Back to the Future: How EDO’s 2022 Predictions Fared
Image of reflection of car side mirror

Who could have predicted the TV industry’s shifts we all experienced in 2022? Well, we did (mostly).  

And as the year comes to a close (and we get ready for 2023) we thought we’d do a “year in review” of our 2022 predictions here at EDO HQ. From AVOD to omni-channel, we got some right, some wrong, and a few were somewhere in between. 

But we’d all agree that we saw trends in TV advertising (and watching) accelerate. The industry pushed further into streaming for greater audiences and targeting — and modern marketers found new ways to know what works with their ads. But no matter how we watched, one thing was certain, we were all watching a lot more.

So read on to see how our predictions did (and what we learned). And be sure to check back in a few weeks when we make our 2023 predictions (and let us know what yours are!).

2022 Prediction #1: AVOD Wins (and so do advertisers and consumers). 

Nextflix who? Free ad-supported streaming video (AVOD or FAST) will be the biggest winner and the source of greatest competition in premium video.” 

The Verdict: NAILED IT.

When we’re right, we’re right. AVOD is everything right now in the media world. Both Netflix and Disney are adding ad-supported tiers as they fight to increase the size of their audience.

2022 Prediction #2: Convergent TV Intercepts Live Sports. 

Live sports will dive headfirst into streaming in 2022. The biggest splash will be Amazon starting broadcasts of “Thursday Night Football,” though streaming will become more of a sports battleground.”

The Verdict: NAILED IT.

We made the case earlier this year that the move was a win for Amazon regardless of ratings. Well, the ratings are just fine. TNF drew 13 million viewers in the opening game, but a series of bad matchups may have contributed to that number dropping in the midseason. A late pickup of marquee matchups was expected to give the ratings a bump, but there’s a strong argument that Amazon’s move was all about getting more data on users and selling ads at a premium. Advertisers used to spend money on audiences and simply hope for the best; with Amazon raising the stakes, ad-buyers need to get smarter about gauging efficacy in order to keep up.

2022 Prediction #3. The Multi-Currency Future Is Here. 

“TV ad measurement in 2022 and beyond will be about multiple, flexible, and predictively stable currencies. This will be driven by big platforms finding KPIs, coupled with advertisers’ need for real-time, at-scale insights, unified and readable across platforms.”

The Verdict: MIXED BAG.

There’s no question this is the direction the industry is headed. With better analytics, networks can justify charging advertisers a premium to reach a specific audience. And, similar to the last prediction, advertisers need to know what’s working in order to justify paying higher prices. We’re not there yet, but every day, as more modern marketers evolve their approach, we get even closer. 

2022 Prediction #4. The (Linear) Empire Strikes Back

“As the Convergent TV ecosystem continues to fragment, networks will fight back, proactively driving audience targeting on linear TV. They will rely less on reach, and more on consumer behavioral trends that help their clients plan campaigns and optimize program choices.”

The Verdict: MIXED BAG.

The networks are signaling a potential retreat from linear programming, with NBC openly talking about switching to two hours of primetime shows every night, down from three. Disney is also hinting that ABC could make a similar move. Of course, the flip side is Peacock’s streaming successes and other big-network initiatives. The networks are finding ways to give advertisers value, and it’s just far less focused on linear programming.

2022 Prediction #5. Celebrity Gets Redefined

“Celebrity now means everything from Hollywood stars and sports legends to widely adopted micro-celebrities with authentic and diverse backgrounds.”

The Verdict: NAILED IT.

Look no further than Ryan Reynolds for a lead example. He’s made his ownership of a Welsh soccer team into a reality TV show. Mint Mobile has seen explosive growth since Reynolds bought into the company and started appearing in commercials, and he isn’t coy about plugging his own brand of gin. The line between personal life, acting, and marketing is blurred as Gen Z, and Millenials are increasingly more engaged with authentic, interesting celebrities. And sometimes celebrities aren’t defined by just their creative works but by the savvy, sometimes predictive business calls they make.

2022 Prediction #6. Smart TVs & Convergent TV Platforms Will Battle

“For consumers, this battle will offer a plethora of content and user experience choices. In measurement, there’s an arms race in accessing Smart TV data where mainly the arms dealers (Vizio, LG) win.”

The Verdict: NAILED IT.

Amazon, Roku, LG, and Samsung have taken a large market share, and their data is largely walled off from targeting and measurement. Meanwhile, savvy measurement providers and their clients have sought more open, scaled, and interoperable data sources that allow for syndicated output.

2022 Prediction #7. TV becomes the key to omni-channel marketing. 

“In 2022, we’ll see a greater influx of direct-to-consumer brands using TV to improve the performance of their omni-channel ad strategy. DTC growth has exploded during the pandemic, leading to more DTC companies following fitness innovators like Peloton and Tonal into TV advertising investment. “

The Verdict: You can’t get ‘em ALL right =)

Our examples struggled this year. Peloton and Tonal are looking to branch out as consumers return to pre-pandemic workouts, leaving the at-home workouts behind. But the overall point stands. Companies continue to use TV to target consumers directly, bypassing retail stores altogether. 

=

A wise man once said, “The value of a prediction is in the act of making it, not the prediction itself. Contemplating what may happen encourages us to take responsibility for decisions we make in the present.

In 2022, the TV advertising industry — brands and networks — chose to get smarter because their audience demanded more. With new ways to watch came new ways to measure — opening up new opportunities to create a bigger and better TV experience for everyone involved. 

So what do you think this means for TV in 2023? Let us know, and stay tuned for EDO’s 2023 predictions…