Delayed Viewing Ushers in a New Era for Broadcasters

As the UBS 41st Annual Global Media and Communications Conference came to an end this past Monday in New York, many attendees were left with a positive sentiment towards the future of broadcasting. CBS’s Chief Research Officer, David Poltrack, spoke towards the vital role that delayed programing plays not only in saving potentially canceled shows, but perhaps in boosting overall broadcasting revenue.

Broadcast technology has come a long way since the first DVR, creating new opportunities.
Broadcast technology has come a long way since the first DVR, creating new opportunities.

2014 is on track to a healthy start with primetime viewership up, commercial ratings enduring, and most major networks having launched a show with hit potential. According to Poltrack, broadcast network revenues will actually rise 6% next year, reported Multichannel News. One key takeaway from Poltrack’s presentation was the emphasis on increased viewing of delayed programing. Broadcasters now have new ways to distribute their content across various platforms to better monetize their content.

Delayed viewing is simply when a broadcaster does not require any attendance during a live broadcast, thus allowing viewers to watch the program at a later date typically via DVR or video-on-demand.

Rapid Growth of the DVR

Ever since their debut in 1999, digital video recorders (DVRs) are being found in more and more U.S. homes. ”Leichtman Research Group’s survey of 1,300 households found that 52% of the ones that have pay-TV service also have a DVR. That translates to about 45% of all households and is up from 13.5 % of all households surveyed five years ago by another firm, Nielsen.” According to The Huffington Post.

Though DVR playback is steadily increasing among older viewers, broadcasters have greater success at reaching younger audiences though streaming online video. The average age of viewers who watch TV online is 40 as indicated by Poltrack, 16 years younger than those who watch on-air programing.

The Impact of Tracking Delayed Viewing

A major turnaround came when Nielsen began integrating delayed viewing into its reporting and discovered a significant boost in TV ratings. According to Nielsen’s data for the week ending on September 29th, 12 shows saw a gain of roughly 4 million viewers between when they originally aired and a seven-day delayed time frame. The significant increase in the ratings during this time frame has actually been enough to renew TV shows on the brink of being cancelled.

“Among top series, The Blacklist jumped the most – 5.7 million viewers – from 12.6 million same-day viewers to 18.3 million over seven days. In its second week, Fox’s Sleepy Hollow (which premiered Sept. 16), had the biggest percentage change, climbing 58% – from 8.6 million to 13.5 million – turning it from a modest success into a big hit” – said USA Today

Delayed video allows audiences to view all their favorite TV shows keeping them engaged at their convenience.
Delayed video allows audiences to view all their favorite TV shows keeping them engaged at their convenience.

With copious amounts of premiers and competition amongst cable providers, new shows were having a difficult time getting sampled. With a longer viewing period, new shows are able to obtain more exposure at the viewer’s convenience, leading to higher ratings.

As the viewing habits of media consumers evolve with advancements of technology, new opportunities will continue to surface. Previously mentioned in this post, broadcasters are finding new ways to distribute and monetize their content. Another new emerging trend among broadcast organizations is leveraging their valuable content to generate new revenue through online recruitment advertising. White-label job boards have the ability to extend your digital presence by distributing job postings across the web reaching a new audience, driving new traffic and advertisers to your site.

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