. Here are three reasons why TV advertisements are still relevant:
- Time spent watching linear TV increased in 2020
- Linear TV helps control ad fatigue
- Linear TV is seen as trustworthy
There is no denying that TV viewing habits have changed considerably over time. While online streaming platforms have become an increasingly dominant feature, there are still a lot of reasons linear TV is still relevant and should be integrated into marketing campaigns to achieve optimal reach. You can stay current about linear TV ad trends by following updates on publications like eMarketer, or signing up to receive survey reports from Nielsen.
Like other industries and markets, the COVID-19 health crisis has impacted the global TV advertising market significantly. As per a 2021 report by Research and Markets, the global TV advertising market was expected to decline from $102.02 billion in 2019 to $96.92 billion in 2020. The decline was attributed to health and safety measures undertaken to control the spread of the virus, which included remote work, social distancing, and refraining from commercial activities.
eMarketer also expected a 15% decline in linear TV ad spend in the United States in 2020, with expenditures falling as low as $60 billion. However, both sources expected the market to recover. While the Research and Markets report expects the global TV advertising market to reach $98.41 billion in 2023, eMarketer anticipates linear TV ad spend for the United States to increase to $68.16 billion.
What does this mean for marketers? Is linear TV still relevant for marketing campaigns? Read on to find out.
TIME SPENT WATCHING LINEAR TV INCREASED IN 2020
Linear TV is far from being obsolete. According to eMarketer, TV-watching adults in the US spent an average of 4 hours 31 minutes glued to their television sets every day, marking a 9.2% increase in TV time. While cord-cutting also accelerated in 2020, the overall increase in TV time among those who remained helped balance things out.
Between 2019 and 2020, the average time spent watching linear TV every day increased from 3 hours 27 minutes to 3 hours 34 minutes in the US. The sustained popularity of this medium suggests that marketers must continue to consider linear TV as part of their advertising efforts to achieve mass-market penetration.
According to John Yang, Product Manager of SQAD MediaLogic, “Linear television is far from over. It still has good content, information is local to your area, and most importantly, it can be free. Most likely, linear will be packaged with digital and the content messaging will be available on both platforms – the same way cable blended with broadcast TV.”
“Linear television is far from over. It still has good content, information is local to your area, and most importantly, it can be free.”John Yang, Product Manager of SQAD MediaLogic
LINEAR TV CAN HELP CONTROL AD FATIGUE
The rise in media consumption across streaming platforms has also led to an increase in ad fatigue. As per a Bloomberg article published in 2021, viewers of streaming services such as Hulu, HBO Max, Peacock, Paramount+ and Discovery+ often end up seeing the same commercials multiple times during the day. This can lead to negative brand interactions and increase brand hostility among viewers.
“Streaming services are not all on the same page about measurement options, inventory availability, and placement practices the way linear TV is,” says Dan Klar, Vice President of Product Development, SQAD MediaCosts: National, “With linear TV, everyone buys using similar rules and agreed-upon measurement metrics to track the ads, which makes it easier to show viewers more diverse ad content.”
Ad frequency capping gives linear TV an advantage
While linear TV does not hold the ultimate solution to this problem, it does reduce the chances of overexposure to a single brand by enabling ad frequency capping.
“Over time, streaming platforms will resolve this issue as linear TV did, but linear will have a lower rate of fatigue until then,” states Klar.
To help prevent ad fatigue, marketers should be looking to leverage technology, such as Automatic Content Recognition technology, to prevent annoying viewers with high ad repetition and formulate better placement strategies for their target audience.
“With linear TV, everyone buys using similar rules and an agreed-upon measurement metrics to track the ads, which makes it easier to show viewers more diverse ad content.”Dan Klar, Vice President of Product Development, SQAD MediaCosts: National
LINEAR TV IS SEEN AS TRUSTWORTHY
A 2009 survey conducted by Nielsen suggests that linear TV and newspaper ads remain the most trustworthy sources among paid advertising channels. 62% of global consumers have stated they trust linear TV advertisements the most. In comparison, online advertising ranks much lower, with only 41% of global consumers displaying trust in these advertising mediums.
“Although Nielsen’s report is over a decade old, traditional linear advertising still ranks as high as a trusted source for consumers,” says Yang. “This trustworthiness could be attributed to the fact that agencies vet the clients they represent and TV stations know their reputation is on the line if they air misleading ads. Credible vendors still want to appear on linear television for two reasons: reaching a mass targeted audience, and being perceived as selling a good trustworthy product.”
Linear TV ad placement is selective and competitive
Until digital advertising can build a better opinion from consumers, failing to leverage the platform trust of linear TV can prove detrimental for marketers. The selective and competitive nature of linear ad placement creates a defacto validation stamp on ads running in linear formats – something digital ads can’t duplicate – ensuring marketers provide a better-perceived experience for consumers.
“Credible vendors still want to appear on linear television for two reasons: reaching a mass targeted audience, and being perceived as selling a good trustworthy product.”John Yang, Product Manager of SQAD MediaLogic
FINAL THOUGHTS: INTEGRATING LINEAR TV ADVERTISING WITH OTT MARKETING
There is no denying that TV viewing habits have changed considerably over time. While online streaming platforms have become an increasingly dominant feature in entertainment consumption, linear TV is still relevant and should not be overlooked in marketing campaigns looking to achieve optimal reach.
An integrated media mix that combines linear TV advertising with OTT platforms can prove helpful here. Instead of advertising in a silo, industry professionals can use total audience advertising strategies to generate more targeted results and maximize ROI on ad expenditures. According to NY Interconnect, marketers can increase ROI by 60% by integrating linear TV with digital advertising, thereby proving the efficacy of this approach.
You can stay current about linear TV ad trends by following updates on publications like eMarketer, or signing up to receive survey reports from Nielsen. Or, check out SQAD’s MediaCosts: National cost research platform – learn more about it at https://sqad.com/mediacosts/national.
- ‘Global TV Advertising Market Report 2020,’ Global Newswire, 2021
- ‘July 2009 Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey,’ Nielsen, 2009
- ‘Media Buying for Today’s Market,’ NY Interconnect, 2020
- ‘Streaming TV Commercials Are Bewildering, Repetitive, and Growing Like Crazy,’ Bloomberg, Gerry Smith, 2021
- ‘TV’s weird 2020: Viewership plummeted, but time spent increased,’ eMarketer, Ethan Cramer-Flood, 2021
- ‘US TV Ad Spend Will Decrease by 15.0% in 2020,’ eMarketer, Alicia Phaneuf, 2020