As the past year made very clear, linear is not the only place for audiences to watch content, with streaming and social video continuing to grow. But a new report reveals just how crucial social video is for media companies alongside linear audiences.
The choice isn’t one or the other. The challenge is how to use TV and social video in concert with one another (along with other mediums as well) to drive marketing success.
The Global Video Measurement Alliance report, “Discovering Audiences On Social Video: How brands can leverage new reach in the changing media landscape,” showcases how social video in the US attracts younger demographics, engages viewers at a high rate, is rapidly growing in comparison to linear TV and is an important complement to linear TV.
In the report, Howard Shimmel, president of Janus Strategy & Insights, writes on the current threats facing traditional linear TV in media negotiations, and says advertisers should move dollars to social video to expand and complement linear media strategies.
As widely reported, the decline in linear TV viewing across all demographics except adults 65 and older has been dramatic. Especially for teens and adults 18-34, who are watching less than half the linear TV than they were in 2010.
“The challenges that advertisers and agencies are facing with linear TV supply are very present now,” Shimmel says. “Advertisers that continue to rely on network and cable will face the perpetual challenge of CPM increases due to diminished supply.”
READ MORE: Special Report: Discovering Audiences On Social Video (Global Video Measurement Alliance)
In the past, a show the caliber of The Mandalorian would have run on ABC in primetime, and been monetized through ABC retransmission fees and advertising sales.
Now Disney recognizes that The Mandalorian is worth more in corporate value driving subscription and retention to the Disney+ service.
“We are just at the beginning stages of premium content moving to ad-free DTC services and, with that movement, social video offers advertisers opportunities to reach consumers in a highly engaged environment like they used to find on linear.”
Traditional linear TV companies have made national scale a major part of what’s offered to advertisers. For these companies, the report found that, social video offers 75% of the reach that linear provides, and for Disney, nearly the same reach.
What’s more, social video provides a direct complement to linear TV. More than half of social video consumption comes from persons 18-34, compared to less than 10% for linear TV. On the other hand, while more than 60% of linear TV’s audience is 50 or older, that demographic is less than 15% of social video’s audience.
Shimmel argues that social video can alleviate the disparity between demographics in TV. If advertisers, brands, and media companies want to reach younger audiences, they only need to look at social video, where 53% of social video consumption comes from the 18-34 demographic.
Traditional media companies like Disney, ViacomCBS, and Comcast with a lot of content that directly appeals to younger audiences showed linear and social at a dead heat in terms of reach.
“Essentially, this data shows it’s a missed opportunity if media companies don’t run cross-platform campaigns to leverage potentially lucrative social video reach at scale,” suggests John Cassillo at Tubefilter.
READ MORE: Videos On YouTube And Facebook Get 70% As Much Viewership As Linear TV Shows (Tubefilter)
While there are differences between the way that linear TV and social video are measured, this report puts them side by side to provide perspective on the reach and demos of each medium.
In particular, it uses data from Nielsen and Tubular Labs (a GVMA member and co-sponsor of the report) to compare traditional linear TV with social video.
“Metrics like Tubular Audience Ratings can function as an effective currency to show exactly who’s watching and where, providing a level of audience intelligence that allows for better ad targeting and content customization,” the report concludes.