Media intelligence company Kantar Media recently held their global World Audiences Summit in Cape Town. Executives from advertising agencies, broadcasters and television channels around the world attended to learn more about the trends in research data and to gather insights on audience behaviour.
Brenda Wortley, head of research and audience measurement at DStv-i, explained that prior to 2010 all the available data was open for advertisers. DStv-i then took the decision to lock down the data and made only relevant data available to each channel and to advertisers. Data is now available through the Stats 2 Go portal that offers advertisers comprehensive viewer information and insights, helping them to match their brands to the relevant target market.
Subscribers are generally loyal to their channels and two-thirds of the current DStv subscriber base is still watching in a linear fashion as opposed to VOD (on-demand viewing).
But there’s no doubt the state of play is changing.
Aletta Alberts, head of content for MultiChoice Pan-Africa, believes the future of the pay TV model will be very different. “I think it will be a hybrid of linear channels and live programming with major social integration, where people want to be part of the conversation. That will be combined with binge viewing and more personalised content. We will become more of a curator of content and a trusted content recommendation source,” she said.
Advertisers still need to connect with their audiences and Alberts says the key here is an emotional connection with the individual viewer. “Channels are still important. The channel is the custodian of the content,” she said.
In today’s world of technology-driven platforms, the focus for advertisers is on engagement. “Content is still king,” said Alberts. “But, it’s important to understand that technology is the mother that is always there in the background.”
Current trends show that audiences prefer to have more control over the content they consume as opposed to having content pushed to them by the broadcaster. “The key for us at DStv is recognising and then delivering what our subscribers want. We put the consumer at the centre of everything we do,” said Alberts.
DStv runs services in several countries across Africa and has created one Pan-African database that pulls data from the various African countries in which they operate. This information allows advertisers to understand what shows and channels would work for them in the different countries and how content is consumed.
The South African and the Pan-African markets are not homogenous and are diverse in terms of taste, culture and behaviour and this is where data becomes crucial to help advertisers understand viewer behaviour and connect with audiences.
According to Alberts, the bulk of the data is used to improve programming, scheduling and advertising for MultiChoice. MultiChoice offers tiered packages, called bouquets, and each has different audience segments and data available. “It’s important that we recognise that and we need to make sure that whatever we offer is what people really want. What works in Ghana may not work in Nigeria and we need to take those factors into account,” said Alberts.
The impact on media planning and buying
Over the last few years, the media planning and buying landscape has changed substantially. According to Wortley, it has moved from spot-buying where the planner was in control of exactly when a spot went out, to an environment that is now a lot more complex.
“There’s too much to schedule now. The average campaign length is between 500 to 1 500 spots which makes it impossible for a planner to schedule each one of those individually,” she said.
The extensive information now available to advertisers and planners has facilitated bundle-buying which allows advertisers to buy a guaranteed audience. Planners are now working in conjunction with media sales representatives to make buying decisions based on information that allows them to go much deeper.
WATCH: Brenda Wortley – head of research and audience measurement at DStv-i
WATCH: Aletta Alberts – head of content for MultiChoice Pan-Africa
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