The fall TV season is making its shift to the holiday TV season — meaning, it’s time for TV broadcasters to thoroughly investigate their analytics to determine what’s working and what’s not. Seriously, just glue yourselves to your analytics.
Why? Because the viewing behaviors that inform your business vary significantly by show and by audience demographics. Some shows are performing better outside the C7 window than inside. Some — potentially many — consumers are viewing your shows via streaming video. It’s not enough to just know the industry trends. You need to know the extent to which industry trends manifest on your own sites and apps.
Some of your analytics-driven insights will align with the industry trends. For instance, data from Nielsen Total Audience suggests that younger audiences that are watching adult animated comedies will most commonly watch them via video on demand (VOD). Check your analytics to see whether this is true for you. Viewing behaviors at other intersections of content and audience are less predictable and must be surfaced directly via analytics.
Data from Nielsen Total Audience also strongly indicates that TV broadcasters can’t just assume that their shows will be watched most often via appointment-based viewing because “All programs experience lift above the Live plus 7 days delivery, although the degree of lift varies by genre — some by as much as +50%.” So, appointment-based viewing will be the least-watched for some shows.
There are plenty of things TV broadcasters can do to understand the latest trends in viewing behaviors. Last fall, I wrote about using data to answer questions like:
- Which shows will earn the biggest audiences?
- What kinds of audiences will tune in?
- Will DVRs and internet-delivered VOD take a bigger bite out of appointment-based viewing?
- What types of viewers will opt for internet-delivered video?
- What devices and platforms will viewers embrace?
The questions remain the same, while the importance of the answers has grown.
Top Three Things to Look for
Following are a few things to look for when you’re viewing content ratings and census-based analytics.
1. Really Look at Your Digital Consumption.
Look at the numbers you have and factor them in as you’re putting the right programs in the right time slots. Just because you have traditionally scheduled a program on a specific day and at a specific time doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone’s going to come back. You may have many more people tuning in via TV Everywhere (TVE) and over-the-top (OTT) services this season versus last season.
2. Closely Examine Your Crediting System.
Make sure you’re correctly crediting your on-demand views in C1, C3, and C7 windows. For the views that you want to have credited to your linear content ratings, try Nielsen Digital TV Ratings (DTVR); for those you want credited to your digital-content ratings, try Nielsen Digital Content Ratings (DCR). Also, consider leveraging Adobe’s ability to pull in comScore analytics data with Rentrak and other things. In general, the more sources of insight into viewing behaviors you have, the better.
3. Intensely Study Your Personalization Capabilities.
With TVE and OTT services, a personalized experience can make the difference between attracting significant view time and loyal visitors versus no view time and bounced visitors. Gulliver Smithers, SVP product and technology for Crackle at Sony Pictures, recently stated that using a TV service without personalization is like dining in a restaurant where you don’t really like your food. You may not complain, but chances are, you won’t go back. If you want viewers to return, personalization is key.
Overall, the wind-down of the fall TV season is a great time to look at these three things, because the viewing patterns that were established in the fall can impact your midseason replacement options as well as linear- and digital-content ratings for the next six months or more. Of course, it’s always worthwhile to care about digital consumption, crediting systems, and personalization capabilities. If you’re innovating in these areas, Adobe has tools that can help you.