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The Numbers Behind Program Promotion

05 December 2013 | Blog

Is the fine art of the program promotion dying? It seems there are more ways than ever for viewers to discover new TV shows to watch. Word of mouth has always been important, but with the proliferation of social media, there are more ways than ever for that word of mouth to spread. With all the breathless criticism, recaps, live tweeting, Tumblr gifs, and more, you might think that the only way to convince viewers to try a new show is through online advertising.

A new study by Ovum and Avid shows a much more traditional outcome, however. When they asked how audiences are discovering new TV shows to watch, they found that “Trailers for new shows on the TV” is the most influential method of reaching audiences by far, with 39% of viewers reporting that this is how they find new shows. But when it comes to watching new shows, the biggest group of viewers (30.2%) say “they just watch what’s on the TV channel”, rather than making sure to record shows or track them down online. The best way to get new viewers is to reach them on the platform they’re already watching, and make it easy for them to watch the show they were interested in. Of course, TV isn’t going to turn into a completely on-demand platform, but these findings show the importance of harnessing audiences’ momentum. If viewers are going to sit down and watch whatever TV is on, the job of the program promoter is to make sure that the audience is watching the promoter’s show specifically.

This is part of why the Smart TV Program Remind App can be so helpful. The app works in conjunction with program promotion campaigns and makes it easy for viewers to set a reminder for the promoted program. Given the abundant choice viewers have at any point in time, a gentle reminder for a show they expressed interest in viewing makes them 2 to 10 times more likely to watch the program. The app amplifies the effect of what this study shows to be the most effective form of program promotion: the TV ad.

The other reason why the app is handy can also be found in this study. When investigating what keeps people watching the ads in TV, one of the leading factors was “the quality of both the editorial content and the ad content”. TV ads are the best method of reaching potential viewers, but the ads themselves have to be carefully pitched and placed to optimize effectiveness. The Smart TV Program Remind App helps with this, as well, by gathering data matching ad impressions directly to program viewing. Program promoters can see which creative, networks, and/or dayparts are driving program viewing, as well as the impact of frequency and recency on viewing behavior. The app not only encourages higher viewing rates now, it makes it possible to increase those rates even more in the future.

We’re living in a Golden Age of TV programming, with more great shows available than ever before. If program promoters want to get the audiences their programs deserve, then they are going to need every tool they can get to keep the quality of their tune-in campaigns high and catch the attention of viewers.