Death, taxes, and linear TV: The staying power of a changing medium

TV advertising

If you’re a regular viewer of the NBC show “Manifest” — and based on the most up-to-date ratings, there’s a good chance you are — it’s time to ask what exactly “regular” really means in the age of Advanced TV. The much-anticipated drama delivered the best 18-49 rating of any new series of the 2018-2019 TV season so far, breaking a record as the most-watched series premiere in Live+3 day calculations in six years.

The show hit the ground running with Live+Same day viewership of 10.41 million people, but more than 1 in 3 viewers of the pilot episode didn’t watch it live, or even the day of its premiere — they watched it up to 3 days later. And as the series progresses, we can only imagine how many more potential viewers may turn to Hulu, On Demand or another service to catch up before the season is over.

These options were unthinkable just a few years ago. With the rapid evolution in technology and the growth of viewing platforms, consumers today have nearly unlimited choices. Since the adoption of the internet, no technology has proliferated faster than Connected TVs. According to eMarketer, more than half of the US population uses a Connected TV today. And by the end of 2021, NPD forecasts that there will be 275 million Connected TV devices, with Smart TV driving half of this growth. Consumers are now curating content and rewriting their own viewing experience to when, where and how they want it.

For the past 3 years, our team of market researchers at Samsung Ads has been analyzing trends, listening to partners and observing viewership behavior, and we’ve learned some interesting lessons.

1. TV is alive and well — it just looks different.
Cord-cutters and cord-nevers are changing the face of TV, but across more than 30 million Samsung Smart TVs, our research shows that traditional linear TV is still at the core of entertainment consumption, even while over-the-top (OTT) viewership is on the rise.

2. Reports on the demise of traditional TV viewing are an exaggeration.
On average, each Samsung Smart TV watcher spends nearly 75 hours viewing traditional TV per month — that’s equivalent to 3 straight days. The set-top box continues to be the #1 HDMI-connected device on the Smart TV. And a vast majority of households (81%) still tune-in to linear TV.

3. The rise of the Total TV Watcher.
We found that 44% of Samsung Smart TVs both tune-in to linear TV and use a Smart TV app. And the secret here is that consumers who use both linear and OTT don’t cut down on their linear viewing habits — they add to it. They make up a powerful group of “Total TV Watchers” who are truly in charge of their media consumption. The Total TV Watcher makes room in their media mix for more content. In addition to the aforementioned 75 hours of traditional TV viewing, they are also avid app users, consuming at least 11% more than your traditional OTT consumer.

As marketers in a digital age, we’ve long considered TV as a mass reach opportunity. However, with the combination of linear and OTT, Advanced TV provides a unique opportunity to provide both precision and reach, helping marketers to find new audiences. In a world where consumers are creating their own media mix, Advanced TV data is not only valuable; it’s a necessity in today’s media landscape.

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