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Intelligence Briefs

Why there's no such thing as an overnight success story

Industry Contributor

Michael Stephenson, CSO

28 October 2019 3min read

Media around the world are grappling with changing consumer habits which have made overnight viewing numbers, on their own, less and less relevant. Hollywood Reporter’s examination of US viewing shows why marketers and media agencies need to look more holistically at the wider viewing window (in this case 35 days) and recognise that while the lion’s share of viewing comes in the first few days – the wider window “still moves the needle”.


Key points

  • In a world of changing consumer viewing habits, US Nielsen data demonstrates that TV shows are capturing viewers up to five weeks after they air.
  • While the majority of viewing occurs within the first 72 hours the wider window of five weeks shows that those extra weeks “continue to move the needle.”
  • The effect is most pronounced among adults 18-49, the key demographic that US advertisers pay a premium to reach.
  • On the analysis by Hollywood Reporter, the remaining couple of weeks added another nine per cent. A breakdown of the growth across major franchises finds that six series at least doubled their total audiences over 35 days.

My Takeout

As consumer behaviour changes, TV networks across the globe are evolving and developing new ways to measure total TV viewing.

We all recognise that traditional overnight ratings no longer reflect the total audience that consumes our content. In Australia, shows likes Married at First Sight, Love Island Australia or The Bachelor continue to aggregate audiences well after the original episode is broadcast. It highlights, particularly with content that is targeted towards younger audiences, that we need to be open to reviewing the size of the window on which we judge the success of our programming.

As consumer behaviour changes and our content is consumed live, via a live stream and on demand, measuring the total audience that consume our content has never been more important. Its why initiatives like Virtual Oz are so important.

Let’s go. What do you think?

Industry Contributor

Michael Stephenson, CSO

Michael Stephenson joined Nine in 2006 and was appointed Chief Sales Officer of Nine in March 2016.

He is responsible for overall sales strategy and total advertising revenue for Nine across all broadcast, digital and publishing assets.

Prior to his appointment he held various roles at Nine, including Director of Sales – Television and Director of Sales – Digital. Michael has also held senior roles at both Network TEN and the Seven Network, in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide, during his 25 years in the media.

He is a board member of OzTAM and chairman of the industry body Think TV.

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