Commentary

Who Will Control TV's Future?

Samsung has the data everyone wants, particularly for the future -- connected TV data.

Samsung Ads, the unit of the big TV manufacturer, says it has largest proprietary dataset -- over 30 million TVs by way of ACR technology -- automated content recognition. This data comes from smart TV sets, set-top OTT providers, and third-party partners.

For the first time in history, the company says, nearly as many households watch TV via streaming platforms (68% of U.S. TV households) as through traditional means (70% of all U.S. households). Plus, 85% of all video streaming is done through the big screen TVs.

Slow down: It’s still about scale for connected TV.

For example, we don’t see a dominant upfront market just for connected TV. Add in the continuing question mark concerning the lack of common viewing/user measurement across all TV platforms.

Samsung says “Total TV Watchers” are the most valuable segment for advertisers, due to high incomes -- 56% earn more than $175,000 a year. So are millennials and Gen Z TV users.

All of which means, according to Samsung, those consumers will spend more online and offline than average American households.

But it’s not all that easy: 30% of streamers spend all of their streaming on non-ad supported apps -- Netflix, Hulu and others.

So, if you are a TV network, producer or any “premium” video maker of content, how do you access and/or adjust your business around this data, considering the measurement and platform vagaries?

Who will be on control here, ultimately?  Third-party measurers, second-party providers or, perhaps TV set manufacturers? And will direct-to-consumer TV providers across all consumer contact points, including TV sets, smartphones, tablets, and laptops, all own comparable direct-to-consumer data?

If you can’t answer this question directly, then consider TV networks expanding their consumer footprints -- perhaps starting a division to make TV sets or own 5G networks.

But don’t forget about electricity, needed to run everything. Future TV provocateurs will be giving new meaning to the phrase TV blackouts.

5 comments about "Who Will Control TV's Future?".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, May 7, 2019 at 11:13 a.m.

    Good take, Wayne. As for "samrt TV sets" so far they aren't "smart" enough to tell you who is watching.

  2. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, May 7, 2019 at 11:47 a.m.

    Of course, I meant "smart" sets---didn't I? Sigh!

  3. John Grono from GAP Research, May 7, 2019 at 6:23 p.m.

    Ed, I thought you had launched a new measurement system called SAMRT - Screen Audience Monitoring Ratings Technology.

  4. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, May 7, 2019 at 7:15 p.m.

    Not a bad idea, John. Maybe I can sell the idea to those investment bankers who dole out billions to almost anybody with a tech idea for a mere $100 million.

  5. Suzanne Sell from Independent, May 8, 2019 at 2:48 p.m.

    I want in on that one, Ed! 

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