Should YouTube be the default broadcast solution?

youtube-channel-searchingThis question was the subject of a new piece of research published by UK-based broadcast specialist markettiers4dc international.

Before revealing what the broadcast gurus think that marketing folk should be doing with broadcast as a channel of influence, a cursory glance to what’s happening thousands of miles away in India is perhaps even more revealing.

With a population in excess of 1.3bn, India is one of the biggest consumer markets in the world, with over 200m households. Interestingly, 70% of that market lives in rural communities. According to research by the McKinsey Global Institute, one of the most valuable customer segments in the future will be “seekers and strivers” that will account for 120m households by 2025.

However, it’s wrong to assume that rural consumers lag behind the curve in the adoption of new technologies, particularly in so-called key urban towns (KUTs), such as Pune, Lucknow and Chennai.

The pattern of media consumption that’s emerging is one based around three hardware platforms – TV sets, wireless mobile and computers/tablets.

Today, computers, laptops and tablets are used for accessing the internet as well as one of the fastest growing mediums on which to play video games, purchase music, download movies and order movies online for delivery my mail. The internet is also where Indian consumers can download TV shows, purchase magazines in physical formats and buy and read electronic newspapers and magazines.

Wireless handsets are no longer simply voice communication devices. They are now used for listening to music, playing games, watching TV and accessing the internet. Increasingly, Indian consumers are also getting used to using these devices for taking pictures, videos and sending text and instant messages.

So in this rapidly changing media landscape, where does TV fit in?

As a result of user generated content (UGC), there’s been an increase in interest in TV programmes, not a decrease in TV consumption.

Discussion of characters and plotlines, as well as leaks of future episodes and plots all combine to sustain an interest in TV programmes across 623 TV channels.

With most analysts expecting pay TV homes in India to increase to over 120m and account for over 25m subscribers, TV is far from dead and the industry is expected to register a compound annual growth (CAGR) of 16% over the next five years.

Closer to home, the BBC global news services on radio, TV and online continues to pull in more than 230m weekly users.

Cumulatively, these are impressive numbers and according to Howard Kosky, chairman, markettiers4dc Group, marketers should avoid putting all their eggs in one basket by over reliance on transmitting content via online broadcast networks such as YouTube.

“If a brand produces a video that reaches 1m viewers on YouTube, it’s often seen as a huge success. But would a traditional global TV audience of 1m be seen as similarly successful?”

And of course he’s got a point, hasn’t he?

Web based TV/video channels such as YouTube and the websites and supporting social media channels of broadcasters like the BBC undoubtedly play a key role in underpinning any broadcast campaign outreach – but for Howard Kosky traditional TV coverage should remain a high priority for marketers, whether in the UK, India or other emerging markets.

Broadcasters such as TeleSUR in Venezuela, RT (Russia Today) and Al Jazeera – that recently purchased Al Gore’s Current TV – have opened up more possibilities for marketers in using the broadcast medium to reach lucrative consumer audiences.

“Global broadcast stalwarts such as CNN International and upstarts such as Al Jazeera are more open to conversations with brands and agencies who can supply them with appropriate stories, content and resource to cover them than ever before. Yet our research shows that the industry is not totally capitalising on this opportunity,” observes Howard Kosky.

The voracious appetite of 200 rolling news and business channels surpasses anything that YouTube may be able to consume.

Despite 41% of respondents to the markettiers4dc survey claiming that international broadcast coverage is “very important” to them, the bulk of PR spend is still on print and online.

“The time has arrived for marketers to invest in building relationships, resources and expertise in order to leverage the opportunities that global broadcast media can deliver and that continues to grow in relevance and consumer influence,” concludes Howard Kosky.

Ardi Kolah is author of High Impact Marketing That Gets Results, published by Kogan Page in India, USA and UK. Order your copy direct and benefit from a 30% discount.