TV or not TV, that is the question,’ as asked by panelists exploring whether the traditional label of television is still legitimate in today’s digital era at the annual NATPE 2018 conference in Miami.

By the numbers, 47 percent of adults in the 22-45-year-old demographic currently watch no content via traditional TV platforms, according to a recent study by Omnicom Media Group agency Hearts & Science.

Panelists considered new platforms, viewing habits, devices and ad models, and how all that is consumed and measured at the session “The Next New Normal.”

“Once you get a taste for On Demand giving you the freedom you want, you are not going to go back,” said Peter Naylor, SVP Advertising Sales, Hulu. “You are not going to unscramble the egg.”

While the phrase “the new normal” focused on how broadcast television and cable was adapting to streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, the “next new normal” examines the further impact of how visual content distribution forums like ATSC 3.0, and the consolidation of all verticals into one box, is impacting media consumption.

“The definition of television has definitely increased in scope; there is so much more to consider,” said Jon Accarrino, executive director business development, Bonneville Salt Lake. “But I do predict that ATSC 3.0 will get bigger than anyone realizes,” he added, referring to the major update of the ATSC standards for television broadcasting created by the Advanced Television Systems Committee. “And it will be as transformative as the iPhone was to mobile. It is going to completely change what we consider television.”

Yet “there is an adoption of change that needs to happen,” said Jesse Redniss, chief innovation officer, Turner Broadcasting Systems, who suggested the way the currency of television is exchanged today by Nielsen needs to segue into a deterministic data-driven currency that the industry can adjust to.

“You have to think outside the box and identify that change is necessary in order to compete and engage the audience today—to really capture attention,” Redniss said. “But it is really hard to do that if you don’t have the data to support it. It does not have to be on a specific Nielsen metric to be effective.”

There are also thousands of people used to working a certain way, but the change that is underway makes it difficult, said David Alder, CMO, Laduma. Wither it’s the “new normal” or the “next new normal” there are more non-traditional ways to consume content.

That, of course, circles back to the question of how to redefine audience consumption today.

“I think television is a combination of all these things,” said Anastasia Leng, CEO, Picasso Labs. “They don’t replace it. But they do enhance it.”

Redniss had a similar view.

”As we all know, shows and videos debuted around mobile is still television content in itself,” he said. “I think the definition just needs to expand beyond what it once was.”


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