Study: TV Directs People to More Direct Channels

According to a study of Nielsen and ComScore results commissioned by the Video Advertising Bureau earlier this year, the average American aged 13 or older watches 17 times more television than he or she does YouTube. “If you look at total time spent on both TV and YouTube, the split is 95% to 5%, yet YouTube draws a lot more than 5% of the attention of the industry,” says Sean Cunningham, president and CEO of the Video Advertising Bureau (VAB), a new organization dedicated to singing broadcast and cable TV’s praises and whose members include CBS, Comcast, Disney, NBCUniversal, Verizon FIOS, and Viacom.

Now the VAB has released another Nielsen/ComScore comparison presenting the case that, far from being a victim of digital media, broadcast is instead digital’s key enabler. Entitled “Ignition Point,” the study finds the correlation of website traffic to TV advertising among 125 brands to be inextricably linked. Of the 85 brands with visitor increases, according to VAB, 87% had increased their TV spends. More than two thirds of the 40 that cut TV spending experienced declines in uniques.

In most cases, the VAB discovered a one-to-one ratio or higher of TV spending to increased traffic in comparisons of the first and second halves of the year extending from February 2014 to March 2015. Humana upped TV spending by 24% and saw unique visitors jump 49%. Mastercard saw a 114% rise in traffic on a 98% spending increase, and Burger King reaped a 79% visitor boost on 23% more ad dollars.

The corollaries were just as striking among companies that cut TV ad budgets. Progressive saw a 19% drop in uniques following a 5% spending decrease, MGM Resorts lost 57% of visitors on a 50% cut, and Avis’s Web numbers declined 21% after a 46% budget adjustment.

“You want to be able to do targeting [via digital video], but you also want to fill all your sales channels with as many leads as possible, so you need to get people’s attention where they’re paying their attention,” argues Cunningham. “Outside of working and sleeping, Americans spend 72% of their time with video content, and 75% of that is on TV.”


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