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Linear TV: The Go-To for Ad-Supported Viewing

Linear TV: The Go-To for Ad-Supported Viewing

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With new streaming platforms seemingly popping up monthly, the TV viewing landscape is more fragmented than ever. And while there’s much discussion of streaming’s share of total viewing, there is far less discussion of share of viewing with advertising.

Advertisers cannot reach many of these streaming viewers because some platforms, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, are advertising-free. Other streaming platforms, such as Hulu and HBO Max, offer tiered subscriptions, and the viewer may or may not see ads depending on which tier they pay for.

TVB analyzed linear and streaming viewing using Nielsen’s total use of television and streaming platform ratings, and the results showcase the value linear TV represents to advertisers.

TVB News Minute for the Week of April 11th, 2022

The following key points highlight the strength of linear television to advertisers:

  • When looking at the total viewing day, linear television represents 65% of viewing, compared to streaming TV’s 27%.
Source: Nielsen NPOWER February 2022 Persons 18+ Live+7. Total Day of All Viewing Platforms: Percent of Broadcast, Cable, and Streaming to TUT Levels. MVPD/vMVPD category is included in Linear bucket.
  • Taking a closer look at what makes up streaming TV, the largest share, 34%, is SVOD with no advertising (such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video), while 18% is SVOD with tiered subscriptions, with and without advertising (such as Hulu and HBO Max), and 25% is streaming TV free with ads (such as Pluto TV or Tubi).
Source: Nielsen NPOWER February 2022 Persons 18+ Live+7. Total Day of Streaming Platforms: Percent of Streaming platforms to Total Streaming. Nielsen Streaming Platform Ratings (With and Without Ads: Hulu, Discovery+, HBO Max, Peacock; No Advertising: Netflix, Amazon, Apple TV+, Disney+).
  • Developing an ad viewing pie, TVB included linear TV, streaming TV with ads (AVOD) and the total number of SVOD tiered subscriptions viewers, even though we know that some of these viewers might watch without ads. Looking at total viewing of platforms with advertising, we find that 84% of viewing is on linear television, while only 9% is streaming TV that is free with ads. Only 7% is SVOD with tiered subscriptions that may or may not have advertising.
Source: Nielsen NPOWER February 2022 Persons 18+ Live+7. Total Day of Platforms With Advertising Base: Ad-Supported Linear TV & Nielsen Streaming Platform Ratings (With and Without Ads: Hulu, Discovery+, HBO Max, Peacock; No Advertising: Netflix, Amazon, Apple TV+, Disney+). MVPD/vMVPD category is included in Linear bucket.

For more information, please contact Hadassa Gerber, Chief Research Officer, TVB