"Both Nielsen and AOL are pushing toward a more TV-like ad model," describes Adweek, hoping to go head-to-head with TV ad buyers and cull some of those mammoth TV budgets.
AOL has announced it will offer advertisers guaranteed audience delivery for online video advertising campaigns bought across its properties. This is the first time that online gross rating points (GRPs) – based on audience demographics, rather than clicks or impressions – are being used as the basis for advertiser guarantees on the Web. AOL will leverage Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings reach, frequency and GRP measurement to determine how well it delivered ads to the desired target audience. As the digital content NewFronts (a digital upfront) approach, AOL is the first major publisher to use a TV-based guarantee model for its online video inventory. Online video ads are one of the fastest-growing formats: eMarketer predicted a 52% increase in online video ad spend for 2011.
“As marketers and advertisers increasingly shift dollars from traditional television advertising to the Web, partnering with Nielsen puts AOL in a unique position to offer a more cost effective mechanism for reaching targeted audiences and a better or equal brand lift, reach and recall,” said Ran Harnevo, Senior Vice President, AOL Video. “AOL has a significant volume of high-quality content valued by advertisers and we are excited to take the lead on showing marketers the value and differentiated results we can guarantee.”
“With online video increasingly playing a role in traditional TV Upfront buying and selling, consistent cross-platform metrics are becoming more and more critical to proving the true value of advertising on a site, in terms that are familiar to brand marketers,” said Steve Hasker, President, Media Products and Advertiser Solutions, Nielsen. “This is the first time that online GRPs – based on audience demographics, rather than clicks or impressions – are being used as the basis for advertiser guarantees on the Web. We are pleased that AOL, the first major publisher to use an audience demo-based guarantee model for its online video inventory, turned to Nielsen’s highly accurate reach, frequency and online GRP measurement to drive increased confidence in their platform as a brand medium. We look forward to working with them to demonstrate their ability to effectively deliver on their clients’ goals.”
AOL will host clients at its Digital Content NewFront presentation on April 24 in New York, NY, and will premier significant video opportunities on sale to marketers and advertisers. AOL offers a rich online video platform with original programs including “Sessions,” “Heidi Klum on AOL,” “Moviefone’s Unscripted” and “The Engadget Show.”
Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings launched in August 2011 providing the first-ever Media Rating Council (MRC) accredited GRP for online advertising campaigns of any size with metrics similar to those used for TV advertising, enabling cross-media planning and analysis. Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings is part of the Nielsen Campaign Ratings suite, which provides a full range of premiere advertising audience measurement.
Kantar Media has released its final tallies for 2011 ad spending across media, and the results are a mixed bag. They suggest that advertisers value TV, are losing faith in consumer magazines and newspapers (no news there), and are on the fence about digital advertising.
Surprisingly hard hit were Sunday magazines (like Parade, The Boston Globe Magazine and the New York Times Magazine). Presumably this is because print newspaper subscriberships are down, and readers tend to cut out the expensive Sunday editions to save money, before they cancel daily subscriptions.
Big winners: Spanish-language media, and TV syndication.
Spanish-language TV was up 8.3% year-over-year, versus 2.4% for TV overall. Spanish-language magazines were up 24.9% YoY, defying a 0.4% decline for all magazines.Syndicated TV was up 15.4% over that 2.4% for TV overall (due in part to the astounding success of “The Big Bang Theory” which hit syndication in Q3).
The Year Overall
Total advertising expenditures increased an unimpressive 0.8% in 2011 and finished the year at $144.0 billion. Ad spending during the fourth quarter of 2011 dropped 1.0% versus the year ago period, the first quarterly decline since the end of 2009. Since reaching a post-recession peak in Q3 2010, advertising growth rates have slowed sequentially for five consecutive quarters.
“The contrast of resilient TV spending and waning budget allocations to other traditional media was plainly evident at the end of 2011,” said Jon Swallen, SVP Research at Kantar Media Intelligence North America. “Some mature digital media formats were also touched by the year-end tide of reduced spending. Whether this is an isolated occurrence or an early sign of digital dollars moving more quickly towards emerging and unmeasured digital platforms bears watching as 2012 unfolds.”
Measured Ad Spending By Media
Television continued to lead the ad market in the fourth quarter. Network TV expenditures jumped 7.7% year-over-year and were helped by strong pricing for football, a baseball World Series that went the maximum seven games and the launch of “The X Factor” singing competition program. The rate of Cable growth eased during Q4, finishing at +2.4% as higher demand from restaurants and retailers was offset by reductions from consumer packaged goods. For the full year, Network TV decreased by 2.0% while Cable rose 7.7%.
Spanish language TV ad spending surged 19.1% in fourth quarter, paced by higher sell-out levels at over-the-air networks. For all of 2011, the segment increased 8.3%.
Syndication TV benefitted from higher spending by department stores and health & beauty brands and saw expenditures soar 11.0% in Q4. Full year spending advanced by 15.4%.
Spot TV expenditures fell 8.7% in the fourth quarter but the more significant indicator was that November and December spending were each down, despite easy comparisons against diminished, post-election spending volume of a year ago. Full year Spot TV spending dropped 4.5%.
Free Standing Inserts achieved healthy gains in the fourth quarter with spend rising 3.0%. Although manufacturers have been distributing fewer FSI coupons, retailer promotion pages have increased significantly and this contributed to the improvement.
Ad expenditures for measured digital media declined in the fourth quarter. Paid Search budgets were 6.4% lower versus a year ago with continuing reductions from financial, insurance and local service advertisers. Display investments decreased 5.9% in Q4, dragged down by smaller budgets from auto manufacturers, telecom providers and travel companies. For the entire year, Paid Search declined 2.8% and Display increased 5.5%.
Magazine ad spending eroded at year end. Consumer Magazines declined 5.2% in the fourth quarter due to deep cutbacks in auto, food and pharmaceutical advertising. Total year expenditures were level compared to prior year. Outlays in Sunday Magazines fell 9.8% in Q4, the sixth consecutive quarter of year-over-year declines, and were down 7.2% for all of 2011.
Local Newspaper ad expenditures fell 3.9% during the fourth quarter, hurt by the reallocation of retailer advertising budgets to other media channels during the key holiday shopping season. Full year spending was 3.8% lower. The losses in Newspaper spending are consistent with reductions in the amount of space sold.
The pace of spending in Radio media also sagged. Local Radio expenditures were down 3.8% and National Spot Radio plummeted 13.9% in the fourth quarter. The telecom, financial service and automotive categories were prime contributors to these quarterly decreases.
Measured Ad Spending By Advertiser
Spending among the ten largest advertisers in 2011 reached $16,061.6 million, a 2.8% decline compared to a year ago. Among the Top 100 marketers, a diversified group that represents over two-fifths of all measured ad expenditures, full year budgets were down 0.2%.
For the ninth consecutive year, Procter & Gamble was the top advertiser with spending of $2,949.1 million down 5.4% compared to last year. While TV is still the foundation of its advertising media buys, P&G’s 2011 budget allocation saw share gains for magazines at the expense of TV.
AT&T was the second largest advertiser in 2011 with expenditures of $1,924.6 million, a decline of 11.7%. Media budgets were severely curtailed during the fourth quarter when the company abandoned its attempted acquisition of T-Mobile, triggering large breakup fees and a huge earnings loss. At Verizon Communications, full year ad spending was $1,636.9 million, a decrease of 11.8%. After a string of quarterly budget cuts dating to early 2010, Verizon sharply boosted its spending during the last quarter.
The largest growth rate among the Top Ten marketers was posted by Chrysler, up 36.2% to $1,193.0 for the full year. The increase was driven by marketing introductions for several new or redesigned models, coupled with the improved sales climate for new vehicles. In contrast, General Motors lowered its 2011 outlays by 16.1% to $1,784.1 million. Q4 media budgets dropped 24.7%. As factory support has been trimmed, GM dealers have been bearing a larger share of the overall marketing effort.
L’Oreal investments in 2011 rose 18.1% to $1,343.5 million as the company expanded marketing support for the L’Oreal Paris, Maybelline and Garnier brand lines. Comcast (+11.3%, to $1,577.2 million) and Time Warner (+5.8%, to $1,279.4 million) also posted full year spending gains.
Measured Ad Spending By Category
Expenditures for the ten largest categories grew 3.3% in 2011 and reached $81,629.2 million.
Automotive was the leading category in dollar volume and finished 2011 at $13,890.4 million, up 6.3%. Category spending growth became increasingly bifurcated during the year with Tier 2 and Tier 3 dealer budgets continuing to expand and Tier 1 manufacturer expenditures flattening.
Miscellaneous Retail, which is comprised of all retail segments except Department Stores and Home Improvement purveyors, was the second largest category with 2011 expenditures of $10,019.5 million, up 4.0%. Robust ad spending during the critical year-end holiday season bolstered results.
Insurance registered the largest growth rate among the Top Ten categories with a 13.5% gain to $5,519.0 million. Aggressive competition among auto insurers to gain market share continues to drive media budgets higher.
Financial Services totaled $9,059.9 million of spending, a 3.6% increase. Growth has been fueled by the credit card segment, offsetting continued weakness in ad budgets for investment products and retail banking.
The Telecom category lost ground as 2011 expenditures fell 5.8% to $8,649.0 million. Declines were most pronounced among the leading wireless service advertisers. Aggregates expenditures from TV service providers also slowed.
Top Spending Advertisers Within Select Media
The top ten TV advertisers spent $10,115.4 million in the medium during 2011, down 0.8% from a year ago. This group accounted for 14.9% of total TV expenditures by all advertisers.
The ten largest Internet advertisers invested a total of $2,360.6 million in paid search and display campaigns, up 10.0% versus a year ago. Despite fragmentation on the web, the group accounted for 10.9% share of all Internet ad dollars.
The top ten advertisers in Hispanic Media spent $1,403.6 million during 2011, an increase of 29.2%. This group accounted for 24.7% of all Hispanic Media expenditures, the largest Top Ten share concentration of any medium.
Nielsen has released some updated stats and an infographic on African-American consumers and mobile advertising. As of Q4 of 2011, half of black mobile users owned a smartphone (up from 44% in Q4 2010) and 58% accessed the mobile Internet, more than any other race/ethnic group.
Nielsen was updating data from its Sepember, 2011 “State of the African-American Consumer” report, which it compiled in cooperation with the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), a federation of more than 200 Black community newspapers across the U.S. As Nielsen described, “This growing economic potential presents an opportunity for Fortune 500 companies to examine and further understand this important, flourishing market segment.”
“Too often, companies don’t realize the inherent differences of our community, are not aware of the market size impact and have not optimized efforts to develop messages beyond those that coincide with Black History Month,” said Cloves Campbell, chairman, NNPA.
Where to reach them?
Spot and search advertisers will want to concentrate on the eastern seaboard and south/southeast, according to U.S. Census data.
Among other findings by Nielsen and NNPA:
- With a buying power of nearly $1 trillion annually, if African-Americans were a country, they’d be the 16th largest country in the world.
- The number of African-American households earning $75,000 or higher grew by almost 64% between 2000 and 2009, a rate close to 12% greater than the change in the overall population’s.
- African-Americans make more shopping trips than all other groups, but spend less money per trip. African-Americans in higher income brackets also spend 300% more in higher-end retail grocers more than any other high income household.
- There were 23.9 million active African-American Internet users in July 2011 – 76% of whom visited a social networking/blog site.
- African-Americans use more than double the amount of mobile phone voice minutes compared to Whites – 1,298 minutes a month vs. 606.
- The percentage of African-Americans attending college or earning a degree has increased to 44% for men and 53% for women.
- Denny’s Restaurants is targeting younger diners with a YouTube channel and video series, reports the New York Times. The series, “Always Open” features serves films in a youth-sized three-minute chunks, featuring comedian Dave Koechner of “Saturday Night Live” who interviews celebrities as they share a booth at Denny’s. NYT observes a deliberately provocative tone from the family-friendly restaurant, as Koechner makes innuendoes about snuggling for warmth with actress Jessica Biel, and comedian Sarah Silverman makes one of her usual body-function jokes. The ads have taken six million views to date, and were conceived by Gotham and produced by DumbDumb, a production company headed by the actors Jason Bateman and Will Arnett.
- B2B Media Business is accepting nominations for “10 Great Media Websites,” which it will present in its June issue. “We’re seeking nominations in the following categories: tech, trade (nontech), general business, paid subscription, launch, relaunch, portal, video/multimedia, mobile/smartphone and mobile/tablet,” says B2B. Nominees must prove themselves: B2B is looking for proof of “greatness,” including successful new features, redesigns that improve usability, and ideas that have led to greater social interaction among an audience, or between audiences and editors. Deadline for entry is May 1.
- Time Out New York is making a “big leap into the digital world,” reports TechCrunch. Also a rather belated one, for an entertainment outlet that specializes in reviews and arts/entertainment/dining listings. Time Out New York is launching its first iPad app, an updated iPhone app, and a new e-commerce model for its properties. The updated iPad app personalizes the user experience, for example, targeting restaurant recommendations based on previous choices, a la Netflix and Pandora. The personalization is based on technology from LikeCube, a semantic analysis company that Time Out acquired last year. Perhaps more exciting, Time Out New York will be selling tickets to events, as Mashable reports, from its own inventory rather than as an affiliate.
- VideoHub, the end-to-end analytics and monetization platform for online video, has unveiled video ad verification signals to give advertisers insight into the viewability of their ads (e.g., for where they appear on the page, the size of player, the impact on viewer experience).. The new “Player Position” and “Player Size” signals offer advertisers and publishers “full transparency into video ad position and size for video campaigns running across ad networks, direct publishers and video exchanges,” says the company. Player Position and Size go beyond basic verification metrics by showing advertisers how many video ad impressions are 100-percent viewable, partially viewable, or non viewable. VideoHub promises clients they can also measure viewability alongside brand lift, engagement, and other KPIs, showing the relationship between the viewing environment and campaign results. These new features, following the platform-wide integration of Nielsen GRP reporting, help VideoHub marry verification, reach and ad performance, providing advertisers “a level of measurement and understanding that is unavailable anywhere else,” says the company.
eMarketer and video ad network YuMe report a nearly three-to-one bias toward women in gender-targeted video advertising.
According to YuMe, the majority (65.9%) of video ad campaign proposal received by publishers in 2011 were gender-agnostic, but 25.7% targeted women, and 8.4% targeted men.
Not surprising, considering that consumer package goods (CPG) companies (which commonly target health and beauty products at women) were the single largest spender of ad dollars for online video in 2011, at 24%.
Age-wise, online video ads most often targeted at consumers aged 25 to 54: 39% of US advertisers targeted females in this age range and 22% targeted males. Few advertisers ventured outside of that spectrum. Video advertisers are targeting parents and professionals, who eMarketer estimates account for 51.1% of all U.S. online video viewers in 2012, most strongly (19.2%) of those viewers in the 25-to-34 age range.
But advertisers will not ignore those other demographics. YuMe found 73% of all U.S. pre-roll video ads seen by viewers ages 12 to 24 were watched in full last year, compared to 68% of all ads watched by those ages 25 to 54. Pre-roll ads offer the greatest guarantee of full viewership, considering they are often mandatory precursors to watching online video. About 78% of viewers will watch an interactive in-stream video like a pre-roll to completion, versus about 39% for an in-banner video, reports video ad network PointRoll, making in-stream video the most attractive option for advertisers.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has released the first comprehensive update to its in-stream video advertising standards since 2008. Its “IAB Video Suite” of new and updated specifications is designed to deliver a variety of enhanced video advertising experiences while simplifying technical execution, said IAB in a release.
The upshot is standardization, reports Adweek. “The problem has become acute for Web video,” it said. And as video is consumed in more places on the Web, “it's that much harder to buy—since every publisher seems to use different technology and different tactics for delivering Web video ads.” A benefit to consumers, if not advertisers, is that the suite includes protocols for skippable ads. Or as Adweek describes, “You won’t see that beer ad 10 times in a row.”
IAB spent more than a year crafting the suite in an open forum with leaders from over 45 member companies in IAB’s Digital Video Committee. The new specs include critical updates to its key specs – VAST and VPAID – and the establishment of a new protocol, VMAP.
The suite’s three specs are devised to work together as part of a thorough video advertising offering:
- Video Ad-Serving Template (VAST) – a universal protocol for serving in-stream video ads, permitting ad servers to use a single ad response format across multiple compliant publishers/video players
- Video Player-Ad Interface Definition (VPAID) – a common communication protocol between ad units and video players that enables rich ad experiences and detailed event reporting back to advertisers
- Video Multiple Ad Playlist (VMAP) – a new protocol that allows content owners to describe where ad breaks should be placed in their content when they do not control the video player or the content distribution outlet
- “These specs help creativity flourish by making it easier for companies to buy and sell video ad inventory while allowing marketers to deliver in-stream interactive video ads with the confidence that consumers will always receive a consistent viewing experience across different media players,” said Steve Sullivan, Vice President, Ad Technology, IAB.
VAST 3.0, VPAID 2.0, and VMAP 1.0 offer a range of benefits to advertisers, publishers, and consumers. Advancements include:
- Support for “skippable” video ads that allow for publisher pricing models based on ads that play to completion
- Support for “pods” of multiple ads to be displayed in a single ad break, allowing for the creation of viewing experiences similar to broadcast television
- Support for the display of in-ad privacy notices recommended by the Digital Advertising Alliance Self-Regulation Program for Online Behavioral Advertising
- Ability for a single ad to play seamlessly across different devices including iOS and Android mobile devices, as well as certain connected television platforms
- Clarity surrounding compliance, while permitting vendors to support only the ad formats they use
Google for one is delighted with the updates, saying on its DoubleClick blog “We’ve been longtime supporters of video advertising standards. We’re happy to announce our support for the latest set of guidelines announced at the IAB’s Digital Video Marketplace Event today. This means that we’ll be implementing VAST 3.0, VPAID 2.0 and VMAP 1.0 across our video advertising products.”
So is Adap.tv, and its Vice President of Product Ted Grenager served as co-chair of the IAB Digital Video Committee Technical Standards Working Group. “All of us on the Working Group collaborated closely with the IAB team with one goal in mind–the expansion of the digital video advertising marketplace. Now, with these new specs in place, I think we will increasingly see advertisers using them to create innovative new ad experiences for consumers, and distribute and measure them across partners and devices.”
If skippable ads seem like a downer for advertisers, Payam Shodjai, product manager of Google/YouTube believes it will “[incentivize] creative agencies to develop more engaging ads.”
It is worse than we thought, reports Ad Age. A study of consumer habits commissioned by Time Warner and conducted by Boston’s Innerscope Research found that consumers in their 20s (the so-called "digital natives") switch media venues 27 times per nonworking hour; roughly 13 times during a half-hour TV broadcast.
The study had just 30 participants, and as Ad Age described it, offers some insight into a generation that “always has a smartphone at arm's length and flips from a big TV set to a smaller tablet screen and back again at a moment's notice.”
The study was a 50/50 mix of digital natives and “digital immigrants” who grew up on TV and radio, but adapted to smart phones and
The study's subjects were split evenly between natives and "digital immigrants" (consumers who grew up with old-school technologies, such as TV, radio and print, and adapted to newer ones). The immigrants showed more patience, switching media venues 17 in a nonworking hour versus 27 for the natives.
The participants wore both biometric belts to measure their physical responses, and glasses with embedded cameras to track their platforms and durations while watching 300 hours of programming. They channel- and media-surfed at a dizzying rate, “Looking for…engaging content, and they dismiss so much stuff,” Dan Albert, senior VP-media director at Chicago's MARC USA agency told Ad Age.
The challenge, said an interviewee from Unilever, becomes that if consumers are “snacking” on short amounts of input, then marketers and advertisers must communicate in “snack-like bits of messaging.” Unilever owns both the Dove and Axe brands, among dozens of others.
One (expensive) method of capturing their attention is to “surround” consumers with ads that appear across several venues, as long as the viewer is tuned to the same content. So American Express might run a print ad in a magazine, plus pre-roll ads on the magazine’s digital version and smartphone and tablet apps. Presumably, Facebook and targeted ads reach those consumers as well, for additional exposures.
A Q4 2011 Nielsen survey found that 45% of U.S. consumers who owned tablets use them daily while watching TV, with similar results among smart phone users.
The average cost-per-click on a Google search ad returns a value of $10 per click for each keyword, finds a Washington University (St. Louis) research team. Maybe more.
As the university describes, the researchers found that the value of Google search advertising is grossly underestimated, because conventional methods of measuring return on investment (ROI) of online search ads fails to account for “cross-channel sales spillover.”
Dr. Tat Chan of the university’s Olin Business School and his colleagues developed an empirical method that to estimates the lifetime value of customers acquired from search advertising, and from multiple data sources. This method provides advertisers with a long-term and more complete measure of the value of customers acquired via Google search.
Google’s total advertising revenues in 2010 were $28 billion, up from $439 million in 2002.
As the researchers described, an advantage of search advertising is that it creates a better fit between a potential customer’s needs and the advertised message. It reaches a large audience with immediate interest in the product, so, both stimulates sales among existing customers and helps acquire new customers.
But conventional methods of measurement were insufficient. They “Just [look] at online transactions, that are one-time transactions,” says Ying Xie, PhD, associate professor of marketing. “But in our method we propose that we should think about the customer’s lifetime value…they could be an active customer, repeatedly making purchases. The cumulative amount of these purchases — that’s the profit stream we should take into account.”
The researchers merged web traffic and sales data from a small U.S. company to create an individual customer-level panel that tracks repeat purchases, both online and off-line, and identifies if those purchases were referred from Google search advertising.
The results demonstrated that customers acquired through Google search advertising showed a higher transaction rate than customers acquired from other channels. Taking into account future purchases and spillover to off-line channels (e.g., the customer bypasses the web for a second purchase), the calculated value of new customers is far higher than the value obtained using conventional methods.
The team developed an integrated model of customer lifetime, transaction rate and gross margin. Based on their model’s estimates, they find that the firm would incur a loss of $48 on average to acquire a new customer if using the conventional method. But after accounting for sales spillovers across channels and the long-term effect, they estimate the value of customer acquisition as high as $950 per customer.
The challenge of this new multichannel online/offline methodology is that it is not yet standardized; Nielsen, comScore and other companies are still perfecting the methods of quantifying exposures across media: quantifying the ultimate ROI is the likely next evolution.
The team presented its findings in its paper, “Measuring the Lifetime Value of Customers Acquired from Google Search Advertising,” which took the University’s 2012 Olin Award for relevant and performance-enhancing applications to critical management issues. The Olin Award for faculty research was initiated in 2007 by Richard Mahoney, executive-in-residenceat Olin and former chairman and CEO of Monsanto Co.
- Fox has taken an equity stake in an interactive television technology provider (ACTV8), reports MediaBistro. Fox will "ACTV8" several its primetime series, beginning with the “New Girl” second screen app, now which is available on iTunes App Store for iPhones and will be available on iPad and Android platforms in the coming weeks. Using the apps, viewers can interact during live broadcasts of Fox shows by chatting in real time, earning badges by watching and answering episodic trivia.
- In search-engine marketing news, Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) browser has started to regain share of the browser market, reports ClickZ. It does so at the expense of rival browsers, particularly Mozilla's Firefox and Google's Chrome. According to data from Net Applications, IE has increased its market share by 2% from December 2011 to March 2012, for a total of 53.8%. The browser was losing share before that, losing more than 5% of users between May and December 2011. Firefox usage has declined since May 2011 through March 2012, dropping 2% for 20.6% of the market.
- Turner Sports lost some digital traffic with its streaming NCAA coverage, reports Multichannel News. Between paid subscriptions and the trials of TV Everywhere authentication, Turner Sports traffic to NCAA.com and March Madness Live broadband and mobile services declined 6% from the 2011 basketball tourney, to a still colossal 51.6 million visits, between March 11 and the April 2 title game. On a daily basis, NCAA.com and March Madness Live averaged 1.1 million daily unique visitors, which was down 10% from 2011, and averaged 473,000 daily uniques on mobile, down 1%.
- Google Ads has created a Google + page for advertising partners, where it will provide the latest Google advertising product news; training and events; tips; and Google Hangouts, with product experts. Google is promising that advertisers can “Stay ahead of the curve with the latest launches and updates for Google's advertising solutions, including search, display, mobile, social, YouTube and Google Analytics. Receive how-to information, best practices, and recommendations.” The latest how-to entry is “Fast facts about targeting ads to the modern digital mom.”
- “New dads are big-time social media newsers,” reports eMarketer. Fathers, particularly first-time fathers, engage in the same social media activities that new mothers do, according to a February survey by Edelman and The Parenting Group. The survey revealed that that 42% of new U.S. fathers who use social networks write family-related status updates on a daily basis. Further, 56% of new dads post family photos at least a few times a week, while 21% post family-related videos.
While broadcasters envision fans interacting with reality TV stars or voting for their favorite singers with apps, it turns out there’s a “higher purpose.”
Fans' primary reason for participating in social TV activity is to “keep my favorites on the air,” according to TVGuide.com user research, released in partnership with the Social TV Summit. In a survey conducted in March, 76% of respondents said keeping favorite shows from being canceled was their main motivation for social activity, up from 66% in 2011.
The definition of social activity in the survey included a broad variety of social actions, including posts, status updates, check-ins and comments on social networks, fansites, official network sites, and entertainment sites and apps such as TVGuide.com. TVGuide.com, which has more than 24 million monthly unique users, leads the mass market in mobile and social TV with over 6.5 million mobile application installations, 500,000 social Watchlists created, 7 million TV check-ins, and Social Power Rankings, a daily curated feature of user-generated activity.
Additionally, the survey found changing behavior related to when TV fans participated in social activity. Of those who participate in social TV activity, 95% said they do so after watching a show (up from 68% last year), 40% participate during a show (up from 33%), and 53% before a show (up from 52%).
Fans also experimented with a variety of different social apps, websites and experiences related to major live TV events:
- 62% had some intention to use apps/websites/experiences during the Super Bowl, while 58% actually did
- For Grammys and Oscars on average, 57% had some intention to use apps/websites/experiences, while 80% actually used them
- 33% of respondents said they participated in social activity because they wanted to say something about the event, while 69% wanted to see what others were saying