Turn it on: TV viewing remains popular across channels

Turn it on: TV viewing remains popular across channels

While more and more marketers are experimenting with the use of video ads on desktop and mobile, recent research by Nielsen shows traditional TV remains the top source for video consumption in the U.S.

The average U.S. resident 18 or older spent 4 hours and 9 minutes watching live TV each day of Q2 2016, Nielsen reports. In comparison, he spent 1:52 listening to AM/FM radio, 57 minutes on the Internet via PC and 1:43 using an app or the Internet via smartphone — but even some of those venues were used to view nonlinear TV through direct streaming or other methods.

“While so much debate has centered on a supposed tug-of-war between TV and digital video, the reality is that digital video is growing not at the expense of TV, but because video content is more popular than ever,” notes Paul Verna of eMarketer. “We might spend less time watching on the main screen, but we’re no less interested in TV programming. In fact, we seek out more of it every year.”

That’s great news for marketers that take full advantage of TV’s appeal through direct response commercials. Ads that motivate consumers to take action immediately by calling a memorable toll-free or vanity number can be extremely effective, and marketers appreciate that they can be easily quantified in terms of ROI. The form is especially conducive to celebrity endorsements and to products that require extra explanation, according to Kathy J. Kobliski on

“The long form of direct response TV ads gives marketers the benefit of time to demonstrate and explain their product or service,” she explains. “And combining long- and short-form direct TV ads can provide you with a favorable mix of placements — the shorter ads reinforce the content of the longer infomercials and serve to increase a consumer’s recall.”

A pay-per-call campaign can take your TV strategy a step further by routing incoming calls to chosen staffers or calling centers, then employing software that automatically records caller demographics. At the same time, cutting-edge tools can compile cost per call, cost per lead, ROI, calling and selling patterns and closing rates, then combine that data with algorithms that provide even more intelligence for your targeting of TV audiences.

Thinking of adding TV to your direct marketing campaign? Consider the following recent trends:

  • Though traditional TV viewing remained flat or dropped between Q4 2013 and Q4 2015, weekly streaming hours more than tripled in that time period. In general, however, analysts believe digital video is complementing rather than replacing traditional TV.
  • Groups that view more television watch a greater range of TV channels. Out of the 205.9 average channels adults are receiving, they view 19.8, or 9.6 percent, monthly.
  • In general, Americans have been watching more TV as they age. In Q2 of this year, for example, the demographic watching the most TV was adults 65 and older (averaging 48 hours and 38 minutes weekly). The second biggest group was adults 50 to 64 (40:18), followed by Gen Xers 35 to 49 (29:00), older millennials (20:56) and teens 12 to 17 (14:18).
  • African-American households continued to consume the most monthly TV in Q2 (197:51), while Asian viewers consumed the least (73:54). The average Hispanic adult watched less TV than the composite of all American adults.

RingSquared can help you craft a memorable pay-per-call campaign optimizing the biggest advantages of TV advertising. Call us at 1-800-700-1987.