Pay TV and Cable Lost 5.8M Subscribers in 2022
by Frankie Karrer
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As the TV industry becomes increasingly fragmented, it looks like linear advertisers are having trouble reaching the entirety of TV audiences. Samba TV’s new State of Viewership Report for Q1 2022 found that the majority of linear ad impressions are being served to the same half of all TV viewers, with 94% of all ad impressions reaching just 55% of audiences. According to the report, that 55% of linear audiences saw an average of 144 linear ads per day, while the other 45% saw only 11 ads per day. This suggests that while one half of linear campaigns are reaching the same audiences repeatedly, the rest are not being exposed to the same messages. According to Samba TV CEO and co-founder Ashwin Navin, “With $68 billion poured into linear advertising every year, the substantial waste taking place in this sector should be a wake-up call to advertisers.”
The report found that there are a number of other challenges also facing linear TV. Cord-shaving has been on the rise over the last year—while the average percentage of households watching linear each day has remained at around 50%, cord-shaving has accelerated by more than 20% YOY. This rate is even more dramatic among millennials, where one out of four households in this demographic watch less than an hour of linear TV per week. Samba TV also found that these younger households tend to fall into the aforementioned 45% of linear audiences that are being underserved—all of the top 10 advertisers on linear served a disproportionately low number of impressions to audiences under the age of 44. Ultimately, with more and more audiences flocking to streaming, it looks like advertisers are missing out on reaching key audiences when they run their campaigns solely through linear.
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