Technology and Creativity to Power TV Brands of the Future


Consumer research from our Tomorrow Calling programme has clearly shown the opportunity for non-media brands to begin to move into the territory occupied by some established brands in the TV sector.

We found that, despite a growing appetite for TV viewing amongst UK consumers, they are increasingly frustrated by today’s TV offerings, whether that’s accessibility, payment structures, quantity or quality of content.

Despite a proliferation of channels, and new products such as Sky Go, or Virgin Media’s TiVo, today’s consumers feel that TV has not kept pace with developments they have seen elsewhere in the media landscape. Consumers are used to the search capabilities of YouTube, the recommendations engines of iTunes and Amazon, and the device inter-operability of their MP3 music collection. TV providers are not yet enabling viewers to search and navigate through content with this same degree of sophistication.

With further innovation in TV so clearly in demand, we asked consumers if new providers could enter the market, appearing on our internet-connected screens, and if today’s brands would still be relevant, by 2020?

Many consumers agreed that there are “brands that could do a better job at providing TV than some of the TV providers and channels we have now”: 39% agreed, and only 8% disagreed. In the eyes of our viewers, there is clearly room for new entrants to be successful in this market – in particular, major internet, technology and film brands.

In a world of increasing choice where people need to make increasingly complex decisions, I believe that strong channel brands will have enduring importance as curators, trusted guides, and badges of quality.

However, when we tested responses to a number of major consumer brands, respondents felt that the big internet brands such as Google or YouTube could be very successful at providing TV platforms for viewing programmes and films, at aggregating content and enabling consumers to find content. Brands like Sony and Apple enjoy so much confidence from consumers that they’re seen to be able to stretch into TV production or distribution without losing credibility.

Advancements in technology have created an unprecedented opportunity for non-broadcast brands to become TV brands of the future, whether that’s technology companies, retailers, FMCG brands or publishers. Our white paper develops this thinking and suggests the key lessons that non-media brands can learn from broadcasters. It’s a fascinating and critical time for those that find the best ways to harness this hunger for quality and accessible content.

For me, the really interesting issues will be how our industry responds to all this change, and how we evolve the quality of TV services for consumers, to protect the value in our industry and retain the ability to go on creating high quality content.

Tomorrow Calling aims to build a picture of the media world in 2020, its technological possibilities and market dynamics, through a series of think tanks, quantitative and qualitative research, one-to-one interviews, live panel debates and white papers. To read the full findings from the consumer research, click here.

What do you predict for the media world in 2020? Will big internet brands like Google make their mark on the TV industry?

Andy Bryant, Director, Creative