Television is still an effective medium for local media campaigns, despite increasing DVR usage.
The talk for the past few years has been about how the Digital Recording Device (DVR) will kill Television and everyone will stop watching commercials. Recent research shows that this isn’t necessarily the case. I won’t lie; my DVR rocks. Behind my iPhone (I love you Siri), it could be my favorite device in the house. How else could I catch up on so many shows? But my DVR usage doesn’t make me immune to advertising messages.
Here are 6 reasons why local media advertisers shouldn’t fear the DVR:
1. DVRs aren’t everywhere yet
The most recent report from Media Post shows that 44% of US households have a DVR, with 18% of those owning more than one. It is also important to note that DVRs are more prevalent in households with higher income and are more likely to have children under 18.
Before determining that the DVR will impact your Television schedule you may want to consider the qualitative make-up of your demographic and determine their local media usage.
2. 90% of Television viewing is still live
This may surprise some people, but 90% of Television viewing is live. DVR usage is increasing and is an important factor to consider when placing a local media schedule, but it doesn’t make the entire medium ineffective. Based on a TVB study, Television is still perceived as the most authoritative and most persuasive medium.
3. Increased time spent watching Television
Despite the variety of local media options available from Video-On-Demand (VOD), online and mobile video, every quarter Television viewership increases among key demographics. According to Nielsen, overall time spent with Television increased 2% in Q2.
Viewers aren’t abandoning Television or fast-forwarding through their day, they are just changing the way that they consume the medium. In many cases, the DVR is attributed to allowing viewers to consume more content, which usually includes more cable viewership. Cable networks are investing in first-run programs that have become appointment viewing similar to broadcast. Your target demo is consuming Television; it’s just a little more difficult now to find them.
4. Evaluate live viewership data and plan your schedule accordingly
Nielsen generates several sets of data to monitor Television viewing. Ratings which include live viewing plus DVR viewership for the following 3 days (Live+3) has become the industry standard. It is also important to evaluate shows, especially prime, based on live viewership plus those watching the DVR recording the same day (Live+SD).
You will notice that news programs and talk shows are seldom recorded; they are viewed live, which makes sense. Programs such as sports, movies and some reality programs that include live voting, tend to have higher live viewership than other high profile prime programs.
5. 18-24 consumes the least amount of time-shifted Television
While this hard-to-reach demographic consumes less Television than older age groups, it is interesting to see that they are not the biggest time-shifters. Based on the Nielsen Cross-Platform report, Adults 35-49 are watching the most time-shifted content. This 35-49 demographic is also watching more Television in general, so an advertiser has more opportunities to reach this audience.
6. Social media impacts live viewership
Why does my favorite show now come with a Twitter hashtag or ask me to join them on Facebook? An increasing number of viewers are engaging with social media to talk about their favorite shows. In order to be active in the conversation, viewers are watching the show live. You don’t want to learn if your favorite was voted off in your Facebook newsfeed.
According to a Nielsen report, 55% percent of those talking about Television on a social network are Men, and adults 35-49 generate 30% of all social activity. This doesn’t sound like the perception of social media users.
Researchers at Bluefin labs are also tracking the social engagement of new shows, in addition to ratings, in order to track success. The X Factor leads the pack of new shows with 94,000 social engagements per episode. This show is embracing social media and for the first time allows viewers to cast their vote on Twitter.