Ad-Blocking Concerns Over TV, Digital Media May Be Overrated

Concerns over advertising-free TV and media content might appear to be growing -- with the rise of Netflix -- and now with digital media and more “ad-blocking” technology. But one analyst is not concerned.

With regard to new ad-blocking efforts from Apple, Brian Wieser, senior research analyst at the Pivotal Research Group, says that since most mobile content consumption occurs in apps -- around 90% of the time -- the apps are unlikely to be impacted by this change.

Some publishers, he believes, may pivot and “oblige registration and de-activation of ad blocking for access to a site. Plus, publishers could focus more on advertising that is embedded within content -- branded and native content, for example.

When it comes to TV, Wieser says that for the 2014-15 season ad-free television, premium pay cable and public broadcasting tallies 7% of total viewing, with DVD/Blu-Ray pulling in around 2%.



He says this has remained fairly constant over the last 20 years -- where “mostly ad-free premium pay cable and public broadcasting accounted for 8% to 10% of total TV viewing.”

Wieser says Netflix's approximately 5% share of national TV viewing is notable. But that this is a just a piece of the 15% of all traditional and digital TV that is essentially ad-free in the U.S.

Wieser notes, for example, that TV still delivers better for what marketers want when it comes to “reach, frequency and brand awareness in a lean-back environment.”

When it comes to digital media, he says that for most advertisers “it satisfies certain other goals -- such as engaging with narrowly defined groups of consumers or driving them to a direct action such as buying something over the Web -- better than alternatives.”

In that light, he says: “Those media and the agencies and marketers who depend on them don’t really have to worry much about ad skipping or ad blocking.”

2 comments about "Ad-Blocking Concerns Over TV, Digital Media May Be Overrated".
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  1. ida tarbell from s-t broadcasting, June 19, 2015 at 12:39 p.m.

    That would be true if all outside viewing was truly measured.  Fewer people are watching conventional 'programmed' television.  There's no way to discover where they have all gone.

  2. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, June 19, 2015 at 3:46 p.m.

    We did an analysis along the same lines that will appear in an upcoming issue of our newsletter, "Media Matters". In it we came up with just about the same figure as Brian, with about 16% of the average person's total TV viewing time------including digital videos like those found on YouTube and the top SVOD services---- going to ad-free TV. Moreover, the 18-34s were far more likely to allocate their time in this manner than the older generation  ( 55+ ) . Despite that, it is not at all valid to raise "the sky is falling" chant as traditional TV will remain dominant in terms of time spent and commercial GRP tonnage for a long time to come---even among "Millennials".

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