Audience Insights: Marking the Midway Point of the TV and Streaming Year

07.11.2023 David Gustafson3 min

Whether you track the passage of time with a traditional calendar or the modified Monday-Sunday version used in the advertising world, you likely noticed that 2023 has crossed the proverbial 50-yard line.  And if you’re anything like our Audience Insights staff, you no doubt marked the occasion with a rousing rendition of what is arguably Bon Jovi’s most enduring contribution to pop culture: “Whoa, we’re halfway there!”

From there, our team of musically challenged researchers marveled at the number of memes on the interweb offering alternate versions of that iconic song’s next line – from “lizard in a chair” to “wizard at a fair” to “lemon on a pear.”

While we were unable to settle on a favorite substitute for “livin’ on a prayer,” we did manage to reach consensus on some key Local Media takeaways at the midway point of the year.  Here now are four of our favorites, courtesy of a recent “Mid-Year Update” provided by Nielsen: 

Traditional TV continues to deliver expansive reach.

As covered previously in our Audience Insights series, Nielsen’s analysis credits live and time-shifted (DVR) television viewing with reaching nine out of 10 U.S. adults on a monthly basis.  From a household perspective, Nielsen found that Cable and Broadcast TV programming was welcomed into nearly 102 million American living rooms during the month of April.   

TV viewing time is highest among Cable and Satellite homes.

Nielsen national analysis for May 2023 shows a second straight year of increased TV viewing within homes subscribing to Cable or Satellite service (i.e., Cable Plus homes).  According to the Nielsen numbers, U.S. adults in Cable Plus homes average close to five hours (4:39) of daily TV viewing.  Comparatively, adults in over-the-air (OTA) Broadcast homes average two fewer hours of TV viewing each day (2:40).  Meanwhile, adults in broadband-only homes (i.e., homes with internet connectivity but no Cable, no Satellite, nor an over-the-air antenna), average less than an hour per day of traditional TV viewing (0:50).

Cable Plus and broadband-only homes similar in income but different in other ways.

According to Nielsen May 2023 demographic analysis, Cable Plus and broadband-only (BBO) homes across the country have an estimated median income of $69,000 per year – nearly 50% higher than the median income level for OTA Broadcast homes.  Cable Plus and BBO homes diverge on other metrics, though, as BBO homes skew younger and are more likely to be larger households with children at home.

Evolving media landscape drives spike in Streaming activity.

Bolstered by BBO growth and the stacking of subscriptions in Cable Plus homes, U.S. viewers streamed more than 229 billion minutes of content in May 2023 – an increase of 30% over the previous year, according to Nielsen analysis.  That growth is helping drive an increase in content production, with Nielsen now reporting just shy of a million unique programs available across Linear TV and Streaming services.

For local advertisers, the sustained strength of Linear TV combined with the burgeoning benefits of Streaming provide a powerful partnership for reaching nearly any type of home in the market.  When you are ready to craft a customized multiscreen campaign to maximize your marketing efforts, Cox Media is here to help.  Until then, as you mark the momentous occasion of passing the midway point and moving triumphantly into the second half of the year, may you find inspiration in the words of Theodore Roosevelt: “Believe you can do it and you are halfway there.”  (Whoa oh, lemon on a pear!)

Questions?  Use the form to the right to connect with a Marketing Expert or contact your local Cox Media team today!

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About the Author

David Gustafson

As Cox Media’s Director of Audience Research, David drives positive outcomes for marketers by applying a unique blend of data-informed analysis, industry expertise, and storytelling skills that have earned him a tenured role as the company’s “Professor.” Specializing in audience measurement and market intelligence, David is a member of the Ampersand Cross-MVPD Research Committee, Nielsen Local Policy Guidelines Committee (PGC) and VAB Measurement Innovation Task Force, as well as client advisor to Comscore.

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