TV Audiences Prefer to Watch Dramas, Reality Competitions in Real Time

Thu May 12, 2016

Kathy Crosett

We all know consumers often postpone viewing their TV favorite programming. One of the biggest concerns yourtvgroupview clients have centers on how long do consumers wait before they watch a show. For example, it does little good to advertise a big sale that’s ending in 2 days if 50% of the targeted audience won’t see the ad until 30 days later. Preliminary research presented in a Nielsen press briefing, and reported on by Multichannel News, addresses the types of shows consumers are watching live and which genres they are most likely to postpone viewing.

Nielsen researchers studied the behavior of 18-49 year-olds as they viewed 5 different programming types. The goal of the research was the measure size of the audience, especially after the Live-plus-7-day (l7) rating period expires. This time frame has been a standard for advertisers in recent years. The programming studied encompassed reality competitions, serial and episodic dramas, and comedies, including animation. It turns out this group of viewers wants to keep up on reality-competition shows. 54% of the viewing of this type of programming happens live. Within 7 days of the original run date, 39% of these programs are viewed on DVR and 7% are streamed through video on demand (VOD.)

TV viewers also want to keep up with what’s happening to the characters on their favorite serial drama. At least 76% of viewing takes place within 7 days of the original airing and the type of viewing breaks out as:

  • Live 37%
  • DVR 42%
  • VOD 21%

On the other hand, animated comedies have a long shelf life. While 51% of viewing for these shows takes place within 7 days, the rest of viewers are happy to see these programs between 8 and 118 days later.

Nielsen analysts also point out that VOD viewers appear to be more engaged in the long term. They’ll devote 30 minutes of their time to watching a program while live viewers only average 15 minutes in front of the TV set.

As your clients plan their media buys across formats, they’ll benefit from the data in this report. Nielsen plans to release their full report later this year.

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About Kathy Crosett

Kathy is the Research Director for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel.

View all posts by Kathy Crosett