Ever since TV technology made it possible to measure overnight ratings, there have been some in the industry who wish it hadn’t. Programme controllers and advertisers have been accused of not giving new dramas or comedies or entertainment formats enough time to establish themselves. Journalists are blamed for rushing to judgement with headline-grabbing claims that can damage a programme’s prospects.
Big data, with Netflix at the forefront, is transforming the way that TV is commissioned and watched, but not as radically or quickly as many in the broadcasting industry believe. Its impact, for the moment, remains most keenly felt in advertising.
This was the conclusion of a sold-out RTS early-evening event, “Big data or smart data? Data and the impact on TV advertising, commissioning and content”. Chaired by the former BBC Media Correspondent Torin Douglas, the RTS panel – composed of both broadcasting and advertising experts – explained the appeal of big data.
Last month, a media storm broke out about a landmark change in children’s TV viewing habits. It was widely reported that, for the first time, “young people are spending more time online than watching TV”, according to “The Monitor Report 2016” by Childwise.
This was quickly challenged by Thinkbox, the marketing body for commercial television. But it highlighted some fundamental questions about the rapidly changing landscape of TV, online and mobile viewing:
The number of people watching on-demand and live-streamed content through online TV Player apps is to be recorded for the first time.
The Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB), which already provides viewing figures for UK television audiences, will start producing a beta version of its TV Player Report in September.
The report is the first set of BARB data to focus on viewing that takes place on computer devices including laptops, tablets and smartphones.