“What our new study does is to confirm that the rate of change in viewing behaviour is affecting brands. The ability to reach mass audiences at scale is critical for efficient and effective brand building. Advertisers need to take several actions today in order to close their own coverage gap and ensure success in the age of media fragmentation.”

Mind the Gap draws upon audience measurement data from AudienceProject and BARB, and looks at insights across 15 campaigns run by five large UK advertisers towards the end of 2019. The study demonstrates that younger linear TV audience declines have hit faster than forecasted in Ebiquity’s earlier groundbreaking report TV at the Tipping Point.

Key findings include:

locations Total linear TV commercial impacts were down by 4.4% in 2019 against predictions of a fall of 3.6%.

locations The increasing shrinkage of linear TV audiences will compound to around a 21% fall in overall adult commercial impacts by 2025.

locations For 18-24s, even with a predicted slowdown in the rate of decline, more than half (56%) of today’s audience will have disappeared by 2025.

locations For the younger 16-24s, 25-34s, and 35-44s, advertising served on YouTube and Facebook was found broadly to be able to match the reach delivered by TV.

locations Brands targeting younger consumers using YouTube stand the most to gain in terms of incremental reach.

locations Once quality of engagement is factored in, online video may not be enough to close the coverage gap.

locations When analysis shifts from a pure impression level to 50% or 100% completed reach, both platforms deliver less incremental reach, with Facebook adding little.

Christian Polman and Martin Radford presented Mind the Gap at Mediatel, Future of Brands 2020.

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Our previous report


TV at the Tipping Point

This report suggests that the market is soon approaching an inflection point. Our analysis predicts that by 2022 there will be a 15% to 20% decline in TV ad viewing across adults, with even steeper declines of between 30% and 45% for key audiences ‘Housepersons with Children’ and 16-34 year olds, respectively. These changes will put pressure on ROI. In a world where linear TV audiences are shrinking, rising costs will threaten the ROI primacy of live linear TV within the next five years.


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