Archive for October, 2014

Where to watch …. an ACB perspective.

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

We are still some way from UHD viewing becoming widespread and whilst we wait for the industry to truly catch up to seize the imagination of the viewer, there is still some work needed to get the in-home viewing experience of the UHD viewer spot on…
Similarly, wearables have been tipped to be the next big trend in technology, with Deloitte predicting by the end of the year sales in smart watches, wrist watches and wristbands could reach 10 million units and generate £3 billion in revenue. So it seems that much of the wave of smart devices may not hit the market until early 2015.
Whilst future technology is always exciting and makes the headlines, what is most exciting is the rapid change and behavioural evolution around the relatively new technology.
So my argument today is to pause for thought around the mobile and work to better understand trust of the cloud and how that impacts audience behaviour on the TV.
The relatively new technology:

It is essential for the industry to keep a close understanding of behaviours and build on these learnings – developing thought and understanding over time, monitoring behaviours around the relatively new technology super closely to understand new emerging behaviours and their impact on other more embedded behaviours.

So, whilst ACB at Future zone last year demo’d evidence that showed the innocence of a child of three years routinely using and preferring two screens at the same time – both her own choice and we saw her struggle under the pressure of her parent to decide which one to turn off. Importantly for that child – both choices represented favoured viewing experiences and both fitted the child’s mood and demonstrated in a very simple way how we across demographics are in front of the tv for a roughly a quarter of the time consuming and enjoying as much as possible from multiple devices.
Fast forward 20 months on from ACB’s capture of this behaviour to August, 2014 and Ofcom released a quant study that found that very young children were familiar with smart devices sometimes before they could talk – a digital quotient was used to assess the savviness of children (self-confidence and awareness) and their mobiles, the BB and the apps.
Last month (September 2014)  bought  GSMA’s predictions that smart phone adoption will increase worldwide by 3 times, and back home in the UK almost 2/3 adults have smart phones with penetration saturated by 2018.
ACB and the reader will know that we are emotionally attached (as with other devices) and those that do own smartphones tend to incorporate their use quite centrally in their daily routine, with a third of them looking at their smartphone within the first 5 minutes of the day, and then checking them regularly throughout the day (Deloitte – September 2014) . In phase 6 we (ACB LLP) included younger women in our broad demographic and measured the actual number of times they checked their Facebook and the length of time they spent on the site – Kirsty (24) checks Facebook nine times in the morning for an average of 28 seconds and then in the afternoon ten times for an average of two minutes and less so in the evening – 3 times but still for an average of two minutes. This is the demographic that is of interest to ACB as we might assert the future female is what the industry needs to focus on understanding a little more and try to avoid patronising please…
But I digress, as I was saying unlike UHD or wearables, smartphones are not something that people need to be persuaded to use – they already have them and use them regularly and in many cases compulsively.
But how can they be harnessed by the industry to improve and enhance their experience with the TV?
1) ACB has seen, over the years, actual appetite in the flexibility to “mirror” or “vroom” content from tablets and phones onto the TV. We’ve seen consumers, when given this ability have the opinion of their TV and its features considerable boosted.

2) The element of collection and control that seized the imagination of the PVR user years ago and is now an expectation…so it is no surprise to us that that area is of major interest to consumers and the industry and of course the regulator would need to play a part.

3) So it’s this consumer need that means it is vital to work for the industry to work super hard to get greater confidence in the cloud for all demographics and personality types. These customer expectations will have implications on how any mobile device (wearable or otherwise) will be used. Slick ads won’t overcome core fears,  so this does need much work and I would suggest that the industry should work together on this and understand fears around data collection whilst working on this challenge. Reassurance is critical.

4) So whilst we are waiting for this consortium to work together to get best consumer understanding , the industry may wish to work harder to encourage personalisation of storage and make brands/styles for hard drives that appeal that create feelings of ownership and link to the individuals sense of self or sense of group/family. The industry could do this and ensure that the jump from the Smith households content hard drive to the Smith’ cloud is still the Smith. And so the move may be less of an issue – more of a de-clutter than any major step.

Of course for some this won’t be necessary, but for other demographics they will need encouragement to shift over and will prefer a hard drive in the first instance and take some time to move over to the cloud.

This personalisation and or family-isation will help make the content feel more treasured, more valued and less disposable. The industry needs to work hard to retain the feeling of attachment to content and avoid the potential distance and the blurring of where the content has come from and understand where it might be watched and how.

So one would anticipate NDVR better for millennials and the hard drive/ PVR better for baby boomers but if the industry does what I say they could be looking at the nDVR working for all within the next seven years.

5) The fast forward dilemma – we think this may have plateaued out but most importantly viewers prefer control and anything that impacts control reduces their viewing experience.