New Research from Effectv Reveals TV Campaign Reach is Highest When Delivered Across 40-45 Networks

  • Analysis across 165K campaigns found a 6% increase in campaign reach for every five networks added until this sweet spot is reached.

  • Study quantifiably highlights the importance of a broader network buying approach in today’s fragmented viewing landscape.

Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable, released findings from a new analysis examining the reach of 165K campaigns to determine the relationship between the number of networks in a linear TV campaign and overall reach. The study revealed that in today’s media landscape, where TV viewership is fragmenting more than ever, audience reach is maximized by buying across more networks without increasing budgets. Optimal reach, the study found, was achieved at 40-45 networks across all investment levels.

According to Effectv’s TV Viewership Report for 1H2022, consumers today continue to watch traditional TV for over 6 hours and 17 minutes a day across an average of 29 networks per household. As such, Effectv recommends that, rather than focusing buying specific content on a select number of networks, advertisers take an audience-first, data-driven approach to linear TV advertising to optimize reach and engage audiences throughout the day across the many networks on which they watch.

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“And successful TV buying shouldn’t be left to guesswork. With these new insights, we can better understand the factors that impact reach and further determine the most effective strategies needed to deliver consistent results across screens.”

“We have long known there is a correlation between the number of networks on which advertisers air their messages and how many households they reach,” said Travis Flood, Director of Customer Insights, Effectv. “But expanding network counts in campaigns is more important than ever today as consumers fragment across viewing endpoints. This research demonstrates that adding more networks – even as many as 40-45 – leads to greater linear TV reach without increasing budget levels, making campaigns more efficient and more effective. Of course, even when maximizing linear TV reach with more networks, adding streaming continues to be a critical component in maximizing overall campaign reach.”

To better understand the correlation between reach and network count for linear TV, Effectv data scientists used a clustering algorithm to identify campaign behaviors across 165K linear campaigns. In the analysis, as pictured in the chart below, they found that median campaign reach increased about 6% for every five networks added. This reach growth leveled out at 40-45 networks, and was observed to be consistent across budget levels, making this the sweet spot for linear TV advertising.

“While we know that streaming advertising is a necessary complement to linear TV, TV is still the foundation of successful multi-screen campaigns today,” said Evy Galiatsatos, SVP Group Partner, Integrated Investment, UM. “And successful TV buying shouldn’t be left to guesswork. With these new insights, we can better understand the factors that impact reach and further determine the most effective strategies needed to deliver consistent results across screens.”

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