UK TV viewers will see 1 trillion TV ads in 2012

The tap that replaces the water cooler

This is the cute soundbite from Deloitte’s TV predictions at Edinburgh this August.  Let’s remember how to put 1 trillion into context.  If 1 million seconds is11.5 days, and 1 billion seconds is 32 years, then 1 trillion seconds is 32,000 years.  So that’s a lot of TV ads then.

Deloitte spend some time in their report attempting to explain why the UK watches so much TV. 

The answers won’t shock you at all unless you were expecting things to have changed, but apart from the internet evangelists employed by some companies, most of us have acknowledged that TV is still big in real people’s lives.  So TV is used for relaxing at the end of the day, and as fuel for water cooler moments.   Though given the propensity for the so called “water cooler moments” actually to comprise electronic banter about the programme via email, messaging, Facebook, Zeebox, Twitter  and the like perhaps we should rename this phenomenon “Tweet Fuel”.  (We don’t really have “water coolers in our offices anymore – just a tap).  That’s my new definition of great TV.  It gives good Tweet Fuel.

The findings on how viewers choose what to watch are interesting, and again reflect inertia despite the new options available.  Most people start by checking what’s on broadcast TV, then they check their PVR.  Only a minority look at on demand TV.  This must evolve to an extent as more and more people own Connected TVs though Deloitte’s Paul Lee thinks that most people don’t know that they’ve got a TV that can connect to the internet when they in fact already do.  So change comes not as penetration of Connected TV’s increases then, but if and when the mass market has a compelling reason to connect.

Should we anticipate a sudden change in viewing behaviour because of this or as young adults who have grown up watching TV on secondary devices mature into having their own homes ? 

If there are two kinds of evolution : evolution by creeps and evolution by jerks, then when it comes to TV viewing we are a nation of creeps. The necessity of communicating with stand out and cut through to our nation of creeps is clear.  One trillion ads is a lot of competition.  You need to be special.

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