Out-of-home viewing contributes to significant ratings lift | Media Analysis | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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TV viewing that takes place in a bar, gym, airport or office, can be just as important to networks and advertisers as at-home watchers, according to data released by industry analyst Nielsen.

sports bar 7 aug 2017The measurement firm has found that in early 2017 Americans spent an average of an additional two hours viewing the news away from their homes, the second largest increase in this type of time spent viewing for the genres analysed. Among viewers 18-34, out-of-home (OOH) viewing contributed an 8% increase from in-home viewership. When expanded to the 18-49 demographic, OOH viewing added a 6% increase among those viewers.

“By garnering a larger share of young outside viewers, marketers and advertisers are presented with a more dynamic environment in which to reach this batch of enigmatic consumers,” the company said.

The data showed that 26% of OOH impressions were attributed to viewers aged 18-34, while 32% stemmed from those aged 55 and over. Overall, nearly 60% of OOH impressions came from core buying demographics: for instance, about 48% of OOH viewing came from persons aged 25-54, a key demographic for news programming.

“While the analysis found that a third of OOH viewing stems from older generations, it’s actually the younger age groups that experienced the largest percentage of viewership lift in their respective demos as a result of OOH viewers,” Nielsen said.

When looking at gender, females narrowly edge out males when it comes to the share of OOH viewing. Although women account for 51% of OOH share between the two genders, men saw a slightly larger lift from OOH in their own demographic at 5%.

In terms of the types of programming that are leading the OOH charge, the sports and news genres experienced higher lifts than others, unsurprisingly. For example, the sports events genre experienced a 9% increase in ratings when OOH was included — the highest increase among all qualifying genres viewed. This makes sense given that viewers often go to bars and restaurants for social sports viewing.

The sports genre also added the most OOH average time spent viewing throughout early 2017, with more than an additional two and a half hours being added to the nearly 30-hour average per person 6+ watching sports.

As one of the most increasingly popular genres over the past year, news is also well positioned to benefit from viewing occurring in the gyms, waiting rooms and bars across the nation. One example was the James Comey testimony to Congress. While Comey’s appearance drew about 19.5 million total average viewers, Nielsen found that ratings for adults 18-49 increased by 11% for broadcast and 17% for cable airings of the hearing when factoring in those that watched away from their homes.

Other seemingly less intuitive beneficiaries of OOH viewing. Audience participation, a genre that has long-lasting traditions and deep roots in historical TV culture, also has strong OOH roots — as programmes in this genre experienced a 9% growth in viewership as a result of OOH viewing, tying sports events for the largest percentage lift in viewership.

Meanwhile, for children’s multi-weekly programmes, viewing may not be limited to adolescent viewers in the home. At just below an additional hour, the genre saw the third largest lift in time spent viewing via OOH. However, children ages six to 17 account for only 10% of the share of overall OOH viewing, suggesting that older demographics – parents, siblings, babysitters – may also be watching with them. This pattern presents an interesting opportunity for marketers, as both the target audience (children) and the demographic with the actual buying power are reached.

“While experiencing TV outside of the home — whether with friends, children or a mob of your sports fan brethren — is nothing new, the ability to accurately quantify that viewership is a present-day reality,” Nielsen said. “Content ranging from the wide-reaching genre of sports to the niche programming of children’s cartoons stand to benefit greatly, albeit within their own unique ways. While only a portion of the Nielsen Total Audience, OOH viewing is an integral part to clearly viewing the whole media consumption picture.”