Over the last few weeks Throng has presented adhoc analysis of ratings on the Free-to-Air channels. This has shown a staggering 12 point decline in viewing audiences across the combined TV2 and TV3 channels. So where has that audience gone?
- Has it migrated to other Freeview channels such as Maori Television, ChoiceTV and the timeshifted channels (TVOne+1,TV2+1 and TV3+1)?
- Should advertisers be devoting more analysis to the audience and reach of these other channels?
- Or has the audience shifted to the, as Throng would have you believe, anachronistic Sky?
This is highly important not just to stimulate discussion in television media in New Zealand but also highly important to the advertising community that essentially funds these channels. A one point movement in audience share in the $614million spent on television advertising in 2014 means $6.14m impact on profitability and the ability to acquire content in subsequent years.
In summary channel share for TVOne has hovered around 25% varying by a few points on average per annum.
In contrast TV2 has seen a continual and gradual decline in audience share from ~19.5% to below 15% in 2014 and lower again in 2015.
Similar trends can be observed for TV3 with audience share slipping from around 15% to marginally above 10% over the last five years.
Finally TV4 has seen its format change and its audience wax and wane to be roughly in the same position it was 5 years ago
Viewers have to go somewhere
Audience share, by its very nature, sums to 100%. So a double digit shift in audience share has to go somewhere. At this time the data for other channels (and the plus ones) haven’t been presented and this author doesn’t have access to the audience data that the administrators enjoy.
However it would be ironic to think that the audience has migrated to watching more hours of television on the platform that the administrators go to great lengths to harangue and ridicule.
Although the demographic is incorrect publically available data shows that over the 2010-2014 Sky TV and Prime have enjoyed a 4% lift in audience share. Something that must increase the bitterness of Throng. It still begs the question – where has 8 percentage points or $50 million worth of advertising share gone?