Social Media-Related Entertainment, Sports Records Lower Q4 Engagement

It wasn’t just steep double-digit percentage live, linear TV ratings declines that plagued the fourth quarter -- social media-connected entertainment, media and sports brands also suffered.

In its report, video measurement and analytics company Conviva says the engagement rate of social media-connected entertainment suffered some of it largest declines -- 26.2% -- with media activity slipping 21.7% and sports content losing 17.5% year over year.

Much premium TV network content was delayed or cancelled starting in the fourth quarter due to the pandemic, and rescheduled for this month or in the coming weeks.

Analysts also cite record political advertising and pandemic issues as reasons for slippage.

“Social networks were bombarded by political ad spend that would usually have been occupied by more typical brand and entertainment spending,” says the Conviva report. “Many accounts chose to remain on the sidelines rather than join the fray, where they would be forced to compete with inflated ad prices induced by high election spending.”

The report noted North American growth rates in overall TV viewing time fell to a 19% improvement in December -- versus a 60% spike in March and 73% gain in April, periods when the pandemic was beginning to take hold, resulting in more stay-at home work and schooling.

Conviva’s data was collected from 3.3 billion streaming video applications, measuring in excess of 500 million unique viewers watching 180 billion streams per year, with 1.8 trillion real-time transactions per day across more than 180 countries.

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