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Future of Media: Ofcom consumption shift, how Etsy leverages TV, Roku reveals earnings


By John McCarthy, Opinion Editor

August 5, 2021 | 8 min read

Ofcom media consumption

The results are in. We now know how UK citizens consumed media in 2020, with Ofcom's all-encompassing report. Now, you could read the 102 pages right here, right now... or, I've pulled out the highlights and lined up industry reaction here.


/ Photo by Krists Luhaers on Unsplash

I'm going to share some of my favorite stats below to wet your whistle.

  • People spent almost twice as much time watching subscription streaming services.

  • The highest growth was in video-on-demand (VOD) services.

  • TikTok viewing grew even more rapidly than YouTube.

  • YouTube UK views up 22% YOY.

  • UK subscriptions to streaming services climbed to 31m last year, up from 20m in 2019.

  • People aged 16-24 spent an hour and 17 minutes watching broadcast content – down four minutes from 2019.

  • However, BVOD ad revenues grew by 15% year-on-year to £523m and now accounts for 13% of direct TV spend.

CMOs on media

First, we probed Etsy CMO Ryan Scott about the ecommerce site's new love for TV.

He believes TV campaigns are driving growth and is rushing to embrace more. "Given the success and learnings from the US TV campaign, we’re starting to invest in television in some international markets to get us to scale even faster. We’ve already started leaning in more in the UK and Germany to see how above-the-line marketing can drive brand awareness and visits and look forward to learning more in those markets."

If Etsy believes in TV, you probably should too. More here.

Meanwhile, UK pharmacy Boots is using podcasts to "reposition" itself. It says it is not there to sell products and that it's more about giving advice first. But of course Boots sells everything, and all health advice eventually leads to a product.

It launched its own series called Taboo Talk to address the less discussed aspects of people’s health and wellness, ranging from anxiety and sex to pregnancy and periods. You could see it really own this space if these shows go a ways to answering these questions. This is a trend to track – Acast distributed twice as many branded podcasts in 2020 as it did in 2019. More here.

Meet the Media Minds

Emily Barr, chief production officer at Leo Burnett, shares her views on how the content gets made – and how that has changed.

She says: "Increasingly we are seeing clients up spend in tech, content and data. The pandemic, in particular, has put pressure on investing in e-commerce and content to drive online sales when people aren’t venturing outside. But the more the pendulum swings that way, the more space and standout there will be for film ideas and craft."

More here.

Other Stuff

‘Much to be optimistic about’: what you need to know from WPP’s results

Led By Donkeys billboards pressure brands still funding GB News after Farage hire

Why Roku aims to outpace the streaming industry around ads [Results announced today – it lost 1bn viewing hours after lockdowns eased]

LadBible is growing in APAC – and hoping to repeat the success of localization strategy [Just the English-language countries for now... but you'd have to think a lot of that video works in any country]

YouTube suspends Sky News Australia for videos denying Covid-19 existence [Google is (finally?) showing its teeth]

Reese’s Puffs caters for all tastes with bite-size music boxes [Interactive packaging is a media? I think]

Publicis Groupe teams up with TikTok as platform’s first e-commerce agency partner

Degeneracy: the brand safety impact of link rot [Why new sites were suddenly blanketed in pornography]

5 brands that are experimenting with NFTs

YouTube and Spotify pilot mid-tier subscriptions

Christmas shoppers start earlier but half don’t think we’ll have a normal celebration [According to eBay data]

Should P&G’s new finance-focused boss worry its marketers?

That's you all caught up. If you missed the last installment, read it here. You can subscribe to our other briefings here. And if you want to talk to me, I'm on Twitter, Linkedin and email.

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