As analysts gripe about tumbling ratings and the death of TV advertising, is one of the mainstays of marketing still worth the investment?

The way we consume programmes is changing. Media is increasingly fragmented and more people are escaping TV ads by spending time watching YouTube or streaming services like Netflix. But the figures speak for themselves; this isn’t the end of mainstream TV.

The latest UK Television Landscape report from BARB* tells us that the number of households subscribing to video on demand is steadily increasing – currently at 24%. But, the type of people subscribing are couch potatoes and already avid TV watchers.

The emerging trend is that consumers are using these services to complement, not replace, traditional TV.

Online viewing is also still in its infancy. Towards the end of 2015 TV player app viewings peaked at 855 million minutes during one week, but consumers spent 95.2 billion minutes watching programmes on a TV during the same week. And the vast majority (87%) of TV is viewed live.

So, is TV the dead duck of advertising? I don’t think so.

TV enjoys huge scale and continues to be the single most effective way of reaching a large number of people with a compelling message in their homes.

If you have a broad audience with limited geographical or segmentation requirements and want to hit a large group with one brand or direct response message in one foul swoop, then invest in TV.

You won’t be the only one, as reported by Thinkbox earlier this year, TV advertising revenue in the UK totalled £5.27 billion in 2015, up 7.4% on 2014.

TV advertising isn’t just for big brands either.

Once living up to its reputation as one of the most expensive forms of advertising, the act of media buying has changed, making it a feasible option for smaller or niche brands. Sky Adsmart offers cost effective options by enabling businesses to cherry pick their audience through different combinations such as location, age or lifestyle.

The environment that TV ads are shown is advantageous too, particularly when compared to online. You are not one small part of a page, so TV demands attention and there is zero distraction. And sound and visual quality is typically first class, so your message isn’t distorted and guaranteed to be delivered in the same high quality as you intended.

As one of the mainstays of marketing, TV is a tried and tested format you can be assured of a response. Ebiquity reported that despite media proliferation TV has consistently delivered the highest return on investment of any form of advertising in the last seven years.

TV advertising is far from dead, but it is evolving – an approach that will have to continue to guarantee its survival.

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Adam Tregaskis, Head of Retail

* BARB – The UK television Landscape Report: Q4 2015