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Important Trends for Television From the 2017 TV of Tomorrow Conference

January 24th, 2018   ||    by Charlene Weisler   ||    No Comments

While we’ve certainly seen dramatic trends for television in the past few years, the technological advancements projected for 2018 presage an entirely new level of drama and change. The annual TV of Tomorrow conference in New York in December 2017 helped frame many of these issues, some of which have the potential to radically change the industry’s revenue model.

But there are rewards for forward-thinking media companies that understand the trends, are nimble, and are willing to take calculated risks. Trends for television fell into three general areas: data/measurement, consumer behavior, and advanced technology.

Collaboration Among Frenemies

Now more than ever, it’s time for companies to reach across the aisle and work together to find solutions to vexing industry challenges—from measurement, metric, and data standards to data labeling.

“The times are changing, and measurement must change with it,” said Aaron Fetters, senior vice president of marketing solutions at comScore. The need for an industry standard measurement that can accurately capture viewing on any platform has been elusive as companies try to stake their claims using different methodologies and content labeling systems.

Thankfully, there’s a movement toward collaboration, even among competing media companies. A great example is OpenAP, a cross-publisher advanced advertising initiative between Turner, Viacom, and Fox that offers third-party-verified targeting and posting.

Other initiatives include the advancement of a universal data identification protocol that links disparate datasets. Organizations such as the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), Advertising Research Foundation (ARF), and Media Rating Council (MRC) are all involved in that effort.

Bundled Services? Forget it!

Will the cord-cutters of today eventually become the bundled households of tomorrow? The data suggests the long-held assumption that younger cord-cutting and cord-never generations will ultimately plug in as they form families is no longer true.

“Millennials won’t act like boomers,” said Helen Katz, senior vice president and director of global analytics and insights at Publicis. There’s just too much competition from over-the-top (OTT) and streaming services to warrant the extra expense of wired cable bundled services.

“The rate of adoption of OTT viewing is incredible,” said Fetters. “Attention is shifting rapidly to streaming services.” This shift means the industry needs to adapt to this new behavioral reality.

ATSC 3.0—The Power of Local TV

Getting buzz not only at the TV of Tomorrow but also at CES is ATSC 3.0—which has the capability to transform local TV into an advanced addressable offering. As Tracy Swedlow, CEO, publisher, and editor-in-chief at Interactive TV Today, explained, this new protocol will “enable regular digital television over-the-air—local television and every other broadcaster—to be able to explore the relationship between linear over-the-air and interactivity on-demand.”

Specifically, ATSC 3.0 will allow for enhanced transmission and reception with the delivery of 4K Ultra HDTV, immersive audio, and interactive services using a mix of Internet and broadcast connections.

As it happens, the next-generation TV standards for ATSC 3.0 have just been approved and announced at CES, according to AnandTech. Expect 2018 to be a game-changer for local TV—and perhaps even the television industry at large.

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