With the impact of coronavirus and associated restrictions around social distancing, most of us have been spending a lot more time at home recently. As this has increased with further restrictions over the past few weeks, we’ve seen this directly correlate to an increase in video consumption across all devices.
Streamed video services are undoubtedly playing a larger role in our lives than ever before, whether it’s via local Catch Up TV platforms, Connected TV, YouTube, Netflix etc. – all platforms that were already experiencing a rising trend before COVID-19 came about.
This means the right brands have an opportunity here to build their awareness in their market, perhaps as a new player in their competitive field or to capture market share where competitors may have lowered spend. This article will discuss what we’re seeing so far for video consumption, what consumers are seeking, where the opportunity is, and what brands need to keep in mind.
Total Weekly BVOD Minutes Consumed Saw Drastic Spikes in March
We already know from early VoZ data, that 23.5% of Australians (6 million) consume BVOD (Broadcast Video On Demand) each week and this is expected to increase. The latest TV report for OzTam shows that there have been significant increases in weekly BVOD minutes, and I think we all know why. With more people in the household, there is a larger fight for the TV remote, however On Demand allows for multiple screen usage and more consupmtion by users at one time. You can see below the clear rise in minutes consumed over the last few weeks as restrictions got tighter.
On the 31st of March, Nielsen Australia predicts that being home-bound could lead to a potential 60% increase in the amount of video content we watch globally.
To delve further into what the OzTAM data shows us, local publishers across the board are reporting increased consumption. On-demand and catch up minutes increased 13% WoW when comparing the last two weeks of March.
Why Are People Watching More Video?
At a top level, we’ve broken down the key reasons why people are consuming more video content.
- Keeping Up To Date
Across linear and digital video formats, the likes of Nine and Seven are seeing impressive increases in their daily viewers of News Services. This makes sense, as during this chaotic time people are turning to their most trusted news platforms to stay informed and connected about the latest updates in their community.
People also want to watch content that allows them to break away and find relief from what is happening in their world at the moment, whether that’s a break from current affairs, separating work and home, and other stresses people have in their lives. SSPs are reporting significant increases in Comedy, Reality and Drama TV shows.
As an off-shoot to escapism, people are also turning to video consumption for inspiration on filling their own time. Video platforms like YouTube (or even TikTok) are perfect for people wanting to learn something new. Publishers are also perfectly timed to this as well, with Lego Masters just premiering on 9Now, Masterchef on 10Play kicking off just after the Easter Long Weekend and House Rules also just starting on 7Plus.
- Watch Anytime
With more people at home during the day, we’re seeing disruption across the time of day people are consuming video content and the devices they’re using. Whilst prime time of 6pm-10pm still makes up the bulk of minutes, there is increased viewing throughout the day and advertisers are capitalising on this.
What Does This Mean For Brands?
Videos works wonders for brand building. This isn’t new information. Not only Reload, but the entire advertising industry have stressed the importance of continuing to market during a recession, as brands who do tend to see better long-term results compared to those who don’t. This presents opportunities for brands in Australia to solidify their place in the market and build brand awareness, when perhaps their competitors are dropping spends – and what better format to build brand awareness than aligning your story with premium video content.
If you’ve identified video as an opportunity for your brand during this time, it’s important to make sure you align your message with the right consumers, but also take into account the heightened level of sensitivity and awareness consumers have right now.
IRI research tells us that 80% of Australians think that “care and consideration for others has never been more important”. However, an Australia COVID-19 themed research piece from Nature and The Lab found “a large majority of people were unable to single brands doing anything helpful”.
It is essential if you’re going to advertise during a crisis that you keep the customer in mind. Marketing week explains:
A survey of more than 35,000 consumers globally by Kantar found that just 8% thought brands should stop advertising. However, there is a clear expectation that companies should play their part, with 78% of consumers believing brands should help them in their daily lives, 75% saying brands should inform people of what they’re doing and 74% thinking companies should not exploit the situation.
We aren’t saying you necessarily have to change your whole marketing message, but you do have to keep this in mind.
Tips For Helping Brands Cut Through on Video
There is no denying there is a huge opportunity for brands to tell their story and build awareness via video, there are more layers to consider how to effectively do this:
- Before we talk ‘tactic’ we must think customer first. Ask what mindset you want your potential audience to be in when they see your content, or what mindset are they in. For example, if they’re trying to escape from their reality with binging every episode of New Girl on SBS, make sure your ad and message doesn’t bring them back to their current reality. You want to add to this escapism, inspirational or nostalgic feeling. Aligning this will help with your recall and generally ensuring the customers experience is positive.
- Keep up to date with new shows coming up across the major shareholders in the TV space and look for how you can align your targeting accordingly. Shows that inspire, like the aforementioned Lego Masters which has just kicked off, and Masterchef starting April 13, are likely going to be more influential than they are normally.
- If you already trade premium video such as Catch Up and Connected TV placements, you likely have day part targeting on skewed to the evening so that you don’t serve completely throughout the day, however it is worth expanding and testing targeting through a longer period in the day.
- With fluctuations and shifts in the devices people are streaming content on, desktop has seen significant rises for CUTV. Whilst we haven’t seen drops in mobile streaming, it’s happening at different times, as users don’t have the ‘commute’ anymore. This is something to keep in mind for your strategy and is perhaps something to test during the campaign.
As brands are shuffling around budgets and reconsidering their marketing mix, we recommend that video platforms should be a part of this conversation, particularly streamed video (e.g. premium video through Connected and Catch Up TV, YouTube etc.).
Feel free to get in touch with the Reload Team if you’d like to chat about video advertising opportunities for your brand.