TV & Covid: Learnings and Opportunities

08-11-2021 14:36 o'clock, by media plan

The impact of the Corona pandemic on the TV market was mixed, with some stations benefiting from increased usage patterns and generating higher performance ratings. News channels in particular were in high demand at the beginning of the first lockdown in 2020. In addition, many traditional customers canceled their bookings, which in some places led to short-term special conditions for some media plan customers. In general, some customers benefited from the increased digital buying behavior and achieved a high growth curve together with media plan. The fact, that the TV industry is benefiting from the boom in online commerce during the Corona crisis is also evidenced by a 2020 study by Comcast and Video Advertising Bureau. Results of the study show, that brand website hits are significantly increased by a TV campaign.


We spoke to our TV experts and discuss the opportunities, challenges and diversity of TV as a medium.

What are TV’s strengths?

TV remains one of the most attractive advertising media.


TV campaigns combine visuality and audiovisuality with emotionality. They thus appeal to all the senses and reach the target group at a “lean-back moment,” when viewers are particularly open to information. This offers a high degree of activation. The high-reach formats in particular, also known as lighthouse formats, create an environment that is ideal for branding campaigns and often even reaches several people at the same time in groups. The medium of TV was also able to prove its strength in this way during the Corona period: the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Fernsehforschung (AGF) and the largest German market research institute GfK determined an average TV viewing time of 4.2 hours for 2020! This value has remained consistently high for years. The medium of TV is more firmly anchored in the everyday lives of consumers than any other and promotes sales and turnover effectively and sustainably within a short period of time – this effect has intensified since the beginning of the Corona pandemic, when citizens have increasingly sought e-commerce solutions. News channel reach increased significantly right at the beginning of this period, clearly demonstrating the relevance that the medium of TV continues to offer – and this despite the fact that the medium of TV is just at the beginning of digitalization and usage expansion.


What challenges will TV face in the future?

Declining relevance of linear TV with simultaneously increasing competition from streaming providers.


Particularly in the young age groups, there is an increasingly declining target group size due to these challenges. The Bewegtbildstudie 2020 shows an increasing popularity of streaming services in the young age groups. In addition, consumers are becoming more demanding in terms of the quality of the formats. Video is consumed consciously and no longer in passing – whether linear or streaming. Due to the enormous selection of top-quality programs from streaming providers, linear TV marketers must invest in more sophisticated formats and in some cases reposition themselves strategically.


How could the TV unit change and develop in the next few years?

Digitization is not bypassing the TV medium either. Both the purchase of advertising space and the playout of advertising media are becoming increasingly automated and individualized.


Digitization is particularly important for TV if it is to remain a long-term mass medium. Many media plan customers already assess the performance of their TV campaign on the basis of digital KPI. In addition to digitization, the major media companies are also responding to the increasing competition from platforms such as YouTube, Netflix and DAZN, and have been investing a lot of energy in setting up their own streaming offerings for some time. The word “in-house productions” has also become an important buzzword in the industry. “The days of campfire entertainment in front of the TV at home are probably largely over. Nevertheless, the industry is continuously turning itself inside out and will thus also meet the demands of the modern and digitalized world.” (media plan, 2021)


Our recommendation:

TV is HOT – This is demonstrated annually by the two-day genre initiative Screenforce Days, where the “hottest days” of the year are regularly counted. Despite increasing competition, TV is proving to be one of the most attractive advertising media. And this is despite the fact that it is only at the beginning of digitization. As soon as more opportunities are created here, this will be a serious moment that will once again significantly increase the relevance of TV.


In order to find the right solution for your company, we will be happy to advise you!