Despite some small declines, national TV networks still have a dominating reach among all U.S. consumers, especially compared to digital media.
Pivotal Research Group says that during April 2017, national TV platforms reached 98.1% of all people. Among networks owned by the largest media owners, reach against all people declined on average by 2% per network.
By comparison, YouTube reached 73% of all people ages 13+ in April. (This excluded reach on mobile devices for 13-to-17-year-olds). Looking at another popular platform, Snapchat reached 24% against all people 13 and older.
Reach -- which refers to the total number of different people or households exposed at least once to a medium during a given period -- is an important metric for marketers because it can determine less duplication of customers.
Among all network media platforms, broadcast networks still command the best reach overall.
CBS reached 67.3% of all people during April, with ABC, NBC and Fox coming in between 64% to 58%. The CW and TNT were next, in the 40% range. These were followed by a number of cable networks including AMC, TBS, FX, USA, ESPN and HGTV in the low 30% range.
Looking at reach on the household level, 82.3% of homes watched CBS, followed ABC, 79.8% and NBC, 74.4%.
Going forward, as digital media grows, Pivotal Senior Research Analyst Brian Wieser, predicts “more focus on the volume of consumer time and reach associated with premium content on digital platforms. Today, there is relatively little.”
He adds: “With relatively little of the consumption on these [digital] platforms matching the relative quality of content found on TV today... this helps traditional TV to sustain their relative importance to the large brands who dominate the medium.”