TV – Why Wouldn’t It Be Part Of Your Plan?

It’s time to get communications planning done for 2018, which means it’s time for another round of questions about TV and its place on a plan. Let's take you through some of the most common questions we get asked. 

Does anyone still watch TV?

While there is a reduction in commercial impacts (eyeballs) year on year, Irish people are still watching TV. With the TV universe at just over 4m individuals, this is a medium that delivers mass reach and awareness for advertisers.

Yeah, but how much TV are people watching?

We each watch on average 24 hours of TV every week - an average of 3 hours and 6 minutes of TV per day. Younger audiences do watch through a TV set, but at lower levels at 1 hour 31 minutes per day; 63% of 15-34s and 77% of 2544s watch TV weekly.  

Doesn’t everyone skip the ads?

TAM Ireland/Nielsen research tells us that 60% of people have a personal video recorder (PVR) in their homes, allowing them to pause or record TV. What may surprise you is that just 11% of all TV viewing is time-shifted(paused/recorded and viewed later), which means 89% of TV is viewed as it is broadcast live. 64% of those who do record or pause go on to watch it on the same day and do not skip through the ads. Of course, time-shifting varies by programme type – with live sport, news and current affairs being low, while drama and reality TV is high.

It’s really all about Netflix or TV online, isn’t it?

It can certainly be said that TV is more fragmented than before and we are seeing audiences, particularly young audiences, looking at wider TV viewing options like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Now TV. It is estimated that there are 250,000+ Netflix subscriptions in Ireland, or just 16% of all TV homes, predicted to rise to 500,000 by 2020 (source: On top of this only 7,205 people declared in 2016 that they did not have a TV set, according to the Department of Communications. These numbers are small, but the behaviour will continue to evolve. We can see the sharpest of these trends emerging amongst 15-24s.  

So, can I still reach my target audience through TV?

Yes, TV is still one of the highest reaching channels across all audiences. However, we no longer plan TV in isolation and each year map out recommendations for broadcast budgets, which include allocation to both TV and online video. It is about being smarter by audience segment and behaviour. Many of our biases come from our own behaviour, we perceive that everyone else watches TV in the same way we do. They don't. Research by both Thinkbox (UK) and TAM Ireland shows the marketing industry norm varies wildly from the average population norm (see graphic below).  

Econometrics studies across a number of years have proven that TV still delivers the highest return on investment, and IAPI’s A Line In The Sand report also validates its correlation with share of market. Check out IAPI’s ADFX databank for a wealth of case studies showcasing strong business results (sales, profit, share growth etc.) with TV in the mix. TV is a proven channel for awareness, return on investment and business performance metrics; so our question is – why wouldn’t it be part of your plan?

For more on this check out GroupM’s Shane O’Leary presentation on the Goldilocks Approach from TAM Ireland’s Plannervision event.