Much has been written about how TV viewers are shifting to
other platforms to watch their favorite shows, but the newly released 2013 NewMediaMetrics
360 Cross-Platform Study reveals just how rapidly it has occurred over the past
Data in the annual study by the brand strategy company shows
hefty double- and even triple-digit percentage increases of TV viewers in
various demo groups who over the past 12 months have started watching TV
programming on screens beyond traditional television.
Along with documenting these shifting viewing patterns, the
study gets into the myriad ways marketers and their media planning and buying
agencies can use emotional attachment to brands and assorted TV, online and
print media to find the best way to target the most desirable customers as an
alternative to mass reach.
The study includes data collected from a sample of 4,250
respondents and culled information on 60 TV networks and 150 websites.
Gary Reisman, cofounder and principal of NewMediaMetrics,
believes the days of media agencies using reach alone to make media buys is
outdated, yet he says "there are still agencies that are looking for volume
discounts rather than buying based on the value of each impression."
Reisman adds, "It's critical for marketers to figure out the
best way to reach their most important customers. Brands need to know on what
platform their most loyal and emotionally attached users are watching TV. There
needs to be a radical shift in how agencies buy TV impressions. Agencies can no
longer just look for eyeballs. There's an overabundance of TV impressions and
marketers and their agencies need to be more precise in which impressions they
buy and pay for."
Using one of TV's most-watched primetime series, Modern
Family, as an example, the study finds viewership by 18-54-year-olds of the
sitcom on tablets has grown by 76%, on mobile phones by 64%, via the Hulu Plus app
by 61% and via the Netflix app by 31%.
Meanwhile, viewership of Modern Family via
traditional television remained flat.
Last year among the 18-54 age group -- keeping in mind that
members of each demo group surveyed were allowed to choose any and all devices
they watched shows on -- 25% were watching Modern Family via a tablet,
25% were watching via mobile phones, 26% via the Hulu Plus app and 33% via the
Netflix app. This year those percentages are 44% via tablets, 41% via mobile
phones, 42% via the Hulu Plus app and 48% via the Netflix app. Traditional TV
viewing remained flat at about 65%.
Looking at the 18-24 demo, in the past 12 months, Modern
Family viewing on tablets has increased by 37%, viewing on cellphones by
28%, via the Netflix app by 28% and via the Hulu Plus app by 35%. Viewing on
traditional TV fell to 56% from 62% a year ago.
The biggest move to other screens came among the 45-54 group.
In 2012, only 9% were watching Modern Family on tablets and another 9%
on mobile phones. This year the percentages for both jumped to 35%, an increase
for each device of 288%. Last year, 9% of this age group also watched the
series via the Hulu Plus app. This year, the percentage is up to 29%, a 222%
increase. And last year, 10% watched via the Netflix app and this year the
percentage is up to 34, a 240% jump. Within this group, viewing of the series
on traditional TV also jumped by 14% to 75%.
Examining one more set of data for a younger-skewing show, The
Vampire Diaries on The CW, the study found that traditional TV viewing of
the series declined by 20% to 56% of the group. Meanwhile, viewing of The
Vampire Diaries on tablets rose by 34% to 51% of the group, viewing on
mobile phones rose 18% to 50% of the group, viewing on the Netflix app was up
40%, now comprising 60% of the demo group, and viewing via the Hulu Plus app
was up 14% to 50% of the group.
The percentages total more than 100 since many of the
respondents in the respective demos watch TV on multiple platforms or screens.
And the examples of Modern Family and The Vampire Diaries mimic
the data of other shows.
The study breaks down the respondents into 24 audience
segments that tie them into their emotional attachments to brands. Among the
audience segments are: Green Focused, Luxury Car Buyers, Home Improvers,
Fitness Enthusiasts, Healthy Eaters, Wireless Cell Switchers, Retirement
Worriers, Foodies, Movie Enthusiasts and Fashionistas.
The study offers data on each audience segment such as what
brands they are most attracted to and what networks they watch. For example,
54.7% of Fitness Enthusiasts who are highly emotionally attached to Gatorade
watch ESPN. Another 50.6% watch Fox, 50.2% watch ABC and 48.2% watch History.
There is a long list by percentage for each network.
Among these same Fitness Enthusiasts who are highly
emotionally attached to Gatorade, 74.1% use Google Search, 73.3% go on YouTube
and 59.4% use Facebook.
Among the Retirement Worriers who are "moderately"
emotionally attached to Fidelity, 26.1% watch CBS, 23.2% watch History and a
similar percentage watch ABC, while 21.7% watch Food Network.
The study also identifies Affinity segments like pets, home
decorating, beauty, fashion, travel, business and science, and can link brands
and networks to these groups as well.
The study divides the respondents based on media viewing
Time Shifters make up 37% of the respondents and are those
who use their DVRs or TiVo to record and watch shows at their convenience.
Multi-Screen Users make up 35% and are those who will go to
YouTube, Hulu or a TV network's website to watch current or missed episodes.
Cord Cutters make up 26% of respondents and they want to
watch TV only via the Internet or a mobile device.
Social TV Viewers make up 23% and they are those who use
Twitter or Facebook to talk about the TV shows while they are watching.
Brand Social Viewers make up 19% and they are the ones that
talk about brands and commercials that they see while watching their favorite
The study finds that "differences in media behaviors are
pervasive and are having a dramatic impact on cross-platform usage and content
Reisman says every network in the study has its own profile
of consumers, as do the brands, as they relate to cross-platform emotional
attachment of the consumers. This enables marketers and their agencies to better
target their buys more specifically, and tap into the emotional power a brand
"Over a 12-month period, viewers on average will spend 42.7%
more on brands they are emotionally attached to," Reisman says, "and viewers
who are emotionally attached to a brand are 40% more engaged while watching a
commercial about that brand."
Reisman adds that viewers who are emotionally attached to a
network or TV show are 46% more likely than the less attached viewers to watch
it multiple times. And 57% of viewers are more likely to watch a show in time-shifted
mode if they are emotionally attached to it.
The change in the percentages of viewers using other
platforms to watch TV in just one year "are mind boggling," Reisman says. "Our
study can help marketers find media properties that are saturated with high
volume buyers of their brands."