Yesterday Bloomberg broke a story that YouTube is sold out of political ads in the article, “YouTube Is So Flooded With Political Ads It Can’t Place Them All.”
TV is bursting with political ads. At this time in the political cycle, nearly one out of two TV ads is political in some markets. Here is Nielsen’s analysis of political ads as a proportion of local broadcast TV inventory from this period during the 2016 cycle:
Nielsen: When TV is sold out, moving money to digital/social does not grow voter reach
If TV and YouTube are sold out, moving budgets over to digital is an option. The challenge, according to Nielsen’s media optimization platform NMI, is that increasing digital allocations does not grow voter reach.
In this analysis, Nielsen found that shifting the same budget from an 80%/20% TV/digital mix to a 70%/30% TV/digital allocation does not increase voter reach.
Voter reach is stuck at 79% despite increasing digital allocation from 20% to 30%. One out of five registered voters is not reached.
Adding AM/FM radio to a TV/social/digital buy generates a +15% increase in voter reach for the same budget
Keeping the overall budget flat and shifting 20% of spend to AM/FM radio generates meaningful growth in voter reach (79% to 91%), a +15% increase.
AM/FM radio’s superpower is tripling reach among voters who are light TV viewers
Adding AM/FM radio to the political media plan, or any media plan for that matter, causes a significant increase in reach among light TV viewers. This analysis by Nielsen Media Impact reveals light TV viewer voter reach grew 3X from 17% to 53%, proving the adage, “You cannot solve your light TV viewing problem by buying more TV.”
38% of voters are light TV viewers and virtually all of them are reached by AM/FM radio
Nielsen Scarborough reports nearly two in five registered voters are light TV viewers. The light TV viewer segment only generates 6% of total TV time spent. AM/FM radio is the solution, reaching 90% of registered voters who are light TV viewers.
Connected TV cannot solve for the light TV viewer challenge
There is a belief that connected TV can fix TV’s light viewer issues. It helps, but just a bit. Even with connected TV in the plan, the addition of AM/FM radio still causes voter reach to explode.
In this voter reach analysis, Nielsen examined a buy with a foundation of linear TV at 68% of the budget, 13% of spend allocated to connected TV, and 20% placed in digital. This media plan generated a 57% voter reach.
When 10% of the buy is shifted to AM/FM radio with no increase in budget, voter reach soars from 57% to 80%, a +41% increase with the same budget.
As TV and online video inventory disappear, AM/FM radio can generate massive increases in voter reach.
- Nielsen: When TV is sold out, moving money to digital/social does not grow voter reach
- Adding AM/FM radio to a TV/social/digital buy generates a +15% increase in voter reach for the same budget
- AM/FM radio’s superpower is tripling reach among voters who are light TV viewers
- 38% of voters are light TV viewers and virtually all of them are reached by AM/FM radio
- Connected TV cannot solve for the light TV viewer challenge
Pierre Bouvard is Chief Insights Officer at CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One.
Contact the Insights team at CorpMarketing@westwoodone.com.