A month after Nielsen reversed course and put live program ratings back into its local market reports, the research firm released a report Thursday (Aug. 5) that supports using live-plus-same-day as the currency for buying and selling TV time.
The analysis of LSD data shows that as DVR usage continues to grow, the stream is a better indicator of TV viewing and the closest stream to national C3 commercial ratings.
Since 2007, DVR penetration and playback has grown. Since 2007, DVR penetration in Nielsen's national panel grew from 17.2 percent of households to 36.5 percent. In local people meter markets, DVR penetration grew from 21.4 percent to 40.9 percent but varies widely by market. Cleveland had the highest penetration at 47.1 percent, with Minneapolis the lowest at 26.5 percent.
Playback has increased in all day parts, but the playback trends have remained consistent with 61 percent of playback occurring within the dame day a program is recorded and 42 percent occurring within the same hour.
The effect of playback on the LSD ratings is small. In prime time, only 3 percent of stations and cable networks see a ratings increase in Adults 25-54 of 0.3 points.
However, the audience composition changes between live and playback audiences. The LSD audience tends to be younger and higher-income.
"Planning using a live only audience can understate the value of television delivery, underestimate the demo skew, or cause the wrong programs to be chosen," the Nielsen study concluded.
Not all commercial viewing is lost in LSD. Some 40 to 50 percent of playback audiences watch commercials. That varies by program genre with more commercials watched in the playback of reality shows (58 percent) and comedy (57 percent), than drama (47 percent). News playback commercial viewing was the highest at 66 percent, followed by sports at 65 percent.