Changes in where people go for content is likely to outlast the pandemic

The pandemic has accelerated major changes in media consumption and revealed sharp differences among the various generations when it comes to the type of content they like — and where they find it. But while traditional media vehicles such as broadcast TV may be on the wane, they still command the biggest audiences.

Among the many disruptions in marketing strategy CMOs are facing due to COVID-19, one change is coming into much sharper focus. The pandemic has significantly altered consumer media consumption habits, and probably for good.

According to two separate surveys from the market research firm Global Web Index (GWI) — the first in April 2020 and the second in December 2020 — the pandemic has accelerated consumers’ shift away from traditional marketing channels, such as print outlets and broadcast TV, and toward social and other digital channels.

The GWI report found online video consumption grew 7 percent among gen Zers, while time on video game platforms rose 12 percent.

Perhaps more important for brand marketers, the GWI survey found that, in 2020, ads viewed on social media among 16- to 24-year-olds surpassed the level of TV commercials viewed by the same group.

By contrast, media consumption among millennials between April 2020 and December 2020 declined in virtually every media category, save for podcasts, with broadcast TV down 11 percent.

“The pandemic is really supercharging the trends that were already on their way” before the outbreak, says Chris Beer, market intelligence manager at GWI, adding most of these trends are global in nature. “Adoption of online television is growing among younger audiences, while digital audio such as podcasts are seeing growth across all demographics.”

Broader Media Canvas

The pandemic forced many brands not just to adjust their messaging, but to pivot when it comes to engaging their target audiences.

“We used to get feedback from two main sources: our website and Facebook,” says Liz Bazner, senior director of marketing at A&W Restaurants. “Now that’s expanded to more social networks, review sites, and messaging apps. Even when we weren’t running media, we saw traffic to our website more than double in 2020 as users looked to find operating hours, menus, and ordering information online.”

The restaurant chain’s shift to digital channels exclusively is happening as the A&W brand — long a nostalgic favorite among baby boomers and gen Xers — is being discovered and embraced by both millennials and gen Zers.

These younger audiences are touting the brand through user generated content, especially via Instagram and TikTok, Bazner says.

“A lot of our creative content is pretty universal,” she adds, “but we do find ourselves taking some chances with a more playful approach on platforms like Twitter and Instagram, including a campaign to get our mascot, a 6-foot-tall bear in an orange sweater, verified on LinkedIn.”

Gen Z Splits from the Pack

The pandemic is a stark reminder that gen Z is genuinely different from previous generations and doesn’t relate to traditional channels, such as broadcast TV and print, says Mark Beal, assistant professor of professional practice, public relations, at the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University.

“Gen Z is turning to the big three — Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok — not only for engaging content but also for news and information,” says Beal, the author of Decoding Gen Z: 101 Lessons Generation Z Will Teach Corporate America, Marketers & Media.

He adds both marketers and traditional media brands are reacting to changes in media consumption by creating original content that fits these formats.

Sarah Shevenock, an entertainment reporter at data intelligence firm and ANA member Morning Consult, says some trends, including the adoption of streaming services, continue to grow as people start to slowly shift away from lockdown mode.

“There was the assumption that as we took steps toward normalcy, we’d see a backlash against screens, but that hasn’t been the case,” Shevenock says. “Since January 2021 the number of people who report streaming a movie from home at least once a week has stayed fairly consistent and we also found in a summer survey that 64 percent of people said they plan to have as many streaming services in 2022 as they do now.”

Some of these services are ad-free, but Shevenock says platforms such as NBCUniversal’s Peacock and ViacomCBS’s Paramount+ continue to broaden their appeal with both ad-supported and ad-free options. “Consumers from all ages, from gen Z to baby boomers, say they’re actually more interested in an ad-supported service if it’s less expensive than the ad-free option,” she adds.

However, predictions that traditional TV is either dead or dying may be premature. Nearly half of U.S. adults 18 years old or older watch linear TV every day, according to a recent online survey of 1,000 consumers by media and marketing services firm ENGINE. The survey also found that 40 percent of consumers continue to subscribe to a traditional cable service.

“Consumers are still watching linear TV in large numbers,” says Scott Schiller, chief commercial officer at ENGINE. “Precise targeting makes it possible to reach specific segments, like an older/30-plus audience, on platforms like connected TV.”

Peer-to-Peer Play

Dan Gliatta, founder and chief strategy officer at marketing agency and ANA member Cargo, says the pandemic-induced shift toward remote work has led small-business owners to actively look to virtual communities for both information and inspiration.

“Some of the bigger changes we’re seeing is where audiences are going, including not just brand communities, but peer communities such as Startup Club, as well as social media and on-demand virtual events,” Gliatta says.

He stresses that small-business owners now want the same control regarding how they consume B2B information as they have at home choosing their entertainment and other personalized options for content.

“B2B brands need to be mentally available if they want to grow,” he says. “That means much shorter flighting and planning given the fluidity of change. It’s not about constant change of plans, but rather constant adjustments and optimization.”

Bazner, from A&W Restaurants, says the pandemic forced many marketers to prioritize their ad targeting and follow their audiences into digital and social channels. “If any brand was hesitant to embrace digital prior to last year, 2020 certainly accelerated that timeline,” she says.



Booming online-born brands and online giants are placing their trust in TV.

As TV investments surpass pre-pandemic levels around the world, newly released international figures showcase how both direct-to-consumer brands and online giants are increasingly embracing TV to get their message across.

The Global TV Group, the grouping of TV companies and sales houses’ trade bodies in Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia and Latin America, has released a new topical update of its Global TV Deck with figures from 15 markets across the globe.

The compendium shows how from 2015 to 2020 the total TV spend more than doubled for direct-to-consumer brands, companies that sell their product or service directly online to end customers without involving third-party retailers, wholesalers or other parts of the traditional consumer supply chain.

In this collection of charts, marketers will find, for example, figures showing that:

The collected data also reflects that FAAAM, which stands for Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Alphabet (Google’s parent) and Microsoft, recognise TV as a valuable means of driving growth and use it more than ever to communicate.

Collectively, the five major tech companies would rank as the #1 TV spender in the U.S.  The data also shows that accumulated TV spend of the FAAAMs ranks them collectively as the second-largest advertiser in Germany and Canada, and among the three largest TV ad spenders in the UK.

The collected figures underline this rise in investments to be a reality in the different markets (such as France, Italy, Spain and more), with the tech giants consistently listed in the top 10 of largest TV advertisers.

As the giants branch out to other media, multiscreen TV provides them with the unmatched scale needed to grow their customer base. Updated figures from 27 markets, which are also gathered by The Global TV Group, demonstrate TV is particularly good at providing mass reach. These figures are also freely available here.

The Global TV Deck update can be downloaded on the Global TV Group website.

Sean Cunningham, President of The Global TV Group and CEO & President of the VAB:
In their DNA, DTC brands and major technology companies are data-driven and laser-focused on what will drive outcomes. It’s no surprise then that they are some of the biggest TV spenders globally as their investment continually enables them to meet and exceed full-funnel business KPIs.

Katty Roberfroid, Director General, egta:
“The meaningful insights gathered by the Global TV Group strikingly showcase that companies of all shapes and sizes embrace TV to catapult their brands to fame. Brands born on the internet and online giants alike put their trust and ad dollars in our medium – and this new compilation of industry-audited data allows us to look beyond our boundaries and see that this trend holds true across the globe.”



The Nova TV group starts applying green filming principles and plans to introduce them into all countries where the CME group operates, describes Hana de Goeij.

The CME media group (the owner of TV Nova) has become the first company from Central and Eastern Europe that joined the albert platform, which focuses on sustainability principles for film and TV. CME has joined companies such as Fremantle, ITV and Sky. TV Nova started introducing principles of the platform into its daily activities. It contributed to the publishing of the first Green Filming Manual in the Czech Republic and is working on integrating sustainable behaviour into filming and storytelling. “The goal is to reduce the carbon footprint and come as close as possible to carbon neutrality,” said Hana de Goeij, Head of Sustainable Filming and Content of TV Nova.

How do you reflect the so called green filming principles in your daily activities?

In principle, we apply two approaches. The first is our effort to reduce the carbon footprint in making programmes. The second principle is that we want our content to inspire our viewers – wherever it is possible and appropriate – to be environment-friendly.

Do you mean writing scripts that urge people to behave eco-friendly?

I will give you an illustrative example. If there is a scene in a script where actors should drink water, they should not drink it from plastic bottles but from glasses. One episode of MasterChef was dedicated to the zero waste trend, showing that all can be used when cooking. This is followed by a new online show Do posledního sousta where former participants of MasterChef were given a task to make a recipe for food made of leftovers.

The first show where Nova applied the green filming principles is the miniseries Případ Roubal that will premiere on Voyo in November. How exactly did you proceed?

For the filming of Případ Roubal we trained a ‘green runner’, a person participating in filmmaking. The person is responsible for meeting the principles of sustainability and records information that we want to monitor, e.g. consumption of material or energy. We will include this information in a carbon calculator to know the carbon footprint of any show. The calculator also calculates the amount of investment in an offset scheme (Editor’s Note: a procedure to offset emissions) if we want to become carbon neutral. Albert offers such schemes.

How much time do you need before you start filming to apply elements of emission reduction?

The sooner we start with it when preparing the filming the better. However, it depends on preparations of each project and then on the production process itself. Another factor is whether we are making our original show or an adaptation. If I am to make a gross estimate, at least two months before the shooting starts it should be addressed.

Can the requirement for a certain behaviour be a limit for production companies with which Nova cooperates? Some might not be willing to accept it.

I do not think so. I do not know of any instance and our recent experience is mostly positive. Some production companies have already started applying green filming principles without us discussing it as they believe that this is the right thing to do. Of course, at the beginning increased efforts are required from production, for example in searching for new suppliers, monitoring more indicators or in general as a result of the need to introduce changes on set. I think that, as always, the most difficult part is changing legacy thinking and operation routines.

Is the idea of optimal principles to be followed in filming based on some experience from abroad?

Yes, it is. We are using much of that experience. Together with Audiovision Producers’ Association, we published the Green Filming Manual describing in detail specific examples of making the shooting more environment-friendly. For example, this includes office processes for which we recommend printing just the final versions of scripts, sending daily instructions via email only, printing on recycled paper, etc. The above mentioned albert platform provides such recommendations and we are planning series of training sessions for producers.

What causes the largest carbon footprint in filming?

Transport, which may be reduced by car-sharing, using public transport or bikes or vehicles with alternative drives. What makes a difference is the distance of filming locations and the option to move them to a more accessible place. But this is what many producers do automatically as it reduces time and fuel requirements, which saves money. Costumes, props and energy are what impacts the carbon footprint much. In this respect, you can consider what types of bulbs are used, what types of batteries or if you are using power from the network or a power generator. 

And do you know the carbon footprint in the current filmmaking without applying the green filming principles?

We can build on the study published by albert annually. It indicates that on average, an hour of TV production made a carbon footprint of 4.4 tonnes of CO₂ in 2020. We can assume that this figure already reflects sustainable measures to some extent as albert uses production data that was input in its calculator.

What will be the next steps? You have just started applying the principles, so how many shows will be affected this and the next year?

I wish to implement them immediately and everywhere, which is not possible as it will take some time to do it. After the miniseries Případ Roubal, we want to apply them in the filming of two other shows this year. I would like to monitor the carbon footprint for any production starting from the next year and to train people who will be in charge of it. We want to have a green runner in each filming.

How many people can focus on this in Nova?

Green runners are not likely to operate as an internal team in Nova. They will be people hired by individual productions.

How much does CME have to invest to enforce the concept?

We are calculating it because we want to have an idea of extra costs incurred by sustainable filming in addition to the existing amount. But we expect that producers applying green filming rules will become a standard and the costs will be part of regular production budgets. For example, producers will order catering using compostable dishes and will no longer order a firm that would not be able to provide this service. Be it as it may, green filming is a trend resonating across our industry. I am happy that Nova and CME are one of the pioneers seeking to promote it.



Sound assets can capture consumer attention, boost distinctiveness and build mental availability, explains Roscoe Williamson of MassiveMusic.

We used to have to educate marketers on the benefits of a more strategic approach to use of music and sound in their communications. There’s rarely now a marketer that doesn’t grasp this – how could they not? The challenge they face today however, is understanding how to achieve that effectiveness whilst navigating the growing landscape of audio touchpoints. As new platforms, channels and services emerge fighting for the attention of our ears, the role of sound in marketing is evolving. 

That’s why MassiveMusic has collated the most meaningful and groundbreaking research on marketing effectiveness, positioned through the lens of sound, in a single whitepaper titled ‘Sound Advice: The Contrarian Truth about Brands’. It offers the ultimate guide for brand marketers looking to use sound more effectively in driving distinctiveness. 

Because, despite the rise in places a brand can be heard, from Spotify to Pandora, Apple to Sony, Live Nation to Playstation, it can feel daunting to a marketer to know where to start.

The contrarian truth is that nothing really has changed: despite mass technological disruption shifting our consumer behaviours and brand interactions, effectiveness principles remain the same and must revolve around brand, distinctiveness, meaningful differentiation, craft and emotion. 

Changing brand perception 

Jenni Romaniuk says in her book Building Distinctive Brand Assets that sound assets are the most overlooked class of all, while the Ipsos study Power of You shows that not only are sonic cues still heavily underutilised, they are also the most effective distinctive assets for gaining branded attention, beyond even celebrity endorsements and brand colours.

Our research on 1,000 people in the Netherlands tested if sonic logos could trigger the correct brand in complete isolation of other assets – and it concluded they absolutely can. Brand assets like fonts, colours and slogans rarely ever trigger brand recognition if exposed in isolation to consumers, but sound can cut through, as validated in the research.

We also tested whether a sonic identity could help bolster the brand perception and drive relevance and meaningful differentiation. Using the Interbrand Brand Health methodology, we asked the respondents questions around the brand and separated the results based on whether they correctly attributed the sound to the brand. 

The results were telling: when sound is correctly attributed to the brand, the brand is perceived more favourably by the audience. 

Be consistent and strategic 

Connecting your message to your brand in the mind of the consumer is a big challenge. And marketers need to do everything they can to build that link. One essential guideline is ‘be consistent’, but also, ‘be strategic’. Despite there being multiple platforms on which your brand can be seen or heard, ask yourself which brand assets need to be included depending on what attribute needs to surface in every piece of comms.

Decades of research by Les Binet and Peter Field culminated in the report ‘The Long And The Short Of It’ which recommends brands balance their advertising efforts between long-term brand building (focused on reaching all category buyers) and short-term activation (highly targeted) to be maximally effective at driving profits. The greater a brand’s media spend, mix of channels and level and duration of consistency, the better chance there is to allow distinctive sonic assets to attain reach and impact.

Think about all the brand touchpoints where there is interaction with consumers through sound. With a touchpoint map, a marketer can plot which distinctive sonic assets should be consistently applied, which need to be adapted, and which can be used to effectively connect the dots. 

Brands like Apple, Skype, Visa and Google often consciously or unconsciously connect these dots in highly creative ways – for example, through subtle product sounds in advertising and direct marketing like a power-up sound at the end of an ad or a contactless payment sound in the middle. When intelligently placed within advertising content, the tactic closes the loop between product and comms and greatly increases the reach of the assets.

Have a clearly defined set of first principles 

Music is a highly effective tool when it comes to enhancing the emotive, storytelling power of branded content. Whether it’s the choice of commercial music, library music, playlist curation principles or guidance on potential artist or music influencer partners, having a clearly defined set of first principles will help create a consistent musical tone and aesthetic, and differentiate the brand over the long term. They will always be the guide as to how a brand should or should not sound.

Subjectiveness among stakeholders can be a challenge when creating these first principles. It’s not rare that we hear people asking for a song to be ‘beautiful’ or even ‘more yellow’. What sounds innovative and inspiring to one person can sound dated and cold to another.  

That’s why, at MassiveMusic, we developed a data-driven tool called MassiveBASS in collaboration with sonic testing company SoundOut. MassiveBASS is the world’s first data-driven tool that uses data collected from over half a million participants to objectively align music with a wide selection of brand values and archetypes. For instance, it can illustrate what a charismatic explorer sounds like according to 500,000 people. It helps objectively validate choices and provides a great platform from which to build differentiating first principles. 

So, be the contrarian marketer that follows the evidence, not the herd. Use the power of brand sound to your advantage. Prioritise the power of your brand building, build the right memory structures with the audience for future moments of buying, consistently and creatively integrate distinctive brand assets into all of your communications and use the power of sound to harness emotion and drive distinctiveness. The results will be music to your ears.



For the fast-moving consumer goods industry, or FMCGs as it is known, the goal has long been to achieve widespread brand awareness and, perhaps most importantly, brand loyalty.

Take brand-name pain relievers. Many consumers buy some sort of over-the-counter painkiller, and there’s a reason why they are willing to pay more for a brand name than they are for the generic pharmacy offering. FMCG brands have long relied on ‘top-of-the-funnel’ marketing in mainstream media because that brand awareness and affinity is what drives purchasing decisions and removes price sensitivity, ultimately leading to increased sales, revenue and, of course, bottom-line business goals.

What is less well known is that FMCG advertisers can increase top-of-funnel performance through a multi-channel approach, driven by consolidated planning and, in particular, adding CTV and digital advertising to the mix.

The FMCG market, is one of the few categories to experience surges in consumer spending during the pandemic, as lockdowns and panic shopping (remember those national toilet paper shortages?) continue to take hold. Online shopping in particular experienced significant growth as people shied away from physical stores, and with the government continuing to urge us to shop online for delivery or click and collect, this consumer behaviour is set to stay. The last year has also taught us how important it is to be able to shift marketing execution quickly to keep up with changes in regulation and consumer behaviour that can happen quite literally overnight.

Although ad spend did not match consumer spending growth in 2020 – consumer spending on FMCG jumped by 11% year on year to $173 billion, a 20 year high, while ad spend by FMCG brands declined by 5% – FMCG ad spend is set to rebound by 9% this year to $216 million, eclipsing pre-pandemic spending. In the FMCG sector globally, rising audiences and an investment in ecommerce is expected to drive 7% growth each year in digital ad spend through to 2023. So, where should that ad investment be spent? The answer might surprise some FMCG marketers.

FMCG companies have traditionally achieved their brand-focused goals with linear TV, long the most efficient and cost-effective way to reach a mass audience. Demo guarantees have been highly effective for years, but advertiser needs have changed – as consumers shop both online and instore. FMCG advertisers are increasingly moving towards digital’s more precise targeting and ability to directly connect ad spend to conversions ranging from click-throughs on websites, signups to email lists or checkouts from shopping carts.

To reach target audiences in their entirety, however, FMCG brands need to use both linear and digital sources. The latest PwC Australian Entertainment & Media Outlook 2021 report says it expects SVOD, BVOD and PVOD services to maintain their momentum and grow their revenue, while internet advertising grew by 3.3% to $9.3 billion in 2020. According to the IAB, 4.7m Australians aged 25-54 view internet content on a connected tv every day, giving 45% reach in an important demographic for most FMCG brands.

Traditional TV still draws in high viewership and accounts for most premium video advertising opportunities, but digital TV is becoming increasingly necessary to access to hard-to-reach audiences in key demographics. A ThinkTV study also showed that combining linear TV with BVOD gave between 2 and 2.4x impact on sales compared to combining linear TV with social or YouTube. To maximise reach and cost-effectiveness, however, linear and digital buys cannot be done in silos – buyers need a holistic way to target their audiences across both formats, while also getting the most reach and the least duplication. In essence, they need the biggest bang for their buck.

How can this be achieved? While there is a large focus on “merging” TV and digital, we must shift the focus to building a platform that brings together the different components and ad products buyers need to power the optimal balance between reach and frequency. This is the key to enabling simultaneous planning and buying of these two distinct formats in an efficient way.

Doing so requires technology platforms’ ability to remove workflow friction and solve the differences between TV and digital measurement. Today’s FMCG marketers often take a TV-first approach, using it as a means to easily get in front of as many consumers as possible, and add tactics incrementally to ensure they’re obtaining high reach at the lowest cost in well-lit, brand-safe environments. However, the complex data analysis needed to provide holistic reporting from TV and digital spend represents a challenge for buyers who need to move quickly.

Having integrated reporting that shows the consolidated outcome of all of spend, not siloed by individual channel type, will help marketers make quick decisions and easily understand the media strategies that are working for them. With consumer behaviour shifting rapidly, marketers need a platform that can utilise the most up-to-date data to optimise their spend and maximise their KPIs. Laying the foundation for this unified approach to planning, execution and reporting is what will help connect the dots between those glamourous big brand ads and its true purpose of achieving business objectives.



CTV adoption among European households has increased by 30% from 2020, meaning four in five households can now be reached by CTV, a new study reveals.

Why it matters

With more than three quarters of European audiences watching CTV, this channel is now an essential element of TV planning for advertisers, the more so since CTV yields greater results than social media or traditional TV when it comes to engagement.

The UK angle

The report (CTV is for Everyone: 2021) from sell-side advertising platform Magnite reveals that: 

  • Two thirds (65%) of British CTV viewers pay more attention to an ad on CTV than when an ad is seen on social media (22%). 
  • British CTV viewers are 54% more likely to share personal information to receive relevant advertising, while 57% think it is important that brands align with their values and opinions.
  • British parents are easier to reach with CTV, especially households with teens: 45% of households with teens watch mostly streamed content. 
  • CTV reaches diverse audiences including purchase decision-makers (68%), gamers (89%, of which 28% watch CTV only), light TV viewers (65%) and those born outside of the UK (69%). 

Sourced from Magnite



According to the CEO of the largest local commercial TV, with the pandemic remission the Czechs have returned to shopping, and retail chains, electronics producers or e-shops spend billions on ad spots with unparalleled intensity. “We have not seen such good times for TV ad sales for a long time,” says Nova’s CEO Jan Vlček in an interview for HN. The pandemic crisis attracted more viewers to TV screens last year and the viewers did not leave. TVs are riding the wave of unexpected boom. “The TV market is not able to accommodate more ad investments than it does at the moment. In fact, all channels in the market are sold out,” he describes. Nova generates nearly five billion crowns annually from the sale of ad spots on TV and on the internet. Last year, the group’s net profit increased by seven percent to 865 billion crowns. Advertisers’ demand is so strong that Nova can afford to increase its ad price lists by 12.5 percent for the next year. Vlček, who rarely gives interviews, has been managing Nova since June 2019 in tandem with Klára Brachtlová. He has been in charge of sales in the company for ten years. Now, the management duo has spent the first year with the new owner, the PPF group. PPF acquired Nova together with TVs in other four East European countries as part of the acquisition of Central Media Enterprises (CME).

PPF assumed the TV conglomerate CME exactly a year ago. What are the tasks assigned by your new owners?

PPF had a very constructive approach to us and provided great support to transformation towards digitalisation. It confirmed our management team and more or less approved our recent direction. The key part of our strategy is the development of Nova as the TV market leader. This is reflected in our investments. We feel great support from our shareholder in introducing new things to increase viewership and develop new programmes and to have relevant and credible news coverage. Our news programme is the most watched in the market and is thus the pillar of our strategy. In all areas we want to cooperate with the best people in the market as this is the only way to make the best content.

Where did investments go this year?

For example, we have launched a new news studio this year. For this modernisation, we hired a firm that makes similar projects for West European TV companies. Our ambition is to be the market benchmark in all areas, including news. We have also invested in new own programmes, not only for prime time but also for the so called later prime time. We have a successful programme Souboj na talíři. After a long period of time we have invested in a new format shown in early prime time – after 5 pm. It is a competition The Chase hosted by Ondřej Sokol. In this time slot, the competition increases our viewership five days a week and it is beneficial for the series Ulice that follows.

What is the development of Nova’s TV rating?

Positive. For example now in September, Nova’s share in the total TV rating in prime time has grown to 37.2 percent from 36.8 percent last September. All this in the 15-54 target group.

During the pandemic the viewership was growing in general, namely in the news, because people stayed at home. Has this passed?

The news rating grew dramatically across target groups. TV logically became the first medium where people were searching information in uncertain times. TV rating in general has remained strong and has not declined to the original levels.

What is your explanation?

We as an industry were able to respond to the specific needs, adjusted our schedule to demand and obviously, we addressed people who were not much interested in TV. Some of them got used to TV content again and simply stayed with us. Viewer rating has also grown for younger audiences. For example in the news in category 15-24, the rating was up 30 percent. Do you respond to this with your programme? The pandemic was accompanied by a number of special phenomena and this was one of them. This target group is always a hard nut to crack for classic media. Young people are the first to try new things. They find information and watch video content on the internet. So if you come with a format that addresses this target group you have an opportunity to achieve a mass reach. Internet or any other medium is not able to do this. Our effort to target this group is reflected in formats that we have introduced this year, for example the very successful Love Island.

The pandemic also meant a slump in ad income. What is the situation now?

Especially around the second quarter of 2020, our income from advertising dropped dramatically, in tens of percent on a monthly basis. Starting from the third quarter of 2020, it was going up sharply again. We saw a small stumble at the beginning of the year when the market slowed down a bit. But is has been growing again since then.

Is the money spent by advertisers back at the pre-Covid level?

Now, in the second half of the year, we experience income that has not been here for a long time. We will see what all-year figures will look like. In any case, the TV market is not able to accommodate more ad investments than it does at the moment. All channels in the market are sold out. We have not seen such good times for TV ad sales for a long time.

Is this a reflection of the current overheated economy?

Apparently. We feel it so. It is a bit unexpected consequence of Covid. All were expecting recession but it was quite the opposite. The market saw an inflow of retained consumer demand. How does it look like if you say that you are “sold out”?

One of the elements of our business strategy is that we never sell out advertising up to the limit of 12 minutes per hour, which is the maximum permitted by law. We flexibly reduce ad breaks if possible. On average we are around 75 percent of the statutory limit. We want watching our programmes to be relatively comfortable for viewers.

How much will the price list costs grow in Nova next year?

We increase prices by 12.5 percent. What we take into consideration is the market demand and efficiency with which we can build reach that is higher than that of our competitors.

You have said that the boom is reflected in demand and prices. But there are advertisers that have nothing to promote, such as car manufacturers…

It is one of the aspects of the post-Covid era. There are segments of advertisers who are the winners of the situation, such as e-commerce and retail chains. Who would have guessed a year ago that they would grow so remarkably? And there are those who did not win to put it mildly. Car manufacturers are cautious now and consider carefully any marketing communication. It is probably because they do not know when they will be able to go firing on all cylinders again.    And are you able to replace the loss of these advertisers by the other ones?

Yes, we are. In aggregate, advertising grows significantly. Demand has moved to months with a higher index, which generates higher sales. Is Nova’s business performing better than in the relatively good pre-Covid year 2019?

We as a private company do not disclose this information. Given what the media market has gone through we are doing very well.

Commercial TV companies raise funds not only from advertising but also from some TV content distributors, e.g. from satellite and cable companies. In terrestrial broadcasting, they have to pay for transmitting a signal. Nova was not too satisfied with this situation. But with the new format of digital terrestrial broadcasting it would be technically possible to charge money from viewers receiving a signal through aerial. The problem is that the Czechs in general do not like paying for TV. And it is a complex issue in terms of business and policy. What is your opinion?

We can see a gradual change. Several years ago, terrestrial broadcasting had a majority share in the Czech Republic. Now it is close to the middle. This means that households gradually move to paid broadcasting with better quality and additional services. Is it possible that terrestrial broadcasting will be subject to a fee?

If the market structure will allow for such additional services in future, we will not be against it. You would have to consider whether you will be able to collect more money from paying viewers or from advertising. Income from advertising is still dominant. It is, but have a look at the satellite and cable distribution. They also have ads. As soon as it makes more sense to impose fees through distribution we will consider it.

For your group, the key source of income from online content is the web platform Voyo. The CEO of CME, Didier Stoessel, has already said that Voyo’s goal is to have one million subscribers in Czechia and Slovakia within five years. What is the progress?

You are right that with the entry of the new owner, Voyo has become a strategic project. At the moment is seems that the goals of the growth plan will be exceeded. One of the factors that helped us was the pandemic that made many people try something new, for example the SVOD services (such as Netflix). But we are not going to disclose the number of subscribers. I can say that we have annual goals to get to the one million horizon within five years and at the moment we are above the goal defined for the end of this year.

Isn’t the goal too ambitious?

We can see that this type of prepaid video services accounts for about 20% in local households. In Western Europe the share is much bigger. In some countries it is up to 50%. Our experience and the experience from other markets shows that the success of SVOD platforms is driven by quality content, by the fact that viewers find something exclusive there. We will thus develop exclusive content for Voyo. We have already announced a series about Iveta Bartošová or a series Národní házená. We will make a miniseries about the Czech murderer Roubal. These programmes will be exclusively for Voyo and with the production quality that our viewers are used to.

Most Czech media have found that production of video content is too expensive and it is difficult to cover it either from advertising or subscription.

Our growth plan anticipates positive income including these investments. There is no way without investments. We estimate that the Czech market has the potential for any household to use two to three services of this type on average. We expect that Voyo will definitely be one of them. Up to half of households could subscribe to Voyo. It is the potential that we can see in more advanced markets. Voyo should be number one for local content because Netflix and similar companies will never be able to compete in local content. Local content is what will attract viewers.

But various websites also prepare local content, including Seznam.

If it were so easy to make quality local content there would be many TV companies.

The cost of content creation has probably become much more expensive – wages and costs of material are growing. Will this not thwart your plans in some projects?

We have to take it into consideration. Fortunately, the market situation is positive and we can work well in a situation when the costs of input are growing. There is no other way.

If Voyo is a pay service it reduces your income from online advertising, doesn’t it?

We have to be prepared that fragmentation of video content viewing will be higher. Different target groups will consume video content on different platforms. We have a VOD platform funded from advertising  – It has an irreplaceable role and will continue to exist. This will help us use viewer fragmentation. In addition, we can offer various target sub-groups operating on platforms to our advertisers.  Do you succeed in reaching an older generation, e.g. 50+, with a product such as Voyo?

Yes, we do. We can see that quality content is attractive.

In November, contracts for the next year with major advertisers are singed. What will be your business policy?

It primarily builds on our strengths – especially top quality content that cannot be viewed elsewhere. We also do not overburden viewers with long ad breaks. Any advertiser knows that their spot will be shown in a short break and will not be included in a long row of ads. This relates to good memorability of ads and effectiveness of invested money.
In September, you renamed Nova 2 to Nova Fun and added eleventh channel – Nova Lady. Why?

It is one of our strategic projects – redesign of channels so that any channel overlaps the other ones as little as possible. We have also redesigned Nova Action. All this will help us increase our viewer rating and the speed in building net reach. Clients are searching for ways to reach their target groups effectively and with the lowest costs. We are offering channels that complement one another and can develop a broad reach with minimum ads. Our policy includes explaining to clients that programmes we are preparing for the next year will give them what they need for high viewership. With a young target group, we are able to show that we score well not only in Love Island but also in the recently launched series Pan profesor starring Vojtěch Dyk, and other programmes. We have to convince clients that we will be a reliable partner for them next year. They buy the expected all-year performance  from us in advance and their marketing success is at stake.   What reach can you promise to your advertisers for a spot shown in prime time?

It may be reach of one and a half million viewers.

Now when Nova and O2 TV are members of the same group, does it make sense for the two TV companies to operate separately?

For the initial period, our priority is Nova’s digitalisation. Naturally, there are various forms of cooperation between telecommunication companies and the media. No doubt there will be synergies in the future and we will take them into consideration. But now it is not our priority and no merger is on the table.

Apparently, we have also addressed people who were not too interested in TV before. Some of them got used to the TV content and stayed with us.

We increase the ad price by 12.5 percent. We take into account the effectiveness with which we are able to build larger reach than our competitors. JAN VLČEK (53) Vlček was appointed Nova’s CEO in June 2019, he has been working in this role in tandem with co-CEO Klára Brachtlová. He joined the group in 2011 as CSO being responsible for the sale of ad time and sponsoring on all TV and internet channels. Before that he led BigMedia, a company focusing on OOH advertising. For ten years he was working in companies of the WPP advertising group, for example in Mindshare or in the Prague and Moscow branches of JWT.

Photo by author:   Photo: HN – Honza Mudra Photo description:  “The TV market is not able to accommodate more ad investments than it does at the moment. In fact all channels in the market are sold out,” says the head of TV Nova Jan Vlček.



Three quarters of all media buyers say TV is now defined as both linear and streaming platforms; 70% say TV should be sold in the basis of impressions, according to TVSquared

NEW YORK & EDINBURGH, Scotland—A recent survey of media buyers in the U.S., the UK, German and Australia found that buyers are taking a more converged view of television in their campaigns and planning, with more than 75% of respondents agreeing that TV is now defined as linear and streaming platforms, and more than 70% believing that all forms of TV should be sold on impressions, according to a TVSquared report.

That marks a major global shift in thinking from the past when digital was sold the basis of impressions while TV used ratings. It also highlights a move towards using impressions that has been embraced by major TV and measurement companies in recent months. 

“The State of Converged TV: A Look at Global Trends & Adoption” report surveyed nearly 1,000 buyers in the U.S., UK, Germany and Australia and analyzed billions of ad impressions across 20 converged TV campaigns active on TVSquared’s ADvantage platform. 

Across all four markets, the findings from the study indicate that buyers are approaching linear and streaming in similar ways, and that the current and future states of converged TV are putting a spotlight on the need for new currencies and holistic, cross-platform measurement, the report said. 

TVSquared’s converged TV campaign analysis revealed that, on average, the audience overlap of linear and OTT/CTV campaigns is approximately 30%, meaning that, on average, 70% of the audiences reached via streaming could not be reached with linear alone. Findings also indicate that brands should be committing at least 10% of TV impressions to streaming in order to achieve at least 15% incremental reach.

Data from the U.S. survey also highlighted the need to move past legacy models and toward a more holistic, transparent converged TV marketplace, the researchers said. 

They found that 89% of buyers cited the ability to holistically manage linear and streaming campaigns as an important factor when deciding to invest in converged TV.

More than 90% said transparency of metrics across linear and streaming channels and publishers was critical in order to devote ad spend to converged TV.



Modern connected TV viewers are more representative of the U.S. population than viewers of traditional TV platforms, according to a new survey from Magnite, a sell-side media platform.

“CTV reaches a balanced mix of age groups, matching the national profile. Traditional TV is much more heavily weighted toward baby boomers,” the authors of the study say.

For example, where viewers 55+ comprise the dominant share of traditional TV viewers — 54% — they are just 31% of CTV viewers.

So-called Gen X viewers, ages 35-54, comprise 35% of CTV viewers (32%, traditional TV); with millennials 25-54 at 20% (9% of traditional TV) and Gen Z-ers 16-24 at 14% (5% for traditional TV).

The study says CTV viewers now consume almost an equal amount of ad-supported (47%) and ad-free (53%) CTV content.

One thing that almost all viewer age groups are generally in agreement with is the “importance of brand values.” That said, younger media consumers register higher numbers than older media consumers: 80% of millennials say brand values are “important,” and 70% of Gen Zers; 66% of Gen Xers, and 42% of baby boomers.

As cord-cutting continues to increase, the report now says 55 million households are “CTV-only,” of which 50 million watch ad-supported content.

The study did not specify how much ad-supported content is consumed by these homes over a given period of time.

Magnite commissioned an online June 2021 study from Statista of 1,200 people ages 18 and older, who watched at least one hour per day of TV.



When presenting its business policy for the next year, Prima TV announced that it would no longer allow ads to be fast-forwarded in time-shifted viewing.

“Starting from 1 March, we will prevent operators from skipping ads,“ said Vladimír Pořízek, Sales Director of the Prima group, according to Médiář. Prima will seek to agree on the change with all operators.

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