The Impact of Germany’s New Cable TV Law on Advertising and How Advertisers Should Adapt

On July 1, 2024, a significant change in German law will come into effect, prohibiting landlords from passing cable TV fees onto tenants. This shift, resulting from the amendments to the Telecommunications Act (TKG-Novelle), will dramatically alter the TV advertising landscape in Germany. As tenants gain the freedom to choose their TV providers or opt for alternative transmission technologies such as streaming services and terrestrial television. The traditional cable TV audience is likely to decline. This transformation presents both challenges and opportunities for advertisers, necessitating a reevaluation of media strategies to stay relevant in their market.

20 % of the audience in Germany are not planning to apply for a TV service. 

Consumer Reactions to the New Law: Adapting to Change

According to the latest survey results from DCMN Insights, 38% of the population in Germany report being affected by this legislative change. With the ability to select their TV provider, almost half of those impacted by the new law have already signed contracts—46%. In contrast, 30% are still weighing their options, exploring the variety of services available. This indicates a significant shift in consumer behaviour and a keen interest in the newfound freedom to personalise their viewing experience. Interestingly, 20% of the audience in Germany are not planning to apply for a TV service.

Enhancing Cross-Platform Campaigns

Traditional broadcasters and cable networks in Germany, such as ARD, ZDF, RTL and Pro7 must also adapt to this changing landscape. By enhancing their digital presence and offering hybrid solutions that combine linear TV with on-demand services, they can retain their audience base. Advertisers should look to create cross-platform campaigns that blend TV and online experiences. 

Provider Preferences: Magenta and Vodafon are both favourite

Among those who have made their choice, Telekom and Vodafone lead the pack, each capturing 22% of the preferences with Magenta TV and Giga TV. Netflix, with its extensive streaming library, follows with 12%, while Amazon Prime Video is preferred by 9%. Interestingly, Apple TV+ has found particular favour with the 25-29 age group, showcasing a generational trend towards newer, tech-centric platforms.

Exploring Options in the Endless TV World

For those still undecided, subscription-based streaming services emerge as the most popular choice, preferred by 34% of respondents. Hybrid solutions, which combine streaming with traditional TV services, attract 24%, and 23% lean towards broadband providers. This variety highlights the diverse needs and preferences within the German viewing audience.

Moreover, having all channels and content in one place is crucial for 64% of those affected by the law change. This reflects a desire for convenience and simplicity in accessing diverse programming. Additionally, 47% value the broader selection of channels and content that live TV providers offer. While 46% appreciate the flexible pricing structures and subscription plans available.

New TV Provider: Key Decision Factors

When it comes to selecting a new TV provider, three main factors stand out: price (66%), quality (63%), and user-friendliness (35%). The survey underscores the importance of these elements, with consumers seeking value, superior service, and ease of use.

Strategic Partnerships and Local Insights

Forming strategic partnerships with local streaming services and platforms can also provide advertisers with valuable insights into the German market. Collaborating with services like ARD Mediathek or ZDF Mediathek can help brands tailor their content to local tastes and preferences, ensuring a more impactful advertising strategy. Understanding local cultural nuances and viewer habits will be key to creating resonant and effective ad campaigns.

Matthias Riedl, CEO of DCMN, highlighted the significance of the upcoming changes in Germany’s cable TV law for advertisers. “As traditional TV viewership declines,” Riedl noted, “it is crucial for brands to pivot towards digital and streaming platforms. By leveraging advanced targeting and innovative ad formats, advertisers can ensure their messages resonate more deeply with their audiences. Strategic local partnerships will also be key to understanding and engaging with the evolving preferences of German viewers.”

Exploring Innovative Ad Formats

In addition to targeted advertising, embracing innovative ad formats that align with on-demand viewing habits will be essential. Interactive ads, which engage viewers through clickable elements or interactive storytelling, can significantly enhance user engagement. Branded content integrations within popular German streaming series can also create seamless and less intrusive advertising experiences. 

A new media landscape in Germany

The new law empowering Germans to choose their TV providers is reshaping the media landscape. As consumers navigate their options, providers must prioritise competitive pricing, high-quality service, and user-friendly interfaces to attract and retain customers. The shift towards personalised and flexible viewing experiences is clear. It will be fascinating to see how the market evolves in response to these changing dynamics.

DCMN can help with the new layout of TV advertisement in Germany and place your brand at the right spots of the target audience with Performance TV 360 and many more custom made advertising plans.

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