With all the talk of cord-cutting, you'd think consumers were abandoning video entertainment for a return to a Neolithic era of telling stories around the campfire after the day's hunt. I published a report a couple of weeks ago called Marketers: Don't Worry About Cord-Cutting that shows this isn't the case. (First, a shout-out to my colleague Jeff Wray, who allowed me to use some of the data in his Forrester Research Pay TV Forecast, 2013 To 2018 [US]).
Are consumers getting their video entertainment from different source? Yes, largely migrating from cable to telecom providers like Verizon and AT&T. This has little to no impact on how marketers plan and buy their TV campaigns.
Are consumers filling some of their video entertainment hours with online streaming sources? Sure, but for the most part, online video viewers are — and remain — heavy linear TV viewers, using new sources to get more of the entertainment they love (as I documented in this report last fall). Some younger consumers are delaying getting a pay TV subscription of any type, and perhaps they may never. But then they will fill their entertainment hours with video from Vevo, YouTube, HuluPlus, etc., where advertisers will have ample opportunity to reach them (oh, yes and some ad-free Netflix, but then, ad-free DVD viewing is fading away).
The moral of the story for marketers is: You will always have plenty of viewing hours in which to place your video ads to deliver the branding power of sight/sound/motion ads. But you will need to evolve 30- to 50-year-old planning and buying strategies in response to the increasing audience fragmentation that streaming services, TV Anywhere apps, OTT boxes, smart TVs, and viewing on tablets and smartphones adds to the market.
Check out my report and let me know what you think.