Busting the myths about TV advertising

New data from 2014 confirms that TV advertising is alive and kicking, despite the social media scaremongers who accuse anyone using it as being a dinosaur. Total UK TV advertising revenue increased by 6% in 2014 to reach a new record high of £4.91 billion, according to a Thinkbox study.

Here are a few interesting points from the study.

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1. Surely we're watching less TV ads?

What would you guess has happened to the number of TV ads we watch on average per day over the last 10 years.

I expect most people would say the number has gone down.

In fact, the number of TV ads watched at normal speed has grown +27% over this period. We watch on average 45 ads a day, 7  more a day than ten years ago.

2. Doesn't everyone watch TV on an iPad now?

If you believed the hype you would think everyone was watching "video on demand" (VOD) on their iPads. VOD is services like BBC iPlayer and 4OD when you choose what content to watch and when.

In fact the average UK viewer spends 6.5 minutes a day watching VOD, with 3 minutes a day on a TV set and 3 minutes, 30 seconds on other screens, like tablets and smartphones. In contrast, the average person watches 2 hours 25 minutes of commercial TV a day. This means that VOD, whilst growing, still accounts for only 3% of TV viewing.

3. Who wants to advertise on TV, not online?

The most ironic thing about growth in TV advertising it how it is fuelled by the very brands that the digerati claim will kill TV! When online brands and services are grouped together they form the second biggest spending category on TV, having doubled investment since 2010 to over £400 million, according to Nielsen. Amazon and Google each invested £10.5 million in TV advertising in 2014, and Netflix invested £8.5 million.

4. What is TV's enduring appeal?

Despite the growth in internet advertising, for the moment it can't match the reach of TV advertising, as Ian Maude of Enders Analysis commented in The Times here“With ITV, Channel 4 and Sky, you can reach pretty much the whole country in one time with a powerful advertising platform. With the internet, it’s a much more fragmented audience.”

In conclusion, TV advertising is far from becoming obsolete, and is likely to play a key role in the media plans of most big brands for the foreseeable future.