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80% millennials watch a show through online promo

Eighty per cent of Millennials are likely to watch a TV show if they have watched a promo shared with them online.

That’s according to new research from video ad tech company Unruly, which found that 80 per cent of digital natives will tune into a show if someone in their social network had shared a trailer, a clip or an original promo for that show. This is compared to 66 per cent of average TV viewers.

However, the report also found that Millennials are 10 per cent less likely to share TV promo content than the average TV viewer, suggesting that TV marketers are failing to create content that resonates with Millennials. Further, US Millennials spend less time watching TV than any other demographic according to Nielsen showing that networks are struggling to connect with a Millennial audience.

Scott Button, Unruly CEO, said: “TV marketers are missing out on a huge opportunity to grow their audiences. We may be in a Golden Age of television content, but the way TV networks are currently promoting their shows to new viewers is missing the mark on digital and social media. Audience fragmentation, ad avoidance and social discovery are all powerful forces for disruption and we’re seeing a big increase in the number of TV networks reaching out to us to help them solve the strategic challenges that digital transformation poses to their business models and their bottom line.”

Other findings from the report, which analysed 14,221 TV promos, including show clips (standalone scenes from an episode that has already been aired), original promos (newly filmed original content) and trailers (a compilation of teaser clips, usually with voiceover and additional editing) from the Big 5 networks in the US include:

●      Rate of TV promo sharing more closely correlates to Nielsen Ratings than number of promo views: The more shares a TV network generates for its promos, the more likely that will translate into ratings. The front runner, NBC, generated 39 per cent share of shares and a 33 per cent of overall Nielsen ratings;
●      NBC is winning on social reach and engagement: NBC is leading the way on social video, with 48 per cent share of online promo views and 39 per cent of promo shares. ABC follows in both categories with 27 per cent of promo views and 34 per cent of promo shares;
●      Millennials are 39 per cent more likely to watch online video content on their smartphones than the average TV viewer and 14 per cent more likely to watch TV on their laptops, while less than half (42 per cent) still watch online video in the living room through connected TVs;
●      Original promos are most viral type of TV promo for US audiences: While low-cost TV clips are the most prevalent form of TV promotional content and represent the majority of TV content launched online, original promos are actually the most shareable form of promotional content, with an average share rate of  3.9 per cent, compared to the average 2.1 per cent of branded content;
●      TV Networks are missing out on brand recall: All of the promos tested in the Unruly TV Promo and Millennial study – for the top rated network shows – fell well below the US market norm for brand recall from online videos (at only 75 per cent).

Button added: “We’re seeing a promo paradox – TV networks are known for telling great stories in their programming, but they’re not creating engaging promos to support this great content. Millennials are highly peer-influenced, with 80 per cent citing that they’d check out a show after receiving a shared online TV promo. Yet the promos aren’t strong enough for Millennials to want to share.

“Even worse, TV promos aren’t creating a memorable experience with viewers. Of the videos we tested in our study, show recall fell well below the US market norm for brand recall in traditional ads, making it difficult for even a motivated Millennial to remember which show they wanted to see. TV marketers need to start making promos that resonate with Millennials and more heavily call out their shows if they want to change viewer habits and drive new viewers to tune-in.

“But it’s not just about having strong content, that’s only half the battle. You have to get your content seen quickly. With nearly half of a total video’s shares occurring in the first three days after launch, marketers have a very short window within which to drive TV tune-in. As marketers prepare for the 2015 Digital Newfronts, these principles can be applied to create engaging promos to drive traffic to both short form and long form content.”

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