If you were one of the 14,000 attendees of last week’s NewFronts presentations, a central message that you couldn’t miss was that streaming has become an essential way for advertisers to reach 18-49 year olds. The coveted age group, which has long been the bread and butter for TV networks, is rapidly shifting its video consumption behaviors, and NewFronts presenters wanted ad buyers to know that they can either follow the eyeballs or risk losing access to this huge cohort.
Presenters expressed the message in different ways, but here are a few that caught my attention:
Amazon said in its “Reach Reimagined” presentation that “on average, 74% of intended audiences reached by Amazon OTT weren’t reached by linear TV”
Citing Nielsen, YouTube said it “reached more 18-49 adults than all linear TV networks combined in September, 2020”
Tubi said a few months ago that “80% of its streamers can’t be reached via the top 25 cable TV networks”
Roku also noted in its Q1 earnings report that “over 85% of the adult 18-49 audience reach delivered on the Roku Channel was unduplicated with traditional TV.”
TikTok went a step further, saying “30% of its audience watch less TV, streaming and other video content since joining TikTok”
A number of the NewFronts presenters’ messages were also buttressed with short interviews with agency executives who spoke about the decline of linear TV viewing and the increasingly important role that streaming and CTV are playing. No surprise, since analysts MoffettNathanson estimate that cable networks’ C3 viewing time among 18-49 year olds in the first 3 weeks of April was down 41%.
No doubt that decline is skewed because the pandemic lock down was in full force in April, 2020, but the larger point remains that linear TV viewing continues to decline which is inevitably going to lead advertisers to follow their audience where it goes to streaming, social, gaming, etc. I expect these messages to only grow louder as 2021 progresses.