Despite Fragmentation, Viewers Flock to Holiday Programming

‘A Big Fat Family Christmas’ on Hallmark Channel
‘A Big Fat Family Christmas’ on Hallmark Channel (Image credit: Hallmark Channel )

Despite changes to how viewers watch television, advertisers can still reach consumers through holiday programming, according to a study by Effectv, the ad sales arm of Comcast.

In an analysis of viewing from Thanksgiving to Christmas in 2021, 92% of households tuned into holiday programming. On average they watched 20 hours of seasonal shows over the period.

There was a 46% increase in streaming viewership on the top holiday networks compared to the previous year, with 79% of streaming impressions happening on a big screen.

Light- and no-TV households were 51% more likely to stream holiday programming, giving advertisers an opportunity to get their messages to harder-to-reach households, Effectv found.

Also: Cable Nets, Streamers Ramp Up Holiday Films Lineup Leading Into Christmas

"As the TV viewing landscape changes, the way households view holiday programming may be changing, but their appetite for the content is still strong," Effectv director of customer insights Travis Flood said. "Consumers still love getting together with their families to watch holiday programming, and today, many are turning to streaming services to do so. By analyzing the way consumers are watching, advertisers can ensure they're reaching their audiences wherever and however they choose to watch."

Effectv has recommended that to maximize audience reach, advertisers dedicate 20% to 30% of their TV budgets to streaming, and the rest to linear TV. The recommendation holds during the holiday season, Effectv said. ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.