Welcome to the twenty-fourth edition of State of the Screens.

1. ‘Seinfeld,’ Shrinkage And The Rising Cost Of TV Viewers

Twenty years ago Seinfeld had both the highest ratings and advertising cost on TV.

The highest rated TV program in 2017 is Sunday Night Football.

Comparison by viewers (18–49):
1) Seinfeld (1997): 22m
2) Sunday Night Football (2017): 9m (↓ 58%)

Comparison of ad cost (in 2017 dollars):
1) Seinfeld (1997): $877k
2) Sunday Night Football (2017): $700k (↓ 20%)

If an advertiser purchased space on the most popular program on TV in 2017, then they would be paying 92% more to reach a single household than they did in 1997 (in 2017 $).

Increase in CPM $ between 1997 and 2018 (in 2017 dollars):
1) Primetime: ↑ 152%
Football: ↑ 53%

The cost to reach a single household with an ad on primetime has grown at 3X the rate versus football since 1997.

The top 10 programs by ad cost:

Check out my tweetstorm for more on this.

More on this topic:
1) REPORT: Historical Unit Cost Analysis for Will & Grace Reboot

2) Let’s Make A Deal: CBS Offers Some of TV’s Best Bargains

3) TV promo ads: The run up to the fall line-up

4) New Broadcast TV Season, Same Ratings Declines

2. Commercial Break? Many Just Reach for Another Device

Smartphone use increases during commercial breaks.

The big question. What impact does this have on recall/effectiveness for TV ads?

Previously on SOTS. Facebook Says Users Turn to the Platform During Commercial Breaks When They’re Watching TV

Usage more than doubled during commercial breaks:
During Show — 7–11%
During Commercials — 13–25%

More on this topic. eMarketer Updates US Time Spent with Media Figures

3. Amazon, Netflix and Hulu’s Most Popular Shows Revealed

An interesting look at the estimated viewership for the leading streaming services.

Previously on SOTS. Cord-Cutting Explodes: 22 Million U.S. Adults Will Have Canceled Cable, Satellite TV by End of 2017

Growth in total cord-cutters:
1) 2016: 16.7m
2) 2017: 22.2m (↑33% YoY)

Growth in total cord-nevers:
1) 2016: 32.5m
2) 2017: 34.4m (↑6% YoY)

More on this topic. Netflix spends more than any other streaming service on content

More on this topic. Some of TV’s Greatest Hits Move From Netflix to Well-Funded Hulu

4. Roku’s new TV sets blend streaming TV with real TV, for free

Roku is integrating broadcast TV into it’s “smart guide” so that content is listed next to streaming services like Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu.

I love this. Many cord-cutters are younger and have grown up using apps with beautiful user interfaces such as Netflix. This removes a friction point and nicely integrates content from multiple sources (streaming, antenna, etc.).

The guide is the battleground of the future. This is why Comcast is integrating digital apps (YouTube, Netflix, etc.) into their X1 platform.

Sleeper idea. A service like Roku could bring addressable advertising to broadcast TV. They already have a login environment and with a few changes could dynamical insert targeted ads over the main broadcast feed.

Previously on SOTS:
1) Broadcast-only TV households up 41% since 2012, study says

2) Millennials Unearth an Amazing Hack to Get Free TV: the Antenna

3) About 6 in 10 young adults in U.S. primarily use online streaming to watch TV

5. TV Industry Leaders Developing Purchase Measurement Plan for Advertisers

Viewership may be shifting to new platforms, but does a dollar of ad spend drive the same amount of incremental sales as TV? This is the question that TV executives are trying to answer with the launch of their new initiative code-named “Thor”.

The idea. Combine purchase history (shopper card data, etc.) with TV ad exposure data to identify the return on ad spend (ROAS).

This is very common when digital advertising is combined with e-commerce (conversion tracking, etc.), but much more difficult when dealing with offline commerce.

More on this topic. ROI-Based Planning: The Antidote To Zero-Based Budgeting

6. Viewership through Week 4 shows just about everyone is mad at the NFL

Viewership numbers for the first 4 weeks (2016 vs. 2017):
2016: 17.0m
2) 2017: 15.8m (↓ 7%)

Viewership change by age group:
1) 18–34: ↓ 12%
2) 35–54: ↓ 6%
3) 55+:↓ 4%

The big question. Is the NFL’s viewership problem more older/conservative or younger/liberal?

7. AMC Will Place a 6-Second Ad at the Start of Each Walking Dead Episode

6-second ads are coming to the Walking Dead.

The ad will appear in an isolated slot precisely at 9 p.m. as DVRs will start recording.

This will be one of the most expensive ad spots available during the show falling somewhere between the cost of a 15sand 30s.

Smart. AMC is combining the shorter ad spot with a part of the show with high attention.

Previously on SOTS: Fox Will Bring 6-Second Ads To TV During Teen Choice Awards

The 6-second ads will appear during the Teen Choice Awards as a part of a shorter 29-second ad pod.

The new 29-second ad pod will include:
1) 5-second intro asking the viewer not to change the channel
2) 6-second ad #1
3) 6-second ad #2
4) 6-second ad #3
5) 6-second ad #4

More on this topic. TV Continues Move To Shorter Commercials

8. Follow-ups from previous editions

1) Top 10 Movement In New Nielsen DMA Ranks

2) OTT Won’t Replace Traditional TV — The Two Will Get Married And Have Babies

3) YouTube Grows Up: Inside the Plan to Take on Netflix and Hulu

4) The shock and outrage over Facebook and Google ‘embedding’ people in the Trump campaign is dumb

5) Amazon is considering a more serious bid against YouTube, ad industry sources say

6) Scorecard: Digital media’s pursuit of TV

7) Disney’s Big Bet on Streaming Relies on Little-Known Tech Company

8) Future Ad Battles: TV Vs. Digital

9) DisneyNOW Debuts as Unified TV Everywhere App

10) When Cubs win, Fox Sports wins, but World Series repeat will be difficult for both