NEW YORK—Although the rollout of ATSC 3.0 (aka “NextGen TV”) is still in its infancy, with station rollouts progressing and several dozen models of TV sets now on the market, advocates for the new broadcast standard say NextGen TV “is resonating strongly with consumers.”
That’s the conclusion of Pearl TV, which tapped Magid Research to survey 1,600 adults in February about NextGen TV. The survey took place after a holiday marketing campaign from local TV stations aired declaring that “the future of television has arrived.” The campaign used high tech ads created by Hothouse in Atlanta, which directed consumers interested in more information to WatchNextGenTV.com.
The research found that 25% of respondents were aware of NextGen TV; 73% of respondents reacted positively to the TV spots with virtually no negative reaction; and 60% of the consumers who viewed the ads responded that they are likely to purchase a TV that has NextGen TV technology within the next year.
The TV ads were run in DMAs where NextGen TV is currently on the air: Tampa, Las Vegas, Portland and Detroit, while Spanish-language ads ran in Phoenix.
Stations contributed more than 8,000 commercials worth of air time, according to Anne Schelle, managing director of Pearl TV, a consortium of broadcasters, manufacturers and media companies promoting NextGen TV.
“This effort reveals not only the value of NextGen TV, but the differentiation that consumers perceive,” Schelle said, adding that the ease of tech upgrades and audio features were among the most popular NextGen TV features with survey respondents.
“In particular, consumers find the upgradability of the technology and new audio functionality to be very attractive. The Dolby Audio System with immersive movie theater quality sound and Voice + dialogue enhancement for consistent volume from channel to channel along with the interactive possibilities of NextGen TV were key drivers for these consumers.”
COVID-19 also impacted the rise of internet-connected TV in the past year, broadening its appeal to viewers, according to Katie Larson, vice president of Brand Strategy & Innovation, Magid. “As consumers are spending more time than ever on their connected TV, their desire for more options and interactive content has grown. NextGen TV’s key features align well with this shift in consumer viewing habits.”
The research showed these elements stand out as strong differentiators for NextGen TV:
- Voice + dialogue enhancement for intelligibility and clarity that lets you hear every voice clearly;
- Consistent volume from channel to channel;
- Upgradable as new services are rolled out over time;
- Interactive content that lets viewers get the most out of news, sports and events.
This is the latest such survey on NextGen TV Pearl TV has conducted with Magid Research and the first one since the new advanced broadcast standard started rolling out last year. The first one, in 2016, was sponsored by Pearl TV and Sinclair and focused on what features consumers would like to see in an advanced broadcast TV format, with “68% rating the new capabilities of the ATSC 3.0 standard as very appealing.” A similar survey, conducted in 2019, found that 42% of respondents said they would likely purchase a new TV if it was needed to better enjoy the NextGen TV features.
As of April 6, 25 U.S. markets are on the air with NextGen TV, with the goal of reaching 75% of U.S. TV households by the end of 2021, per ATSC. According to Schelle, by the holiday shopping season, a total of 55 TV sets that support NextGen TV will be available at retailers.
Tom Butts has been the editor in chief of TV Technology since 2001. He started out in this industry reporting for member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters in 1995. He is also former editor of DTV Business for Phillips Publishing (now Access Intelligence) and launched digitalbroadcasting.com for VerticalNet in 1999. He is a graduate of the University of Maine.
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