Are People Still Watching TV?

Therese Adams

Therese Adams About The Author

Oct 27, 2021 10:50:47 AM

Are People Still Watching TV?

Most marketers are struggling with the debate of whether TV ad campaigns or over-the-top (OTT) campaigns would be a better choice — but the truth is, they both offer a host of benefits. While TV advertising has a wider audience reach for your message, OTT has a more targeted strategy to ensure your message is getting to only relevant consumers. 

This is why many marketers are integrating their campaigns. Depending on your purpose and goals, your brand must consider the benefits of each (specific to your needs) to make an informed decision on if one or the other — or both — is better for your brand.  

According to Marketing Charts, many marketers notice the advantage of using both in their campaigns since "more than half (54%) of TV households have both services. This is up just slightly from last year when LRG reported that 53% of households had both Pay-TV and SVOD services." 

Here is everything you need to know to make the best decision for your business, including TV advertising benefits and OTT benefits.  

Have questions? Let's talk!

64% of People are Still Watching TV  

Screen Shot 2021-10-26 at 10.49.05 AMAre people still watching TV? Absolutely! CNBC reports a Nielsen study that found that of all time consumers spend on their TVs, 64% of people still watch cable TV — meaning, yes, TV advertising is still very relevant to your marketing mix. 

"Television is still the most used electronic medium for U.S. adults," Statista adds. "On average, Americans aged 18 and older spend more than four hours a day watching TV, still beating the three hours and 45 minutes they interact with their smartphone on an average day by roughly half an hour."  

That said, TV advertising shouldn't be written off as outdated since TV is still relevant and popular among audiences. Although rumors suggest linear TV is kept in the past where it thrived, there is significant evidence showing that would be a mistake. 

But, Streaming is Catching Up Fast  

This isn't saying that TV is dominating OTT, so streaming opportunities should be ignored. In fact, it’s just the opposite. The same CNBC article reported that "26% of time was spent on streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu. Another 8%, categorized as 'Other,' includes video-on-demand, streaming from cable set-top boxes, and other TV uses, such as gaming and watching DVDs." 

As streaming proves increasingly popular and grows by the year, more platforms roll out and increase its potential, from the original streaming giant Netflix to Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, HBO Max, and many more. It's important to note that there are age differences worth considering when determining the value OTT and TV bring to your brand for advertising.  

According to Statista, "Those aged 50 and older spend close to six (ages 50-64) and more than seven hours (ages 65+) a day in front of the tube, young adults watch significantly less TV." This is primarily because "people over the age of 65 are retired and thus have more time to watch TV [and] younger people are more likely to use streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video instead of watching 'traditional' TV."  

Which one is the better choice to advertise your brand?  

Screen Shot 2021-10-26 at 10.49.10 AMThe best thing you can do for your brand when determining which one is the better choice for advertising is to decide which works best for your specific product. The answer depends solely on the brand and products and the audience's likelihood to be on each. 

Take, for example, a gadget geared towards younger generations — data shows that streaming holds the most considerable portion of that population. On the other hand, a product geared toward retired adults would benefit most from 'traditional' TV's reach. A third option to consider is technology that has many uses throughout generations, young and old — an integrated strategy may benefit your brand most in this case.  

Regardless, both are really excellent advertising options — as you can tell by the following benefits. 

The Benefits of OTT  

  • Best for younger, more tech-savvy audiences  
  • Allows for data transparency and microtargeting   
  • Analytics   
  • Cost-effective   

The Benefits of TV Advertising  

  • Wide reach  
  • Viewers spend a lot of time watching TV  
  • Attracts loyal customers 
  • Consumers trust TV advertising (46%) more than other outlets   

Consult a Media Partner to Find The Best Fit For You 

Screen Shot 2021-10-26 at 10.49.15 AMTV advertising shouldn't be discounted, especially since TV viewership is still very high and people view brands they see on TV as trustworthy. Studies have even found that TV reach is as high as 90% among adults in the U.S.,18 and older.  

On the other hand, there is no doubt that ads on streaming services are gaining popularity and are quite effective. When you're ready, consulting a media partner can help with both solutions — helping you decide which strategy fits the goals of your brand and business best.   

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