A new study from Nielsen Analytics, a unit of the market research firm Nielsen Co. (the same folks who proffer TV ratings) finds that when U.S. television networks offer their programming over the Internet via broadband video technology, those shows tend to draw an audience that’s younger, better educated, and more affluent—and, hence, more attractive to advertisers.
U.S. broadcast networks have been experimenting with offering popular programs for download and/or streaming via the Internet, trying out various distribution models including free ad-supported streaming and download-to-own services…but the networks have been looking at Internet efforts with a wary eye, worried that consumers who tune into Internet programming would mean fewer people watching the shows via traditional television when they’re broadcast.
Nielsen says its study finds those concerns are unwarranted—and, moreover, offering broadband video options for broadcast shows provides a strong opportunity to broadcasters and their advertisers by expanding the audience for a show. “By researching controlled broadband access, this study concludes that programmers have the opportunity to create new revenue models to benefit content owners and their affiliated stations” said Larry Gerbrandt, Nielsen Analytics’ general manager and senior VP. “Such ad-supported models are uniquely adaptable to the broadband environment and are potentially superior to existing models because they can take full advantage of the digital environment. With broadband streams, for example, fast forwarding through commercials can be disabled making it more likely the consumers will watch the spots and possibly interact with them.”
We’re sure consumers will be thrilled to know that broadcasters and advertisers might consider one of the main advantaged of Internet technology to be the ability to disable fast-forwarding through ads.
The study found that households with broadband Internet connections are four times more likely than average to have a college education or higher; similarly, those households also skew younger than teh average American household and have a higher income level. Nielsen claims some 28 percent of broadband households have an annual income of $100,000 a year or higher.