Digital Gives TV Networks A Viewing Boost - But Where's The Money?

A recent Nielsen Total Audience report showed how much TV networks gained from program airings on digital platforms. But what’s the real monetary gain?

For example, in a third-quarter 2018 study, Nielsen says cable dramas witnessed an overall 9% hike in viewing; broadcast sitcoms and reality shows were each around 8% more. Broadcast dramas (crime) added 5%.

The study focused on daily viewing over a typical month on live TV, DVRs and set-top-box video on-demand (VOD) from 312 programs in various genres. It also did the same for connected-device VOD (such as a Roku device), computer and mobile viewing to see which program types drove the most digital lift among different age demographics.

Sounds like good news.

Here’s more: All kinds of TV network programming -- which might skew to those 55+ -- are getting big results from young viewers.



But TV companies can be fuzzy when it comes to monetization of their premium video -- in terms of advertising and affiliate revenue. After all, there is ample competition to gain big marketplace share.

Hulu, owned by Walt Disney, Comcast and Time Warner, which runs plenty of TV network programs, is expected to see advertising revenue of $1.82 billion this year; $2.24 billion in 2020; and $2.7 billion in 2021, per eMarketer.

Yet all this becomes even cloudier when considering there no overall premium video measurement currency at work -- nothing to compare one show with another, let alone specific media ROI results for that programming.

Generally speaking, there only a few things media buyers and sellers agree on, such as Nielsen C3/C7 ratings, which measure the average commercial minutes in programs viewed live and time-shifted through video on demand or DVR playback.

Everyone might say they love premium video on digital platforms. By way of comparison, there is a lot of video crap on digital platforms. And who really wants to be associated with this?

Emotionally, we all get this. But what’s the real bottom line?

1 comment about "Digital Gives TV Networks A Viewing Boost - But Where's The Money?".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Bob Gordon from The Auto Channel, March 31, 2019 at 3:36 p.m.

    The Auto Channel-TV is the answer to generating revenue from digital

Next story loading loading..