Linear TV Reach Sinks 4%, Daily Linear Viewing Narrows With CTV

The second half of 2023 witnessed the average daily reach of linear TV sinking 4% to around 57 million homes versus the same period the year before, according to Samba TV.

In addition, that reach number was virtually flat in the second half of 2023 versus the first half -- which is unusual, according to the TV advertising research company.

The lack of rising reach in the fall 2023 was partly linked to the actors' and writers' strike that began in late May and lasted through mid-October, according to analysts.

Typically, the second half of a calendar year features new TV shows or new TV seasons of returning TV shows -- as well as fall sports programming -- especially the NFL, NBA, and NHL. 

That creates a sharp spike in the second half versus the first. For example, in the first half of 2022, average daily linear TV reach was 54 million, rising to 59 million in the second half.



Another factor pushing the second-half numbers lower was the spike in OTT hours -- up 23% in the third quarter of 2023 versus the same period the year before, while the fourth quarter of 2023 was 18% higher.

Average daily connected TV viewing continues to narrow the gap with that of linear TV. 

According to Samba TV, via Insider Intelligence data, in 2025 daily viewing on linear TV is estimated to come in at 2 hours/40 minutes of and 2 hours/11 minutes on connected TV platforms. In 2021, linear TV daily viewing average was 3 hours/16 minutes; connected TV, 1 hours/34 minutes.

Samba says TV consumption on mobile presents a major opportunity for advertisers. For example, 91% of young Gen Z viewers stream content on mobile. But perhaps more importantly, 50% of young consumers prefer to stream TV on devices other than on a smart TV.

Among other mobile video consumers, 88% of millennials stream content, as well as 73% of Gen Xers and 43% of Baby boomers.

1 comment about "Linear TV Reach Sinks 4%, Daily Linear Viewing Narrows With CTV".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, February 8, 2024 at 9:47 a.m.

    Wayne, if we want to really shrink the reach of linear TV why not go to an average minute figure---that's only around 11%? Except that's not how advertisers evaluate linear TV's reach potential. Nor do they figure it on a daily basis or even a weekly basis. Typically, media planners----out of habit, perhaps---use four- week R&F projections and these show much larger numbers because those who are not reached on a given day or even a week will watch something over a longer period of advertising activity.  In fact, as we have reported to our well informed MDI Direct subscribers, most adult TV home residents use both linear TV and streaming in a month and the number of linear-only or streaming-only "exclusives" is quite small by comparison. There are demographic differences, which we describe---but such info is only available to our subscribers.

Next story loading loading..