“You may have heard people say that people are watching less television, in fact, between 2005 and now, despite factoring in TV on the internet, viewing time has only fallen three minutes per week to 3hrs and 36 minutes,” he told the OTTTV World Summit.
“People say what they think the answer should be instead of drawing on their own experience,” he explained. “The TV pie has grown.”
On the subject of cord cutters and millennial viewing, he said that the figures aren’t yet clear, but one trend ITV is seeing is “as these cohorts get older they are watching TV”.
“We were told to make content differently for different screens. What Love Island proved was that if you make good content, people will find a way to watch it,” he explained. “What Love Island showed was that our audience don’t think mobile, AVOD, SVOD etc, they want really great TV shows and they will figure out how to watch it.”
He also attacked people who compare ‘TV’ content, as produced by ITV, the BBC, SKY and Channel Four with ‘video’ content produced by magazines, newspapers and others. He ran an ITV showreel to highlight the difference in production quality. “The danger is that when you tell advertisers that they are the same. The industry is in real big trouble if it doesn’t make that difference,” he said.
“TV is still the platform that delivers the biggest reach. Saturday night is still the biggest advertising opportunity for brands. Facebook and Google may claim differently and are kings of niche, targeted advertising, but TV is about mass appeal and mass branding.”
“How do we know that TV is important. Why it is better than the likes of Facebook, Google etc? They are our biggest advertisers.”