Viewership at a glance: Insights from our Q1’22 State of Viewership
Content Marketing Manager
May 27, 2022
Our first State of Viewership Report of 2022 analyzes more than 37 billion hours of global linear and streaming to shed new light on how the world is consuming content and engaging with ads in 2022. From increased cord-shaving to a high likelihood of advertising bombarding over-saturated linear audiences, making an impact on TV is more challenging for advertisers than ever.
As the Upfronts and midterm elections heat up advertising spend, our U.S. report offers key insights into trends and movements in audience viewership consumption and provides timely strategies for advertisers, including how to reach valuable millennial and Gen Z audiences.
With our data emphasizing a robust and growing CTV market, flexibility is more important than ever and incrementality is the word of the day. Read on for our top takeaways and download the full report for a closer look.
94% of all linear ad impressions reach just 55% of audiences.
The data from Q1 shows a clear trend that the majority of ad impressions oversaturate the same half of U.S. TV viewers with 94% of all ad impressions reaching just 55% of audiences.These same audiences saw an average of 144 linear ads per day, while 45% of American households saw only 11 ads per day. This dramatic imbalance suggests that linear campaigns are oversaturating the same viewers while leaving the rest of Americans unexposed to messaging. This ad waste is happening in other markets as well. In the U.K. and Germany we’re seeing 93% to 95% of linear ad impressions reaching just over half of audiences. And, in Australia, 92% of linear ads are hitting the same 55% of audiences.
Pro tip: To avoid this substantial waste, advertisers need to look to guaranteed incremental reach opportunities to maximize spend across devices and platforms. Samba TV's iCPM guarantees advertisers the ability to reach unexposed audiences that are incremental to their linear TV campaigns, helping advertisers discover, reach, and optimize tough to engage audiences across linear, streaming, online, and mobile video.
Online and app-based brands show strong year-over-year growth.
Looking at the top advertisers of the quarter by impressions served, insurance brands got the most eyeballs in the U.S. with GEICO, Liberty Mutual, and Progressive taking the top three spots. The insurance industry is no stranger to linear TV advertising (Flo from Progressive, the LiMu Emu, and the GEICO Gecko will now be stuck in your head for the rest of the day). Insurance companies are in particular big advertisers within sports and especially the NFL. With the Super Bowl airing in Q1, it's no surprise to see them top this list. Noticeably absent? Jake from State Farm. This may be due to the fact that State Farm skipped their linear Super Bowl ad this year in favor of TikTok.
In the U.K., similar to last quarter, lottery brands continued to make the biggest impact, while consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands came out on top in Germany. In Australia, with the 2022 federal election in May, government and political spending surged.
Pro tip: Insurance brands like GEICO and Liberty Mutual remain the linear giants, but it’s essential for even the largest advertisers to understand the nuances behind who they’re reaching. Coming out #1 on the linear impressions leaderboard is only brag-worthy if you’re reaching incremental audiences and not over-saturating your viewers. Employ advanced measurement solutions to ensure linear dollars are being spent efficiently at reaching incremental audiences.
Advertisers are missing key demographics on linear TV.
While top advertisers in the U.S. over-index among Black and white viewers – by +9% and +7% respectively – they fail to reach Hispanic and Asian audiences at a proportional rate – under-indexing for those demos by -16% and -34% respectively. Meanwhile, each of the top 10 advertisers on linear served a disproportionately low number of impressions to audiences below the age of 44.
The rate at which American households are ditching linear TV in favor of streaming video on demand (SVOD) options is one contributing factor. In fact, the rate of cord-shaving accelerated by more than 20% year-over-year. This dramatic rate of cord-shaving is even more severe across millennial households where one in four watched less than one hour of linear per week.
Pro tip: To reach these valuable audiences, you’ll want to utilize a holistic strategy that incorporates CTV and digital. But all measurement providers are not the same. In order to ensure that you’re reaching diverse audiences, working with a measurement partner that offers representative first-party data that accurately maps to the U.S. Census is key.
The limitations of streaming are coming into view.
While SVOD consumption remains on the rise, with our data showing that 59% of SVOD-viewing households in the U.S. watched more than one service in Q1, less than a quarter of households watched four or more SVOD services. This suggests there is a point beyond which consumers are not willing to spend. The sweet spot is two SVODs.
At the same time, we are seeing the rise of subscription “cycling” as viewers change out services to follow key tentpole programming moments. More than half of Hulu, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime Video’s top program viewers watched just one program among the streamer’s top 50 shows during Q1. With viewers only tuning in to one new buzzy movie or show, providers risk “cyclers” hopping between platforms and canceling subscriptions. Studios spending billions on major tentpole shows will need to find news ways to retain these viewers, or risk them canceling subscriptions in favor of the newest hot release every few months, regardless of its platform.
Pro tip: This risk of subscription churn is paramount as the attention recession grows, highlighting the necessity of streamers to constantly innovate. Streaming advertisers looking to drive tune-in should utilize lower funnel, performance marketing-based metrics via CTV. By measuring outcomes and using that information to more efficiently reach your audience, entertainment advertisers can better inform future tune-in strategies.
We’re just getting started. Download our full report for a comprehensive look at Q1 2022 viewership. Get in-depth data and insights into the top advertisers of the quarter, where to reach those elusive cord-shavers, and consumer snapshots to guide your future planning. And don’t miss our global reports for a look at viewership trends in the U.K, Germany, and Australia.