Doron Wesly's mom came from the Netherlands to visit him recently; he had just become a new dad and she wanted to spend time in Brooklyn visiting her new grandchild.
He got her an Airbnb apartment and noticed she was able to use her iPad and the tenant's Apple TV to watch the news from overseas that she wanted to see. It was no big deal.
For Wesly, the head of market strategy at Tremor Video, his mother’s ease in adapting that new technology was telling. As part of research he’s been compiling, he wants to stress something that may seem unusual but that his mother proved:
“It’s not young males who are the viewers of connected TV,” he says. “In fact, it skews to women and not only does it skew to women, but it skews to women 25-54, which I think is a fantastic thing. That statistic follows the trend of women taking charge of the household. 41% of the women in the U.S. are now the main breadwinner."
As Wesly is suggesting, for the portion of the public that still believes men are the hunters, gatherers and gadget keepers of the world, that just isn't true.
Wesly gave a rapidly done presentation at an IAB panel a few weeks ago, in which he went about spinning out a veritable "Ripley’s Believe It Or Not" series of stats and anecdotes about connected TV. All of them wind up with the conclusion that the over the top world is….happening.
“There is this sense that connected TV is very much a niche market," he begins, "that it’s coming, that maybe at some point, we’re going to be able to say ‘This is the going to be the year of connected TV.' I would say that’s incorrect, because right now, based on the Nielsen numbers, that there are already 83 million who are watching connected TV. That’s ginormous.”
Wesly has been out in the field studying the behavior of connected viewers of all sorts.
He just returned from Jamaica, Queens, where he talked to people about what screen they watched and when, which just added to data that says if all things are equal, viewers will opt for the biggest screen.
If all things aren’t equal--proximity rules. A lot of people tell him they watch video on mobile phones even if they are on the living room couch because the smartphone is literally somewhere on their body.
They go up the ladder of devices, depending on how much a great big picture is really necessary. But if it isn't any trouble, and it can be done, they want the big picture.
The all-connected home is changing everything. Wesly, who used to work for Samsung and was there when it released its first smart TV, says typically, the TV replacement rate was 10% annually in the U.S. until 2008. Now, it’s more like 13% because, he says, people are deciding smart TVs are important.
On the other
hand, he says people are not buying as many TVs. They don’t have to. “You probably have an old TV in the bedroom, and you’re not going to put a connected TV in there because
you’re watching on a tablet,” he said. I thought it most creepy that Doron has been peeking into my (and your) bedroom.
And he says, there are just fewer TVs throughout the home, for the same reason. Not needed.
The confounding thing, though, is that right now, the best connected viewer is the kind of viewer that works well within the schemes of advertisers. Wesly says that 42% of connected viewers are in a sense kind of semi-detached viewers, too. They are light television viewers, defined as watching less than two hours a day. And that, for Tremor and other online ad sellers, makes them valuable, even as their numbers increase.
I've found that another reason that users (in this case all female), choose to view their media content on handheld devices is the ability to narrow their field of focus to a smaller point of view. Whether it be distracting light/glare, or surrounding activity/noise, the handheld device allows the viewer to 'tune-out' outside interference, while not totally disconnecting them from their environment...hence the 'semi-detached' or multi-tasking viewer.
Remarkable insights from Doron. The value of a TV campaign is still critical for many brands but marketers need new and better strategies for carving up the media budget for TV advertising. How much should remain in legacy channels and how much should move into digital streaming solutions? How should they measure these campaigns and how can they implement them without their ad agency labor costs growing exponentially? Lucky for me, helping with these questions should keep me busy for a few years at least :-)