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TV Networks Plan to Include Out-of-Home Audiences in National Ratings 2020
The Super Bowl is TV’s most-watched annual event, but would any network executive bet on counting more people to watch in an age when viewers are moving to streaming video and mobile devices? CBS will. The network believes it could see a 10% to 12% lift in total viewers – “if not more” – for its 2021 broadcast of Super Bowl LIII, says Radha Subramanyam, chief research and analytics officer for CBS Corp., in an interview.
By the fact that starting in the fall of next year, TV’s national Nielsen ratings – those measurements of audience used to set rates with advertisers – will include people viewing programs “out of home,” in places like restaurants, hotel rooms and at other people’s houses. At a time when TV ratings are eroding season after season as TV viewers latch on to new services like Netflix and Hulu, the move could send some ratings levels spiking upwards. Nielsen says that after many years of testing technology and measurement systems, it is ready to integrate out-of-home viewing into its national TV ratings.
Streaming: friend or foe to local markets?
Research in the latest Local Watch Report reveals that the typical U.S. adult streamer spends an average of just under one hour (57 minutes) streaming non-linear content to their TVs in a regular day. That’s significantly less time than streamers spend with linear TV: two hours 42 minutes.
While broadcast, cable and other TV options maintain their dominance from a video viewing perspective, there’s no denying the growing reach of streaming across the U.S. But that growth is far from homogeneous across regions and markets. In terms of device ownership, for example, growth in southern markets has outpaced all others over the last two years.
Importantly, not all on-demand video streaming content comes from the major players. According to Nielsen’s second-quarter 2019 Streaming Meter Data Insights Report, content from these players accounts for approximately 70%-80% of TV streaming activity. The remaining portion of content that consumers are streaming to their TVs can include non-linear local station content.
Small screen, big picture: looking at programming genres through a time-shifting lens
Different types of programming hold sway over different types of viewing behavior—from the live, must-see action of a sporting event to the carefully curated consumer experience of a drama, which might be sitting on that DVR “shelf” as a viewer waits for the perfect moment in the week to uncork it.
Given that in the first quarter of 2019, U.S. adults (18+) spent nearly four hours each week watching delayed, or time-shifted, viewing (via VOD or DVR), accounting for this time is a critical consideration.
Nielsen looked into how consumers lean into delayed viewing of TV content over broadcast and cable and found that the proliferation of ways to view content has also helped influence them to be more patient viewers, tuning in past live, same day and even seven days.
The database: How addressable advertising is personalizing the TV experience
Almost half of the TV homes in the U.S. (47%) have at least one enabled smart TV. Additionally, the first-quarter 2019 Nielsen Total Audience report found that 72% of U.S. homes use streaming-capable TV devices. These numbers highlight a significant opportunity for brands, marketers and advertisers—and that opportunity is audience-level engagement.
In its most basic sense, addressable advertising is messaging that advertisers send to only the audience they want to reach. And now that 58 million U.S. households have at least one internet-enabled smart TV, advertisers have both the data and the avenue to connect with viewers on the biggest browser screen in the house—the one on the living room wall.
Across audiences, women are a key focus for brands. Not only do they outnumber men in the U.S. (52% vs. 48%), they have shared or primary responsibility for daily shopping and household chores, and they’re the primary buyer for everyday household items. They also consume significantly more media each week than men (73 hours vs. 68 hours).