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PBS Pledge Analysis March 2010 Bill Merkel Director, PBS Research January 10 th, 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "PBS Pledge Analysis March 2010 Bill Merkel Director, PBS Research January 10 th, 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 PBS Pledge Analysis March 2010 Bill Merkel Director, PBS Research January 10 th, 2011

2 2 Background PBS began receiving daily national Nielsen data in October 2009, enabling the type of in-depth analysis you see here. We selected March 2010 as the study interval because it was the first stable, non-holiday pledge period. Pledge officially began Sunday, March 7 th Common carriage kicked in again on Sunday, March 28 th. Where appropriate, this analysis sweeps up another week, continuing thru Saturday, April 4 th, to account for longer pledging by individual stations.

3 3 March 2010 Pledge Ratings by Week HH and Demo ratings were steady in the first two weeks of pledge, with the third week rising slightly. The third week saw PBS carriage beginning to trend upward and may account for the increase in latter weeks. Source: Nielsen NPower Time Period Ratings Report, Mar 2010

4 4 Median Age Steady Week-to-Week PBS’ primetime median age in was 62, and this pledge period found only a slight difference, rising to 63 during the 3-week time frame. Source: Nielsen NPower Time Period Ratings Report, Mar 2010

5 5 Pledge Smoothes Out Reach Variations --- Pledge --- The average daily reach values for pledge periods are not substantially different from non-pledge, but the weekly, Roadshow-driven spikes are gone. In a typical monthly PBS Primetime viewing period, the number of days between reach maximums is seven, cresting on Monday nights. Pledge scheduling naturally removes this cyclic behavior. Source: Nielsen NPower Reach & Frequency Report, 6-min qualifier, Mar 2010

6 6 Pledge Primetime Reach Builds Steadily March’s pledge reach buildup was surprisingly linear, with a nearly consistent percentage of new viewers being added each night and arguing against diminishing returns as the drive goes on. Source: Nielsen NPower Reach & Frequency Report, 6-min qualifier, Mar 2010

7 7 Pledge Still Adding Viewer After Week 1 Though the greatest number of unique viewers occurs during the first week, new viewers continue to pile into the PBS cume in subsequent weeks at relatively stable levels. Source: Nielsen NPower Reach & Frequency Report, 6-min qualifier, Mar 2010

8 8 Pledge Total Day Buildup Total Day reach builds much like primetime, with the demo groups closely tracking with each other and overall households. Source: Nielsen NPower Reach & Frequency Report, 6-min qualifier, Mar 2010

9 9 Pledge Total Day Daily Adds As seen for primetime, total day reach stabilizes after the first week. Note the large spikes in 65+ audience additions on the weekend days compared to the rest of the week. Source: Nielsen NPower Reach & Frequency Duplication Report, 6-min qualifier, Mar 2010

10 10 Weekend Days Reach More Weekend pledge days proved to reach more households and persons over 40 than weekdays during the March 2010 pledge period. Weekend’s advantage over weekdays improves with age, with persons 65+ reaching 37% more audience than during the week. Source: Nielsen NPower Reach & Frequency Report,Total Day 6a-6a, 6-min qualifier, Mar 2010

11 11 Pledge Days to Reach 80% of Total Overall, it takes 7 days to reach 50% of households that will eventually watch primetime pledge programming, and 14 days to reach 80% of them. Generally, the younger the audience, the longer it takes to reach 80%, peaking at 15 days for viewers Days to 50% Reach Days to 80% Reach Source: Nielsen NPower Reach & Frequency Duplication Report, 6-min qualifier, Mar 2010

12 12 Households Transition Well to Pledge Half the household audience that tuned into PBS primetime the week prior to pledge also watched during the first week, and nearly two-thirds of those in the prior 3 weeks also watched during the 3-week pledge period During a comparable 3-week to 3-week period in late January and early February, the household duplication was 70%. Reach: 35.6MM Reach: 34.5MM Household Audience Duplication 64% Pre-Pledge 3 WeeksPledge 3 Weeks -3% Source: Nielsen NPower Reach & Frequency Duplication Report, 6-min qualifier, Feb/Mar 2010

13 13 Duplication – HH Audience Sticking Around Pledge doesn’t appear to drive the PBS audience away, as overall household reach increased each week, and more than half watched from one week to the next. The week-to-week duplication is remarkably similar to non-pledge weeks. Reach: 18.6MMReach: 19.4MM Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4Week 2 Reach: 19.4MMReach: 20.2MM Week 3 Reach: 20.2MMReach: 20.9MM Household Audience Duplication 56%54%58% Source: Nielsen NPower Reach & Frequency Duplication Report, 6-min qualifier, Mar 2010

14 14 Older Viewers Stay Put During Pledge The week-to-week audience duplication for persons 65 and over was even stronger than for households, with two-thirds staying from week 1 to week 2 and nearly 60% viewing in both weeks 2 and 3. Reach: 9.2MMReach: 10.1MM Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4Week 2 Reach: 10.1MM Week 3 Reach: 10.1MMReach: 10.4MM 65%59%64% Persons 65+ Audience Duplication Source: Nielsen NPower Reach & Frequency Duplication Report, 6-min qualifier, Mar 2010

15 15 Loyal Viewer Behavior During Pledge The top 20% of PBS household viewers spent 12% of their total primetime TV minutes with PBS in February, and this only dropped to 11% during the March pledge weeks, and rebounded quickly. A more noticeable drop was to viewing of the broadcast nets, though NBC’s Olympics coverage likely accounted for the high broadcast share in February. After the drive, share of viewing went back to expected levels. Pre-Pledge 3 Weeks Share of Viewing Pledge 3 Weeks Share of Viewing Source: Nielsen NPower Ntile Segmentation/Time Period Ratings Report, Feb/Mar 2010; ASCO = Ad supported cable originators

16 Loyal Viewer Behavior

17 17 What’s a Loyal Viewer? Nielsen’s NPower tool allows us to divide audiences into groups based on the amount viewing they do to a particular network or program. Experience shows that the top viewers of a network consume a disproportionately large amount of its total viewing minutes – the same has been found to be true for PBS. In this analysis, we’ve divided the audience into quintiles and followed the top 20% of PBS viewers 1 and shown how their behavior differs from the overall audience. 1 Audience segmented by total viewing minutes, i.e. viewers were individually ranked by minutes and divided equally into 5 segments, each containing 20% of all viewers..

18 18 Loyal Viewer Minutes The average primetime minutes watched during March 2010 pledge by PBS’ most loyal viewers outshone the next 20% by huge margins. P 65+ loyals watched more than five times the amount of PBS compared the next quintile Source: Nielsen NPower Ntile/ Reach & Frequency Report, Mar 2010

19 19 Loyal Viewer Median PBS’ primetime median age in was 62, and this pledge period found only a slight difference, rising to 63 during the 3-week time frame. Source: Nielsen NPower Time Period Ntile/ Ratings Report, Mar 2010

20 20 Loyal Viewers vs. Overall Build During the March 2010 pledge period it took just 8 days to reach 80% of the most loyal HHs, compared to 14 days for all viewers. Loyals continued to trickled in during the last two weeks, but at lower rates than for all HHs. Source: Nielsen NPower Reach & Frequency Report, 6-min qualifier, Mar % reached on 3/14 80% reached on 3/20

21 21 Loyals See Pledge Programming First March pledge programming reached loyal HHs very early in the drive, indeed 60% of them tuned in to PBS during pledge’s first four days, compared to 36% for households overall. Source: Nielsen NPower Reach & Frequency Report, 6-min qualifier, Mar %

22 22 Loyal Viewer Minutes Fall During Pledge For the most loyal of PBS primetime viewers, pledge did coincide with a reduction in the total time spent with PBS during the 3-week period compared to the previous 3 weeks. The oldest cohort was the least affected, falling just 5%, while minutes viewed by P40-64 were off 20% overall and household minutes were down 10%. Source: Nielsen NPower Ntile Segmentation/Reach & Frequency TP Report, 6-min qualifier, Feb/Mar 2010

23 23 Summary Points From the national Nielsen data, it appears that the PBS pledge audience is largely the same as that during non-pledge periods. Pledge reach is not significantly down on an average daily basis, and new viewers continue to add to the cumulative audience at a fairly stable rate after the first few days. Pledging on the weekend is valuable, as reach is higher for households and critical demo groups compared to weekdays. Pledge doesn’t seem to wear out the audience, as audience duplication from one pledge week to the next remains very high. During pledge, PBS is still very much in the consideration set of our most loyal viewers. The loyal viewers who stick with PBS during pledge watch slightly fewer minutes, but the key 65+ group saw minutes fall just 5%.

24 24 Hungry for more? PBS Research is here to help! Contact… Bill Merkel Director of Research 2100 Crystal Drive Arlington, VA (703)


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