‘The living room experience’ is driving the growth of connected TVs

Nine’s General Manager of Video, Niamh Collins, says the 9Now audience numbers for a program like Married at First Sight – in some cases more than 200,000 – would not be as strong without a major uptake in the number of connected TVs.

According to Collins, 2017 saw real growth in the household penetration of products with growth platforms such as Telstra TV, Fetch TV and Apple TV, opening the door for a rapid expansion of the broadcast video on demand (BVOD) market.

“We have continued growth across all platforms – and iOS, Android and desktop – but in particular connected TVs,” she said.

“We have seen that people love the living room experience. They love watching connected TV, same as with linear TV, on that big screen. But the difference is that connected TV has the benefits of both worlds – the best of television and digital, for consumers and advertisers alike.”

Nine is seeing around 35-40 per cent of its BVOD traffic coming from connected TV and Collins argues that its key benefit for advertisers is the fully viewable, brand-safe environment.

“From an advertiser’s point of view, connected devices, as well as the overall 9Now experience, give access to lean-back, fully viewable in a premium brand-safe environment with a highly engaged audience,” she said.

In November last year Nine also launched its Summer Love initiative, which was designed to drive video consumption on 9Now over the Christmas break.

Collins said: “Late last year we acquired a substantial amount of reality and drama content that we knew would resonate with consumers, dramas like McLeod’s Daughters, reality shows like Arranged. And we enabled customers to watch that content on their own terms.

“Over the summer we saw strong uplifts in viewing on the platform, particularly on weekends, which says to me that 9Now is moving from a catch-up proposition to a broader platform, where you have great on-demand content and can also binge on your favourite shows and dramas throughout the year.”

Collins said Nine had also done a lot of work to improve both the consumer and advertiser experience, and it was this combination that had helped 9Now to reach an important milestone of five million sign-ups.

“From an advertiser point of view, we have done a lot to improve issues like back-to-back ads, and we have seen a dramatic reduction in those frustrations over the past 12 months,” she said.

“The work has helped us hit five million sign-ups on the platform, a phenomenal milestone. A sign of our success is in distributing our content across 14 different platforms, such as Fetch TV, Telstra TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast and others.

“We are also doing a lot to improve the consumer experience. We have ensured that 9Now is available on all platforms that consumers engage with on a daily basis, and we want to continue to improve the experience, whether that’s making sign-up more seamless or surfacing the content easier.”