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Nielsen: Ad Viewing Lift Varies After 7 Days

Nielsen, which now measures viewing for 35 days after a show originally airs, says more than 90% of the commercials seen by consumers are watched during the first seven days.

Most advertising is sold based on commercial ratings that cover live viewing plus either three days or seven days of delayed playback. But Nielsen says viewing during days eight through 35 lifts commercial viewing in some popular shows more than 8%.

Nielsen looked at 10 popular TV shows on broadcast and cable that aired during the first week of the broadcast season and found that additional commercial viewing ranged from 1.8% for a cable reality show to 8.1% for a particular broadcast drama.

Even within genres, there were significant differences. One broadcast comedy saw a 6% lift in commercial viewing between day 8 and day 35, while another broadcast comedy delivered only a 2% lift after day 7.

The distribution of viewing from day 8 to day 35 also varies from show to show. For example, in one cable reality show, 82.7% of the viewing after day 7 came between day 8 and 14. For a different cable reality show, viewing from day 8 to day 14 represented only 37.9% of the delayed viewing after day 7.

For one broadcast comedy, 32.2% of viewing after day 7 occurred between day 29 and 35.

Nielsen previously had provided viewing data for seven days of delayed viewing. As it moves to its Total Audience Measurement framework, it is providing 35 days' worth of data to its clients.

Recent trends suggest that viewers are migrating to an extended playback window for consuming TV content, Nielsen said. While the bulk of program and commercial viewing occurs within the first seven days of airing, there are meaningful amounts of incremental commercial viewing beyond day seven for many shows.

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.