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What an Uptick in Co-viewing Means for Advertisers

People naturally turn to TV for connections with others. From gathering around a shared TV set in the 1950s to posting about their favorite show on social media today, it has always played a significant role in our social experiences. 

During a time when our interactions with others are limited, the desire for communal television is as prevalent as ever. We seek out mutual experiences and shared points of reference as audiences of all ages strive to remain connected during calls to stay at home and follow social distancing protocols. 

One way audiences are finding this connection is through TV co-viewing. Nielsen data shows that co-viewing makes up 34% of streaming behavior and 48% of linear TV viewing. Since the start of the pandemic, these co-viewing numbers have increased even more, especially connected TV viewership. In fact, CTV use in living rooms hasgrown noticeably, which Nielsen attributes to a heightened desire to spend time with others while watching TV. 

Co-viewing across all TV-viewing platforms peaked during the week of March 23, but even as states begin reopening, the co-viewing trend is pressing forward. Research from Ipsos found that when people were considering streaming service subscriptions, “we” statements increasedthirteen percent from last year, whereas “me” statements increased just three percent. As the “we” mentality becomes widespread, people are transitioning to think of TV viewing as a communal experience. For example, as parents spend more time at home with their children and have limited entertainment options, they seek out content that they can watch with their kids, such as The Not Too Late Show with Elmo on HBO. 

Viewers are gravitating to streaming watch parties

TV-viewing as a means of social connection has not only grown within a household in the form of co-viewing, but across households as well through streaming services’ watch parties. 

Watch parties allow users to view content with others while physically apart, either through the platform itself or a plug-in extension. For example, Twitch, a platform owned by Amazon, gives users watch-party access to Prime Video content. HBO and Hulu launched group streaming options as well. Interestingly, sixty-one percent of Hulu users watch content with others in their household, indicating the prevalence of both co-viewing and group watch parties on connected TV platforms.  

Co-viewing increases audiences’ advertising engagement

As these TV-viewing habits grow in popularity, it introduces the question, what does this mean for advertisers? 

According to research from the Video Advertising Bureau, co-viewing increases an audience’s engagement with an ad by 33 percent compared to solo viewing. Advertisements also generate a higher emotional response in co-viewers (71 percent) than single viewers (37 percent), and 63 percent of audiences say that they discuss the programming and advertisements they see on TV when watching with others. Co-viewing audiences are also less likely to change the channel.  

These benefits of advertising in co-viewing environments show that television’s social connectivity is quite advantageous for advertisers. When people watch together, they engage with advertisements more.  

The practice of advertising to co-viewing audiences is not new; advertisers have been aware of their multi-viewer audience for years. However, the introduction of new tools into the market helps advertisers and networks more accurately count co-viewers.  

Counting co-viewership on linear TV is already an established practice, but the method for connected TV is developing and gaining traction. As a Digiday article explains, connected TVs’ first-party data is matched against Nielsen’s data to determine the number of people watching TV in a room. Then, a co-viewing factor is calculated to allow for accurate audience impression counts. 

Harnessing data in this manner is critical for advertisers as the trends of co-viewing and watch parties continue. It brings the consideration of group engagement to the forefront of an ad campaign, and it allows for the inclusion of co-viewership in impressions, which reduces a campaign’s CPM. As the number of counted viewers goes up, an advertiser’s cost per impression goes down, allowing them to reach a larger audience for their advertising budget. 

As viewers turn to TV to connect with each other, advertisers can rely on it to connect with valuable TV audiences and accurately measure the impact as well.   

Why Agility in Marketing Is More Relevant than Ever: A Conversation with Dell and Cadent

Jamie Power, Chief Data Officer, Cadent
Liz Matthews, SVP of Global Brand, Consumer and Small Business Creative & Experiential, Dell Technologies

Liz Matthews, SVP of Global Brand, Consumer and Small Business Creative & Experiential, Dell Technologies, and Jamie Power, Chief Data Officer, Cadent, recently took part in a Brand Innovators Women in Marketing Livecast Series, and their discussion touched upon several important aspects of marketing in an age of pandemic.

Read a synopsis of their conversation below, covering agility in marketing; meeting customers wherever their needs are; and being an effective leader to teams during difficult times. 

The following has been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.

Jamie: You’ve been called the trailblazer. Could you share with us a little about your role at Dell and the journey getting there?

Liz: Absolutely. I started my career with Johnson and Johnson. I’ve always had a love of human behavior, so I haven’t always done marketing. I did sales, I did training and development, I did HR and I’ve probably done every type of marketing. 

One of the reasons that I just fell in love with brands was this idea that I think they’re the soul of companies. There’s so much you can do by being connected to them. And it’s personal and passionate, and it requires energy to move them forward. And you have to listen. Through all the different types of marketing and all the different roles I had in my career, I gravitated to this one because it’s probably the closest connection that I feel to being human.

Jamie: You’ve described brands as living, breathing entities because they’re fundamentally made up of people. With what the world is like today, how does that philosophy guide Dell through these times?

Liz: It’s such an interesting time, right? You’ve probably seen this so much in your every day, more and more the importance of authenticity. And how we show up as a brand is critical. And look, I do say brands are alive, I mean, for people, because we would not be here without the people in our company. And if they’re not bought into your purpose and they’re not bought into what you believe, and they’re not bought into what you’re doing, you have a very inauthentic brand. And more than ever before, ever, ever people can see through that. Generations of people that, in just seconds, can see through that.

Especially during a pandemic, we have focused so much on making sure we’re telling our story internally, just as much as externally. 

We pivoted quickly to idea of “we’re here to help” and focused on being authentic to who we are around being a technology brand and how people can use technology during this time. And in many cases from consumers to business owners from laptops to how people were shifting their business, became a really important story for us.

Jamie: Did that effort help the authenticity of the brand and getting the new messaging out?

Liz: It  did. This brought about just an incredibly, almost human transformation of our company. We talked about digital transformation. We’re going to talk about the digital transformation marketing is going through and how rapid it is. But we believe a product [inaudible 00:06:35] transformation, and a kinder, gentler, more patient, more understanding, listening culture because everyone was going through something. 

If you show up for your team members that way, and you let them know you care, you can’t help but transition that externally. So, the same idea that we were flowing through our team members, which is we’re here to help, absolutely was coming out externally.

Jamie: Can you talk about the transformation or the evolution that you’ve kind of led over the last five years?

Liz: Dell has been around for a long time. It’s actually a 36 year old company… Through a large acquisition and bringing together a number of different technology pieces, we created a completely new company. And when you do that, you have to hold a mirror up to yourself. You have no choice, but to say, “Hey, is this the opportunity to do things different and how do we want to show up as Dell Technologies?”. What do we want to stand for, our purpose? What do team members tell us they want to be? And what are, most importantly, our customers expecting from us?

And so we went through that really robust process to try to transition, and we’re still in that process, Jamie. Transitioning from being known as only selling PCs, to be really being, an essential technology company. 

Jamie: As a marketing leader, how are you helping your team avoid burnout?

Liz: I’ll tell you, never in my career have I sent emails about mental health and mental wellbeing and self care. And that becomes everyday conversations and part of our talk track. Honestly, if I’m not living it and showing it, then my team members won’t see that as an example. And so we’re very conscious about making sure leaders are modeling that behavior.

Jamie: How are you thinking about agility in your marketing?

Liz: The word agility gets used a lot, and it’s true – you have to move super fast. From a media perspective, I think like many women on this call, you have to understand where your consumers were going, how you were going to meet them with the information, and, with Dell Technologies, which is a tech brand, there’s a consumer piece, but there’s a pretty significant business to business component. We still had products we needed to launch, technology we needed to innovate on, to serve our customers during this time. 

Jamie: Can you talk about how your plans changed?

Liz: We pulled down media plans, we re-pivoted, we had agile teams and we’d meet in the morning and meet in the afternoons and think about, what is it that we’re trying to achieve based upon our business segments? Because our segments, while we’re out marketing to people, they do go to many different techniques, have different technology needs. 

We saw, like many, an increase in connected TV. We saw an increase in digital. We saw an increase in the need for more storytelling because people wanted to feel connected and wanted to feel good. At the same time, our big flagship event in Vegas was moved to the fall. So we launched that innovation in pieces, so we could target the audience that we wanted to hit with that message.

Jamie: How do you find the right moments to pivot? At what point do you shift more for consumer B2B focused messaging?

Liz: We’re at that process now and when you think about our tonal shift at the top for everything was really around here to help. And, and now it’s, this slightly tonal shift to we’re in this together, right? And making sure we’re focusing on the products, the services, the things that we have to offer customers during this time and making that really the focus. And in the fall, or even in the next year, it’s really going to be about being ready. How do you be ready for whatever comes next? How are we ready?

Jamie: Here’s a question from the audience: What do you consider your biggest accomplishment?

Liz: I would say when, when my team members get promoted. All the fancy stuff that we’ve done in our careers mean nothing unless I’ve brought people along in that journey and their careers have grown. If someone was promoted within Dell or has gone outside and their career has grown, if they’re growing, then I’ve done my job.

Watch the full interview below.

Read more about Cadent’s mission to restore simplicity to TV and serve as trusted partners to brands, agencies and the broader TV ecosystem.

King Arthur Baking Company’s Pandemic Story and MLB’s Short Season

This week, we’re talking about Twitch’s boost in popularity, the IAB’s State of Data report, baseball’s short season and more.

Baseball’s short season is doing numbers. It’s no surprise that sports enthusiasts are excited to have live games back, and the short MLB season is setting TV ratings records for ESPN. The Yankees played the Nationals, and an audience of 4 million viewers tuned in, according to Nielsen, making it the largest audience for an opening night game on record. (The Hollywood Reporter)

The IAB 2020 data report. Get the download on advertising data trends this year, including the impact of COVID on marketing tactics, including data-driven ones. (IAB)

Twitch’s vloggers draw big audiences. With 5 billion hours streamed in Q2 this year, a 2,662% increase year-over-year, the platform known for gaming channels is growing in popularity. Its “Just Chatting” channels are the most-watched Q2, with 498 million hours streamed, a 175% upswing year-over-year. (Ad Age)

King Arthur Baking Company’s pandemic story. In an interview with AdExchanger, the brand’s marketing VP talks about a rebrand after 230 years; demand for flour this year; and an increase in content production for customers. (AdExchanger)

Read the most recent TV news

Webinar: Cadent’s Jes Santoro Explores Shifts in Viewer Behavior

TV is as relevant as ever. People are consuming a lot content, and families are spending a lot of time together. The television set is still where families naturally gather at the end of the day.

Recently, the Video Ad Bureau’s Jason Wiese hosted a webinar with Cadent SVP, Advanced TV and Video, Jes Santoro, about understanding shifting audience behavior and exploring the question, “Should I still be advertising on TV?”

Shifts in viewer behavior are happening in real-time, and marketers have to have a nimble strategy to keep pace. Here are a few takeaways from the session:

Even before COVID, people were consuming a lot of content. Viewership will increase across demographics this year. Traditional TV will jump by 8.3 million U.S. viewers this year, ending a nine-year dip. (eMarketer)

TV is as relevant as ever. People are consuming a lot content, and families are spending a lot of time together. The television set is still where families naturally gather at the end of the day. People are watching more TV than ever, but they’re tuning in across different platforms and channels.

Now, marketers have to prepare for a post-COVID world. How can marketers bridge linear, OTT, CTV and other advanced TV solutions in the future? Watch the video below.

‘Hamilton’ and Mobile Shopping During the Pandemic

This week, we’re talking about a surge in mobile shopping app downloads, Broadway’s way forward through the pandemic hiatus and a pro-mask wearing ad campaign.

More people are shopping on their phones during the pandemic. Shopping apps for mobile had more than 14 million downloads in the U.S. between March 29 and April 4, a 20% increase from January, according to App Annie. Younger shoppers said mobile browsing was their preferred mode to shop, while respondents 55 and older were less likely to say they preferred mobile shopping. (eMarketer)

Live-capture TV specials could be the next big thing for Broadway. With live productions mostly shuttered for the time being, live-capture television could be what musicals and plays need to survive. The success of Disney’s “Hamilton,” for instance, shows that there is demand for live-capture content on streaming platforms. (The Hollywood Reporter)

Vistaprint’s campaign, “This is not a mask.” The online print brand launched a spot showing kids playing outdoors and adults visiting their local haunts and all wearing face masks. “This is not a mask,” the ad says. “This is a sign of love. This is solidarity.” Along with becoming a mask supplier, the brand has also donated $1 million to the Save Small Business fund it co-founded with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and $500,000 to the NAACP to support Black-owned small businesses. (Adweek)

A Les Misérables reunion. Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman reunited for a Zoom conversation focusing on their experience filming 2012’s “Les Misérables,” which brought him an Oscar nomination for best actor and her a win for supporting actress; Hathaway’s show “Modern Love” and Jackman’s movie “Bad Education”; as well as Jackman’s turn hosting the Oscars in 2009. (Variety)

Read the most recent TV news

Hyundai’s Road Trip Series and a Cable News Rating Record Quarter

This week, we’re talking about the TV and movies available to stream from comedy legend Carl Reiner; presidential TV ad spending and a road trip video series from Hyundai.

Stream Carl Reiner’s work. Reiner, TV and film performer, sitcom creator, comedian and filmmaker, passed away this week. His wide body of work included “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and Steve Martin vehicle “The Jerk.” Catch some of it on streaming services, rounded up in a list from The New York Times

Presidential TV ad spend heats up. The current presidential race has already been a remarkable one in terms of spend, with TV continuing to dominate. And this week, Ad Age reports that the advertising push before November continues to be a pricy one, with President Trump spending $100 million in TV ad buys in swing states Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Arizona, airing Labor Day through Election Day, according to Ad Age’s Campaign Ad Scorecard analysis. (Ad Age)

Hyundai features zero-emission road trips in new series. A survey from the U.S. Travel Association found more than two-thirds of Americans feel safest traveling in their cars, meaning vacations and travel this year will look very different. Hyundai is seizing on the moment to feature its Kona Electric model zipping across beautiful sites including Death Valley and Big Sur. (Adweek)

Cable news hit record ratings in Q2. Fox News, CNN and MSNBC set ratings records in light of recent events, including protests and coronavirus coverage, seeing double-digit gains over the same period last year in total viewers and adults ages 25-54. (The Hollywood Reporter)

Read the most recent TV news