Anytime Is Prime Time: Digital Video Dayparting Comes Of Age

Today “television” comes in many forms. Yes, it may be a 52-inch HD LCD on your wall, or it may well be a mobile phone in your pocket, a tablet in your briefcase or a computer on your desk, lap or car. People want to access content whenever, wherever and however they can. We are consuming more content daily than ever before across all four screens. Which means, maybe it’s time to rethink “prime time.”

Traditional TV dayparting -- the practice of determining the most effective time of day for ads to play -- is being redefined by digital video. Prime time is no longer just evening TV from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. (Nielsen People Meter). Prime time varies across the different media and is highly influenced by the habits of “millennials,” the Webification of older consumers and the emergence of digital video platforms that target users anywhere, anytime.

How does digital video dayparting work? With dayparting, advertisers may select the specific time period when their video ads will play. As with TV dayparting, the digital dayparting value comes from the ability to identify dayparts with the largest audience reach and when viewers are likely to be most engaged.

What is most important for advertisers is the time at which viewership is the highest and ideally most engaged, by medium. For online video, prime time notably occurs between the hours of 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. (comScore Video Metrix).

With distinct digital and TV prime times, it’s critical to determine what time is prime time for your brand across different media. It’s important to remember that those times will be different based on the medium selected and your product. For example, prime time for tablet and mobile users is 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays, but 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekends, presenting additional opportunities to reach engaged consumers (comScore).

So why advertise on both TV and digital media? A recent Nielsen study illustrates the advantages of integrating digital with TV ad campaigns. The study found aided recall of TV ads improved by nearly 50% when viewed across TV plus PC, mobile and tablet. Further, viewer engagement also increased by 50% when exposed to ads both on TV and digital screens.

Combining dayparting techniques and the complementary nature of digital and TV advertising gives advertisers insights and better access to reach the right audience at the right time. Advantages include:

  • In TV dayparting, advertisers use time blocks to identify programming with the most similar demographic composition to their target audiences. This ensures TV ads reach the most receptive and largest audience possible.
  • Digital dayparting enables advertisers to further refine their audience targeting by device and behavioral criteria, and reach these audiences at scale.

Advertisers should leverage dayparting techniques to reach the largest and most relevant audiences across digital media. Digital video dayparting offers an efficient and targeted avenue to reach the right audience inside and outside the living room, whenever they’re most engaged. With the explosive growth of media consumption across all screens combined with the advantages of digital advertising, it is time for traditional TV advertisers to apply dayparting to digital video and maximize the impact of campaigns.

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3 comments about "Anytime Is Prime Time: Digital Video Dayparting Comes Of Age".
  1. Jeff Stevens from VMakers , April 11, 2012 at 2:32 p.m.
    Daryl, Great article with really beneficial info regarding viewing times and stats. A definite must to maximize advertising budgets and investment returns. This will be extremely helpful to our clients. Thanks!
  2. Jeff Martin from Touchstorm , April 11, 2012 at 2:53 p.m.
    Daryl, what are you citing as your source for prime digital view days/times by device?
  3. C Schoultz from BrightRoll , April 11, 2012 at 4:41 p.m.
    Thanks for your question. In this article, comScore was the source of data for prime digital view days/times by device.