The Evolution of Linear TV in a Streaming World

Seán Roberts, VP UK & Ireland, 03.13.24

03.13.24 Seán Roberts, VP UK & Ireland

Although the TV landscape is increasingly dominated by streamers and on demand viewing, in 2023, 65% of UK viewing was still led by linear broadcast TV.

Continued Trend Towards On Demand

Despite strong linear viewing, the trend towards on demand continues unabated. The United Kingdom is expected to experience significant growth in its video streaming market. Revenue is projected to reach US$4.40bn in 2024.

In the UK, traditional broadcast channels have responded to the shift to streaming with the creation of Freely, a soon to launch new integrated platform for watching UK broadcast channels on demand. Positioned as a next generation iteration of Freeview, Freely will offer both live and on demand content directly through smart TV's.

Consolidation is Driving New Opportunities

How will the evolution of linear consumption affect how we market content and drive views?

  • Increased competition in the streaming space means campaigns will need to do more to stand out and educate an audience as to their USPs. Marketers should look at platform strategies and audience segmentation to ensure genre and demographic nuances are maximised.

  • Advertisers can take advantage of new on demand inventory with greater insights and data pooling available than previously associated with linear titles and with greater volume than on standalone apps (iPlayer, ITVX, etc.).

  • As consumers adopt Freely as a way of consuming content that was typically dominated by linear viewing, this will shift habits further towards streaming apps, particularly among older audiences. But it does so against a backdrop of consolidation.

  • With ad funded/free to view content, Freely will put extra pressure on competitors with tiered pricing structures. In the US, customer cancellations on major streaming platforms rose to 6.3% in November from 5% the previous year. This is on the back of 2023 UK data showing that 2m households had cut subscriptions to services such as Netflix, Prime Video, or Disney. Has ad-funded streaming finally arrived with Freely?

Our Approach

  • As the lines continue to blur between linear channels and streamers, there is a need to apply streaming segmentation measures to traditional broadcast content -- often with a public service remit. At Allied, we have run campaigns designed to fulfil strict targeting measures for publicly funded entities. In a recent campaign for a film festival, we hit reach targets across 10 different platforms for 14 different niche audiences through a heavily focused media strategy.

  • Last year, we ran a campaign for a global broadcaster across digital channels that was specifically designed to drive tune in. We explored vendor formats to allow opt in for reminders and push notification ads to drive tune in for appointment to view TV with a multi week lead in awareness campaign.

  • Our media team works hand in hand with our creative team to ensure maximum impact and efficacy. To ensure our clients stand out in an increasingly crowded market, creative thought and application are essential. Previously, we created interactive elements, including AI powered chatbots that delivered humorous custom content on behalf of a reality TV service we work with. This allowed us to gather data not just from subscribers but also from their network via sharing mechanics and to run effective and attention grabbing awareness and customer education campaigns.

Want to know more about our media and creative solutions and how we harness data for maximum cut through? Get in touch here.

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