Telly Addicts of Tomorrow

Will be feeding their video habits on social media, not television

The year is 1988 (ish). The place is my living room. I’m 8 years old and watching Telly Addicts – the one game show aimed at grown-ups I’d found that offered me the chance of experiencing the warm glow of answering a question correctly (as well as the warmth radiating from Noel Edmonds’ garish shirts and heavily tanned face; all in all, there was no jumper required to watch the show). 

I knew my stuff because I loved watching TV (and I still do).

I’m not alone. The biggest ever TV audience in the UK was a staggering 24.4 million people, who all tuned in on 29th December 1996 to watch Del Boy finally become a millionaire. That’s 42% of the UK population at the time. Cushty.

Fast forward 20 years and people are watching less television. Google report that in 2015 18-49 year olds spent 4% less time watching television versus the previous year, and this downward trend is continuing. However, this doesn’t mean that we’re watching less video content; it’s the method of consumption that has changed. 

Want proof? The most popular YouTube video of 2016 - James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke with Adele - attracted almost 150 million views.

This is nothing new. We’ve all read about the rise of video. However, two recent announcements from Facebook seem to indicate that video is about to take the next step in its development.

Firstly, Facebook announced the launch of mid-roll ads for video. This will allow brands to broadcast 20 second ad breaks within their video content and split the associated revenue with Facebook. An ad break can be shown if a user watches for four minutes into live streams with 300 concurrent viewers.

Is this the future of broadcast advertising? ‘Of course not!’ I hear you cry! 300 viewers? Sounds pretty small time. And you'd be right, at least for videos that only attract a three figure audience.

Time for the second Facebook announcement – Zuckerberg and co have signed a deal with La Liga to stream matches via Facebook Live for free. Viewing figures for La Liga? Barcelona v Real Madrid attracts an estimated global audience of 400 million.

Picture the Premiership football on Facebook or a new season of Game of Thrones broadcasted as a live event on YouTube and suddenly that's a hell of a lot more than 300 people tuning in. 

There's also of course scope for Facebook and Google to follow the lead of Netflix, Amazon et al and produce their own content in order to attract big audiences (and video advertising revenue).

The potential migration of mass audiences from linear TV to Facebook Live (or any other platform) is hugely significant for the future of broadcast advertising. Del Boy take note.

I don’t watch Telly Addicts any more. My viewing tastes have changed somewhat since the late 80s. I can watch it if I want of course – it’s on YouTube.

Post by

Dan Watt