Skip to main content

It is mid-2015 and TV is shaking up like never before. Content is being unlocked. Tablets, phablets and mobile devices proliferate and saturate the market. Consumer demands of what they want to watch, where they want to watch, when they want to watch, and how they want to watch is being fulfilled like never before. The winds of change are blowing hard.

Alphonso looked at the massive data set we have accumulated over the past year to identify key insights and trends as the industry slogs through one of the toughest climates for TV upfonts ever.

From the data, we see that Linear TV audience is down 15 percent year over year, which is possibly the biggest single year decline in audience numbers in the history of broadcast and cable TV. These numbers do not forebode well for an already dragged out upfronts cycle. Agency, brand and broadcast executives should keep this in mind when preparing for Fall 2015 upfronts.

So is there any hope for the TV market? The short answer is yes.

As paradoxical as it might sound, live Linear TV is more engaging than it has ever been. There is a massive audience consuming live TV events in larger numbers, from the NCAA Basketball Championships to the Oscars to Mayweather v. Pacquiao.

And it get’s better. The audience is almost always engaged simultaneously on another screen, whether on their phone, tablet or laptop.

Alphonso Engagement Index ranks programing where Alphonso sees simultaneous activity on mobile devices as TV content is being watched. In Q1 2015, while watching collage basketball, NCAA sports, the Super Bowl, NFL games, and golf tournaments consumers also showed high engagement and activity on mobile.

Beyond broadcast TV, a new world order has emerged and is dominated by premium OTT services. Players in the space are growing at break neck speed.

Netflix is the king of this new world order, with Alphonso data showing that it is already the #3 broadcaster in US. The momentum and growth rate of Netflix implies that next year Netflix will be the largest broadcaster – bar none!

While Reed Hastings has denied and refuted that Netflix is testing advertising or will engage in that business model, the scale of these audience numbers behooves the question, “why not?” Numbers suggest Netflix will make more money and gain the last 40 percent of the market share by offering a free ad supported product in the next couple of years.

Turning our attention back to Linear TV and mobile engagement around TV. Flurry, a Yahoo! company, had provided insights that concurrent mobile and TV usage is high during prime time.

Alphonso data shows that we can slice time more narrowly and see another pattern – consumers are engaging with mobile devices in much larger numbers during broadcast TV advertisement breaks.

Interested in seeing more data and insights? Sign up to get our monthly newsletter here:

Methodology: Alphonso upfront insights are generated from over 20 billion data points on TV viewership and mobile app usage. We analyzed over 6k unique TV shows and close to 10k TV commercials from our data set.