Consumer habits have changed dramatically over the past 18 months, driving up digital consumption to unprecedented new levels. And with that has come the need to change how media and marketing work.
This change has begun in earnest this week, with changes in the media sector and the way advertising works already starting to be trialled here in the UK.
The media sector has always been an area of interest to the telemedia industry and, as media has sought to become more interactive, so it has turned to telemedia companies to create the services – and initiate the messaging and payments – to make it happen,
Good news then that the media and entertainment (M&E) sector is set to grow after a difficult year in lockdown. According to PwC’s latest Global Entertainment & Media (E&M) Outlook, by 2025, the UK is set to overtake Germany as the biggest E&M market in Western Europe by revenue.
After the Covid pandemic caused total UK E&M revenue to fall 5% in 2020, PwC forecasts growth will rebound 9% this year and over the forecast period at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5% outpacing the expected growth in E&M revenues at a global level.
By 2025, the UK’s E&M sector is expected to be worth £88bn with only the US, China and Japan worth more globally.
Of course, how consumers consume media content has dramatically changed, with many more now streaming subscription services. While these services are growing and generating more revenues, they are starting to impact commercial media companies that tend to rely on advertising.
For this reason, UK broadcaster ITV has become the first broadcaster to look into directly selling from its broadcast content. The service, being rolled out with the new series of Love Island on ITV2 this summer, will allow viewers using LG TVs to buy directly from the screen using their remote from programmes that contain shoppable content.
The first example will be run for UK pharmacy and cosmetics retailer Boots UK, which will be selling make-up featured in the Love Island show
The interactive system uses AI technology from The Take, a contextual product discovery company, which is built directly into LG TV sets in the. The service identifies and tags featured products during programmes and notifies viewers that products on-screen are available. If a viewer is interested, they can select to view more info with their remote and make a purchase via the vendor’s site or a link sent to their phone.
This first-of-its-kind offering in the UK helps ITV rethink its ad strategy, making it more interactive and more targeted. It makes ITV programming suddenly look much more like shoppable online content and brings the TV broadcaster up to speed with the growing number of live stream shopping services that popping up across the web from Amazon, Alibaba and more.
And this move is now more vital than ever. Consumers have long wanted to interact and increasingly social media and online services have delivered that. TV companies risk being left behind as their ad revenues dwindle as brands look to spend elsewhere – where consumers actually are.
This trial by ITV is something all broadcasters should watch with interest. It is also something that telemedia companies should look closely at too. Where there is interaction there is likely to be an opportunity – how can the industry monetise this, both on TV and other media?
One place to look is at the work being done by EE and WeAre8 to launch the sustainable advertising distribution platform in the UK. Through the partnership, EE mobile customers can sign up to WeAre8 via EE Up, a new platform within the My EE app that offers exclusive experiences, rewards, competitions and benefits.
By watching a brand video and answering one to three short questions, customers receive up to 20p in their EE Up wallet, and a donation of 5% is also automatically given to charity. Customers can choose to donate to a charity of their choice, helping to end food poverty and reverse climate change, or they can contribute to their monthly phone bill using the earned money in the EE Up wallet.
The billing side of thing – carrier billing in reverse – is being powered by PM Connect and the whole project shows just how radically the advertising, mobile and billing model is poised to change.
Not only does it rethink advertising – making it both figuratively and literally more rewarding for consumers, it also makes it more interactive. It also creates a much more powerful new paradigm for mobile advertising, taking it from annoying pop-ups to something that is interesting and that gives something back.
It also sees money moving back to the bill via carrier billing, further demonstrating the power of DCB in the mainstream market and in the minds of consumers.
These are interesting and significant first steps towards a new way to monetise media. But more needs to happen. Where I think its going to get interesting is where conversational commerce initiated by brands starts to interact with marketing through those channels as well as TV and other media channels. This is where the real shake up will come and it will be truly fascinating to see what new services the telemedia industry comes up with to make this fly.