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Hot off the press

New streaming service launch could be just what advertisers need

Another day, another change to the TV advertising landscape….but this one is genuinely exciting. Everyone TV (the organisation leading the evolution of free TV in the UK) has announced the launch of its new streaming service “Freely”.  

Freely will combine linear and streaming services from the UK’s public service broadcasters in one place, accessed via broadband. Backed by BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, the service moves to secure the future of the UK’s four public service broadcasters by combining their content in the same service rather than having them scattered across a busy home screen.

This initiative is the first time the four broadcasters have worked together to provide a streaming offering.  For the first time audiences will be able to stream live TV channels alongside on demand content for free via smart TVs. The Freely platform will allow viewers to switch seamlessly from live TV to on demand content, improving the user experience.

Why do we need another streaming service?

“It’s clear the way people are watching TV is changing, with more audiences switching over to a broadband-only connection,” said Everyone TV joint chief product officers Sarah Milton and Carl Pfeiffer. “We’ve built Freely around the needs of British audiences, bringing them the freedom to choose how they want to watch, with all their favourite shows from the UK’s leading broadcasters all in one place for free.”

As more and more paid for streaming services pile into the mix we welcome the launch of Freely. The UK’s public service broadcasters produce world class programming but it has been a worry that they would be left behind in the wake of the streaming giants who have seemingly endless reserves of cash to plough into content and user experience. Freely presents an easier way for viewers to enjoy programming and aims to future proof live TV for the digital age.

What’s in it for advertisers?

It’s good news for advertisers too. The obvious bonus is Freely will keep viewing numbers high for those all important ad breaks.

Secondly, the digital opportunities offered by connected TV mean there is the possibility of TV advertising becoming more effective than ever before. Shoppable TV is nothing new but an increased connected audience naturally leads to more opportunity for this to become more commonplace, allowing advertisers to present consumers with an easy, obstruction free route to purchase. 

In addition, greater numbers of viewers through CTV means more data and more data means more granular targeting. It could soon be that buying a simple ABC1 adult audience (for example) becomes a thing of the past. If we know more about viewers and use this information to target them advertisers will be able to be more choosy about who they reach, boosting advert efficiency. 

Finally, we all know how difficult it can be to reach a younger audience. Under 35s simply do not watch TV in the same way as an older audience.  By offering a slicker streaming service broadcasters are much more likely to capture that elusive younger viewer. This will bring a whole new set of opportunity for a host of different brands who have previously discounted traditional TV advertising models. 

One thing is for sure, TV advertising remains one of the most effective ways of communicating with your target audience. New developments in the industry are taking TV advertising from strength to strength and we’re looking forward to seeing what the future holds.

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