It's not a question that time shifting has become ubiquitous, but what's been less clear is its impact on C3 and C7—and how many people are really seeing commercials beyond C3, on which most ratings guarantees are based.
For the first time and exclusively to Adweek, Nielsen is offering a look inside commercial ratings and how they perform live, over three days and from days four through seven for different demos and across cable and broadcast.
The data, all from February 2015, shows distinct differences between broadcast and cable, as well as between different demos. But overall, Nielsen found time-shifted viewing of programs adds from one-fifth to one-third over the original live viewing.
"It might be assumed that viewers of time-shifted programming fast-forward through all the commercials, but our data show that this isn't the case," said Glenn Enoch, svp of audience insights and analysis at Nielsen. "The majority of viewing to commercials in both broadcast network and cable network programming is done live, but there is substantial lift in commercial exposure when time-shifting is included. The greatest lift we see is among millennials 18-34 years old."