When we talk about the shifting media landscape, defined by platform proliferation and audience fragmentation, we usually focus on the ad apocalypse, the rise of cord cutters, and comparisons between TV vs. digital. However, this focus on the “pipes” ignores the question of whether a publisher can control its content. As marketers and advertisers, we need to make context a primary consideration when we’re choosing where and how to spend our budgets.
The risks of non-premium and non-curated environments are becoming increasingly clear. Earlier this month, a New York Times article highlighted how seemingly easy it is for kids to find violent or disturbing videos online thanks to imperfect filters and too-easy-to-bypass algorithms. As a result, media buyers and advertisers (some of whom were reportedly unwilling to go on-the-record) revealed their growing frustration with paying for ads placed against what’s billed as premium content, but is instead unpredictable. As one media buyer told Business Insider, “this is not TV.”
“Brand safety shouldn’t come at the expense of reaching our audiences across platforms.”
We need to consider the value of premium content and the importance of context on our audience. Brand safety shouldn’t come at the expense of reaching our audiences across platforms. We know that what’s displayed in and around content affects our audience’s affinity for a brand. In a recent research study1 comparing narrative persuasion within premium vs. non-premium environments, participants shown content in premium environments were more emotionally engaged and therefore more receptive to advertising. Preliminary evidence from the study also suggests that attitude change toward brands is more positive in this context.
Additionally, consumers age 18 and over say that they trust advertising more on premium environments like TV.2
At Viacom, premium content has always been the cornerstone of what we do. Our history of entertainment, and driving culture and conversation, started with the programming shown on linear TV. As we expand across platforms to reach our audiences wherever they are watching, it means we can also ensure broadcast-quality content and TV-quality impressions.
Now more than ever, it’s vital that publishers focus on the audience experience to deliver strong outcomes for advertisers.
1, “The Power of Storytelling,” Marketing & Partner Insights, Viacom, 2017.
2 “The Power of TV,” Marketing & Partner Insights, Viacom, 2017.