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Wieser: Primetime Ad Impressions Lower in February

TV usage fell in February and the number of commercial impressions among adults 18 to 49 in primetime fell 4.8%, according to an analysis of Nielsen figures by Brian Wieser of Pivotal Research Group.

Wieser said that total use of TV was down by 4.2% on a total day basis for adults 18 to 49. It was down only 1.9% among all households.

Consumption via internet connected devices rose 56% in February from a year ago and accounts for 9.9% of total TV use among adults 18-49, compared to 6% a year ago and 36% two years ago.

Commercial loads rose to 10.8 minutes per hour across programming tracked by Nielsen, from 10.6 minutes a year ago. Wieser says Fox, Scripps and Viacom-owned networks reduced ad loads, while AMC, CBS, Discovery, Disney and NBCUniversal increased commercial clutter.

Viacom had the biggest share of ad impressions, although it fell to 15.3% from 16.1% a year ago. The drop came partly because Viacom had smaller ad loads on Nick At Nite, Comedy Central, BET and MTV. Loads were up at other networks including VH1, Centric and Spike.

Fox’s impressions were up largely because it aired the Super Bowl this year. Other networks gaining commercial impressions included CNN, Fox News, Discovery Channel, ID and MSNBC.

The largest declines were seen at FX, Comedy Central, A&E, Lifetime and BET. CBS, which aired the Super Bowl a year ago, was down as well.