The Syndicated Network Television Association has, for the
first time, put out a research report for advertisers and their media agencies that
touts the use of syndicated TV programming as a way to reach baby boomers.
The report, "Seizing The Boomer Market-A $3.4 Trillion
Opportunity," cites the 81 million baby boomers in the U.S. that make up 35% of
the adult population; by 2017, the report continues, boomers will control 70%
of U.S. disposable income.
It's a message that Alan Wurtzel, research president at
NBCUniversal, has been pushing for the past several years to help motivate
marketers to advertise more on NBC. But the SNTA research also points
specifically to syndicated TV programming, saying it outperforms the broadcast
networks in certain categories with this financially powerful demo.
Using data from media audience measuring group GfK MRI for
adults 45-64, the SNTA report shows that syndicated sci-fi, game shows, talk
shows, dramas and entertainment news magazines all over-index among baby boomer
viewers more than network primetime programming in categories such as dining,
life insurance, home gardening, pharmaceuticals, pets, hair coloring, diet
soda and vitamins.
Using Nielsen C3 ratings from the May 2012 sweeps month,
daytime syndication among the 45-64 demo had more shows in the top 10 Monday-Friday
than did the Big Four broadcast networks and all of cable, excluding sports and
specials. Syndication averaged four shows per day in the top 10; CBS averaged
three; and ABC, NBC, Fox and cable
averaged two or less depending on the night.
"Syndication is a strong performer for marketers looking to
improve delivery and commercial recall for baby boomers all year long," the
The highest-rated syndicated show among boomers from Sept.
19, 2011, through August 5, 2012, was Judge Judy with a 4.8 in that demo.
TheBig Bang Theory in syndication averaged a 4.7; Wheel of
Fortune, a 4.5; Two and a Half Men, a 4.2; Jeopardy!,
a 3.6; and Entertainment Tonight,
Other 45-64 ratings for syndicated shows in those months through
Aug. 5 are: Criminal Minds (2.3); Law & Order (2.2); Inside Edition
(2.1); Family Feud (2.0); Monk (1.9); Dr. Phil (1.9); Law
& Order: SVU (1.9); Judge Joe
Brown (1.6); Numb3rs (1.7); The
Closer (1.7); Everybody Loves Raymond (1.6); Cold Case (1.6);
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (1.6); and Live! With Kelly (1.6).
If the numbers themselves weren't enticing enough, the SNTA
report -- which uses Kantar Strategy for the 45-64 demo -- also indicates that cost-per-thousand
pricing for the top-rated shows watched by baby boomers are 142% cheaper than
network primetime shows.
All that said, how are boomers as an advertiser target for
key categories, including home furnishings and automotive? The report says 52%
of adults 45-64 are homeowners, 53% own two or more cars and 58% are new-car
prospects. It also says that 48% of baby boomers own a DVR, 56% own two or more
PCs and 66% are tablet users.
But while baby boomers do have DVRs, 92% of adults 45-64 in
DVR households watch syndication programming live versus 76% who watch network
primetime programming live.
Citing Nielsen NPower data -- a Web-based research analysis
tool -- the report shows that during the summer of 2011, syndication
programming loses only about 10% of its audience, while the network primetime
audience declines by a range of 30%-35%.
In the middle of July 2012, according to Nielsen NPower data,
syndicated programming accounted for eight of the top 10 highest-rated
telecasts among adults 25-64, 17 of the top 25 and 28 of the top 50.