• C’mon Move That Key Demo to 30-to-60!

    August 31st, 2009

    I am standing tall on my soapbox once again shouting loudly that it is time to move the key TV sales demo far beyond 18-49, or even 25-54 to 30-to-60 years old!   And, it has nothing to do with me personally, as sadly, I am not in that demo anymore either.

    I have been suggesting this to my client general managers for years – and they salivate at the idea.  As I wrote in my blog in June of 2008 – those Americans over 50 have real money to spend – the highest level of disposal income.  Oh, and they watch more television too.  But the neophyte buyers who only know how to read the numbers 18-to-49 in Neilsen books have no clue about that.

    Now comes a new study of televison viewing by Steve Sternberg who reports that “the five broadcast networks average live median age this year (not counting DVR usage) was 51-years-old” – cracking the 50 barrier for the first time.   That is a huge eight year upswing from ten years ago.

    When you factor in delayed DVR viewing, CBS’s average viewer is 54, ABC prime is at 50 years old, and NBC is at 47 (with Leno’s new show expected to spike that number higher beginning in September).   Fox prime averages 44 years old, and the CW, with its limited viewership, is at 33 year-old.

    The ages of live viewers (excluding DVR watching) for all five major networks are at their highest levels ever.  As expected CBS leads the parade with an average age of 55 – the first time they have left the 25-54 demo.  ABC was right behind them with an average age of 51, with NBC at 49.  The Fox viewers average 46, and the CW fandom average 34 years old.

    That’s alot of numbers but the bottomline is simple:  It is time to increase the target demographic for advertisers to a more realistic 30-to-60 years old.  Have they forgotten that huge Baby Boomer bubble of viewers that continues merrily on its way to 60 and beyond?   If so, it is time to face reality!

    I’ve said it before – and I’m saying it again – C’mon join me in the crusade to raise the key demo to 30-to-60 years old – your bottomline will love you for it.


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  • Going after the Nielsen monopoly (again!).

    August 23rd, 2009

    So, did you see where a number of media companies and some top advertisers have committed millions of dollars to develop their own multi-media ratings measurement system?   They have even brought in a few advertising heavy hitters this time around – top-spender Procter & Gamble, as well as third-place spender AT&T, plus Unilever.  Others, of course, have announced plans before to try to topple the elitist Nielsen monolith  – and failed miserably.

    The new consortium, which includes Time Warner, CBS, Viacom, NBC Universal, Disney and Discovery put out the standard line that they are not “out to replace Nielsen.”  Yeah- I’m sure that’s the case.  Why would you want to come up with your own system instead of paying Nielsen millions and millions of dollars so they can ignore your concerns?

    There is a new driver this time though – the consortium says there is “no single source measurement for TV and digital video.”  Nielsen, of course, responds they are working on this with it fully operational by 2011.  Ah, huh! 

    The new consortium hopes to have their ratings measurement system up and running by the fourth quarter of 2009.  They plan on using set-top box data and cross-platform viewers who use both TV and digital video.

    As always, it will be an interesting battle to watch.  Can someone finally topple the monopoly that is NSI?   A monopoly, by the way, that uses a national sample of a whopping (he writes facetiously) 18,000 homes!

    But there is a hidden message that all local TV broadcasters should be picking up on.  The goal is to marry a way to measure BOTH television viewing, and to gain a more accurate measurement of all the portable devices that deliver video today – and the many more that will deliver it in the very near future.

    If you are not providing, or working on a plan, to put your local news on all these devices – than the big advertisers will only be measuring your station on its broadcast signal – and you will be missing out on not only thousands of viewers/users of your product – but all those precious advertising dollars as well.

    That big ole portable device train is roaring down the tracks – has it already passed you by?


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  • You Tube’s “News Near You”

    August 9th, 2009

    So, have you heard about You Tube’s new News Near You feature that senses your location and serves up a list of relevant videos?  They are partnering with local TV stations to obtain that video – so they can compete with you.  At least that was my immediate reaction until I talked with AR&D 2.0 guru Terry Heaton.

    Now You Tube says this partnership will produce a new revenue source for TV stations – although at this time – the cash flow seems miniscule.  So, shouldn’t local TV newscasts be concerned about this latest ploy by a national Internet competitor?   Again that was my reaction until Terry said to me, “that’s where your mass market mindset can trip you out.”   That’s a nice way to tell me to quit thinking in the past.

    Terry Heaton says he “absolutely believes” our clients should be  partnering with You Tube in this venture.  The main reason, Terry says, “it is an audience that we will never reach any other way.”   He points out that You Tube is the world’s second biggest search engine, and “they can’t find us if we’re not on there.”

    OK, I can buy that argument – but just like when local stations started providing news on CNN – it means we are giving away our biggest strength – localism – that drives viewers to our TV station websites.  Again, Terry shot holes in my thinking.  He says, there is no evidence that supports that assumption, and that “there is plenty of evidence that the audience of You Tube is happy to stay right where they are.  So the reality is we are dismissing an entire generation because they have no interest in coming to TV station web sites.”    The clear implication is – the You Tubers simply have no interest in going to your local TV web site – but if your videos play on You Tube they might trip across your newscast – or start to have at least a video relationship with your news product.

    Terry also offers a hard economic argument for partnering with You Tube to show your local newscast video.   While the payments may be tiny now the money will grow – and when it does – it will go to those stations that are participating and partnering with You Tube.

    So there you have it.  The advice to me – and you  – is get your head out of the past – and plunge it directly into the future.  It is all about being everywhere possible on the Internet – and You Tube is a highly visible place to be.


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