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Media Intelligence : 2009 - 2010
free to air TV EXTENDING THE FREE OFFER The launch of digital free-to-view multi-channelling has resulted in more channels which has translated to more opportunities for advertisers. In the current economic climate, with the market becoming more fragmented, opinion from advertisers is the tendency to take a no-risk approach – sticking with what they know works which includes television. Focus is on demographics and ROI. Television’s relationship across platforms, especially the online offer, is also strengthening. Cutting spend is false economy Rhonda Brown Marketing Director, Free TV How is Free to Air adapting to new technologies? Free TV has been at the forefront of digital media innovation in Australia since the networks fi rst broadcast their digital television signals in 2001. Since then, the networks have expanded their television content offering by providing viewers new ways to engage and interact with their favourite programs across a range of digital platforms – including popular TV websites and mobile media devices. In addition, a change in government legislation last year has paved the way for digital free-to-view multi-channelling. As a result, the Free TV networks have joined forces with the public broadcasters to launch Freeview; the digital television platform that offers more channels for free. What does digital television off er advertisers? More channels mean more opportunities for advertisers. For instance, Ten’s new channel ONE-HD presents an opportunity to talk to a dedicated sports-loving audience of all ages and genders. Nine is soon to launch its multi-channel and has announced that it is offering advertisers a generous value-add with additional optimised air-time in return for a minimum spend commitment on its primary channel. Seven says its new channel will open up a whole new level of opportunities for brands to get exposure on Australia’s most powerful medium, television. What are the biggest challenges in this economic downturn? 17 MEDIA Trends + Strategy p16-17,19_freeToAirTV.indd 16 p16-17,19_freeToAirTV.indd 16 3/7/09 11:52:32 AM 3/7/09 11:52:32 AM It’s only natural when economic times are tough for advertisers to look for ways to save money. The challenge for the networks is to convince advertisers that cutting TV spend is a false economy. Many TV clients know this already, but there’ll always be some that see a quick saving by reducing their TV spend. However, there’s a mounting body of evidence that TV not only delivers a return on investment in the short term but is essential in maintaining the health of brands over the longer term. Working collaboratively with advertisers to create innovative solutions that drive their ad spend further is helping Free TV networks and their clients weather the economic storm. How has advertising been impacted? Advertising revenue for the free-to-air television networks has been affected by the downturn, most noticeably in the fi rst few months of this year, with advertisers taking a ‘wait and see’ approach. While the market is still short, networks are reporting encouraging signs for the second half of this year with many advertisers adopting a ‘back to basics’ approach by consolidating their media spend and sticking with what they know works; which includes television. What are the other issues and challenges facing the industry at the moment? And into the next 6-12 months? Digital switchover will be a major focus for the industry over the next year with the Mildura region expected to switch off its analog free-to- air television signal in the fi rst half of 2010. The switch to digital and the launch of Freeview will provide all Australians with more viewing choice and a superior viewing experience for free. No doubt the review of the anti-siphoning list set for this year, will reignite the debate over whether or not Australians should continue to have access to major sporting events for free. And campaigners against junk food and alcohol marketing will continue to demonise television as the cause of all our problems. Hopefully sensible debate will prevail and we will continue to work with government and industry to address these broader social issues. What do media buyer/planners need to know about FreeTV going forward? First and foremost, Free TV is alive and well and continuing to attract audiences in their millions. Indeed, Free TV reaches, on average, more than 13 million Australians each and every day. More importantly, the body of research proving the effectiveness of advertising on Free TV is growing. The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) in the UK recently demonstrated that campaigns that used television “signifi cantly outperformed” campaigns that omitted TV from the media schedule. Another comprehensive study (by PWC) found that television advertising pays back 4.5 times its advertising investment. Despite the extraordinary proliferation of other media, TV has successfully adapted to the times to maintain its position as an essential part of the marketing mix. AVERAGE DAILY REACH On any given day, an average of more than 13 million Australians watch Free TV. Source: OzTAM & RegionalTAM; 5 City Metro & Combined Aggregated Markets; Survey 1-10 2008 (excl Olympics 8-24 August); Total Ppl
MT Resource 2010