ad:tech New Zealand 2014: Insights from our Fireside Chat with TVNZ CEO Kevin Kenrick

ad:tech New Zealand 2014: Insights from our Fireside Chat with TVNZ CEO Kevin Kenrick

On 19 November, at the first ever ad:tech New Zealand event, Brightcove’s Senior Vice President and General Manager of Media, Anil Jain, sat down with TVNZ CEO Kevin Kenrick for a fireside chat about how the industry has changed over the past couple of years and expectations for the near future.

The chat reinforced the notion that major media companies, including TVNZ, are evolving to adapt to an industry undergoing significant upheaval thanks to technology. As a result, TVNZ no longer sees itself as a television company, but instead as a video content company with TV as just one of the ways that content is distributed.

A large part of this industry upheavel has to do with changing expectations and habits. Specifically, the availability of online video content is something consumers have much higher expectations around. In fact, the consumption of online video is greater than what is being currently produced (not just at TVNZ, but everywhere). Viewing habits are equally changing as consumers expect immediate access to content across multiple devices; this means anytime and anywhere. Inevitably, broadcasters are being forced to change to meet these new expectations. Interestingly, TVNZ has seen twice the volume consumption from tablets versus mobile phones, potentially a result of the lack of a large commuter culture in New Zealand.

When it comes to delivering effective advertising to viewers, Kevin Kenrick highlighted the importance for advertisers to cater their creative to different devices and screen size, to ensure better consumer engagement. Ads need to be appropriate for the environment and sympathetic to the viewing habits of the audience on those devices; they should be customised for mobiles, tablets, desktops and television.

Another point of discussion was that digital is becoming more and more core to the business, but the digital world is in no way replacing traditional linear television content — it is allowing content to grow. Though content companies are pushing to produce more local content, it is becoming more expensive to produce than to acquire content internationally — a factor that led to innovative content types like webisodes.

Cisco predicts that by 2018, 79% of all internet traffic will be video, but at the same time 97% of TVNZ’s viewers are still watching content on linear TV. Consumers want great content, but they want it when they want it and where they want it, meaning all players in the media and advertising industries will have to catch up and cater to this demand.

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