Recently, we ran a series of tests to evaluate how well on-air program promotions do at actually driving viewers to watch specific television shows. We analyzed anonymous set-top-box data through TNS's Infosys Media System. The results we found were pretty enlightening, so I thought that I would share some of them with you today. Below are findings related to viewer responsiveness to on-air promos for NBC's "Parks and Recreation" from this past spring, which were quite representative for the dozens of shows that we have looked at:
On-air promos work. This has been confirmed time and again in viewer surveys and attitudinal studies, and set-top-box data confirms it as well. Folks that saw on-air promos for "Parks and Recreation" were 15.9 times more likely to watch the show than folks that didn't see the promos. Yes. 15.9X.
No promo, no viewing. People that didn't see any on-air promos for "Parks and Recreation" didn't watch the show. 0.17% is the percentage of folks that watched the show but hadn't seen a promo. We saw similar numbers for virtually every show we analyzed. This means that if a viewer doesn't see an on-air promo for a show, you can be 99% certain that he isn't going to watch the show. Yes. Not only do promos work, but the reverse is true as well.
Viewers of a feather flock together. People who shared similar viewing patterns with those who liked "Parks and Recreation" were twice as likely to view the show as the viewing population generally. Yes. That meant that the 15.9X lift relative to unexposed went to almost 32X.
What are the implications of these findings? It's seems that on-air promotion is an enormously critical component in driving viewership to shows, much more so than I had originally thought. Further, it is also pretty clear that different viewers respond quite differently to different promos -- thus, lots of opportunities for optimization. What do you think?