It wasn’t all that long ago TV networks were selling total household ratings, only to shift to demographics ratings -- for better targeting. (Hello, 18-49). Then, the moving to commercial TV ratings (2007). More recently, they added in much more time-shifted viewing.
Now the world moves more in a more granular way, with impressions. It’s all about better targeting and looking at an entire world view -- fractionalized among so much new media. Who doesn’t want total audience? Next is where addressability comes in -- TV’s holy grail for super targeting, going well beyond demos of 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54.
As a cable network group, A+E Networks believes it should move away from the medium's typical demographic selling focus -- the 24-54 viewer group.
So it made sense when Peter Olsen, president of advertising sales for A+E Networks, said a key piece of the puzzle will be to include all viewers in upfront deal-making, including 55+ viewers.
In the recent past, older consumers were believed to be be set in their ways, not wanting to change brand loyalty or longtime product behaviors -- happy with their auto insurance company, brand of coffee, and weekend chain restaurant choices. So why make a big effort to hit them with lots of ad attention?
The digital world has shown change is possible for all consumers. Digital platforms can adjust creative to lure in different users. Traditional TV? Not so much.
Promoting total audience metric hints at the obvious in this context: Steadily declining TV ratings, accelerated by cable TV networks losing potential viewers due to overall cord-cutting. Neither sellers nor buyers like this trend. No worries, say A+E. Secondary guarantees for demographics are still around for those who need it.
Is that enough? Consider the lack of overall standards when it comes to analyzing iffy cross-media platform measurement -- and well as being able to compare one media platform/network to another.
"Total audience" will continue to be good words -- filled with lots of promise.