In case there was any doubt, the Television Bureau of Advertising and its Board of Directors affirmed that TVB supports the use of Live + 3 program ratings as the standard for local buying and planning in LPM and metered markets. TVB notes that while over 92% of household viewing and 87% of viewing by persons 18-49 and 25-54 is live, according to Nielsen data, viewing that occurs in playback mode has value to advertisers. Research from Nielsen indicates that a high percentage of commercials are experienced in real time, not forwarded through, when viewers play back recorded programming. Even when commercials are fast forwarded, they are still noted by viewers, and impactful. A study appearing in November 2008’s Journal of Marketing found that people who fast forward through commercials actually pay more attention to the television screen than those viewing in real time, and can be influenced by the brand images they view for only a short amount of time.
“Using Live + 3 program ratings best serves the needs of advertisers in today’s dynamic marketplace,” notes Chris Rohrs, “Nielsen data indicates that in 3 days, over 90% of all playback has already taken place – and much of that playback – 51% to 86%, depending on daypart – occurs on the same day a program was recorded.” Rohrs further cites Nielsen’s recently-released Three Screen Report which stated that nearly half of commercials are viewed in real time when they are played back within three days.
He adds, “We encourage stations to promote and use Live + 3 program ratings, and we encourage advertisers to take advantage of the valuable viewing that Live + 3 program ratings can deliver.”
For the vast majority of advertisers, ads that air within three days of original airtime will still serve to build awareness of a campaign, motivate consumers to react to a time-sensitive sales event, or cause consumers to take another desired action.
TVB also applauds Nielsen for its decision to introduce additional local data streams as early as Q3 2009, when Live + Same Day program ratings may become available.
"We recognize that for some clients, shorter time frames are critical. We will analyze that data when it becomes available,” says Rohrs. “TVB’s analysis of Nielsen data leads it to conclude that Live Only program ratings do not reflect the new realities of television viewing in local markets. The Live + 3 standard represents a more accurate estimate of audience behavior.”