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TV viewership data refers to information about viewership patterns and TV ratings on an individual or household level. It's mostly used by marketers e.g. in audience segmentation and re-targeting. Datarade helps you find the right TV consumption data providers and datasets. Learn more →
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1 country covered
2 years of history data
Streaming & Linear TV shows, apps, devices and panelist engagement metrics collected from a representative US panel
200 Million Individual Digital IDs
100% Quality of Consumer Data - Truth{set} Truthscore™ Index
13 countries covered
Increase the accuracy and impact of your CTV campaigns with Throtle Connected TV.
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BDEX
Based in USA
The BDEX Data Exchange Platform combines real-time consumer behaviors in a true marketplace environment with the most powerful identity graph in the US. BDEX...
1.3B
Mobile Devices
1.5B
Hashed Emails
900M
ID Linkages
TiVo
Based in USA
TiVo is a data provider offering Targeting Data, TV Viewership Data, and OTT (Over-the-Top) Data. They are headquartered in United States of America.
Alphonso
Based in USA
Alphonso is a data provider offering TV Viewership Data. They are headquartered in United States of America.
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The Ultimate Guide to TV Viewership Data 2021

Learn everything about TV Viewership Data. Understand data sources, popular use cases, and data quality.

What is TV Viewership Data?

TV Viewership data tells you all about TV viewers on a individual/household level, or wider level. It can tell you how many people watched a certain programme, when the peak watching times are, or viewer patterns. It is often used by broadcasters and advertisers to determine not only how many people are watching, but also who these viewers are.

How is TV Viewership Data collected?

Originally, TV viewership data was collected by diary entries. However, this was, unsurprisingly, prone to mistakes and subjectivity.

Nowadays, there are much more accurate ways of measuring TV viewership. Nielsen ratings are used to determine audience size and composition in the USA. This records how many people tuned into specific programs at specific times.

New software has also been developed to record TV viewership data. The digital video recorder (DVR) was one such invention. This tracks the frequency your TV is tuned to to determine which channel you are watching.
The final main method is GTAM (Global Television Audience Metering) which is aimed at dealing with the new challenges that arise with development of different TV watching technologies, like streaming services such as Netflix, or on-demand and catch-up TV.

What role does Nielsen play in measuring TV Viewership?

Nielsen plays the most important role in the measurement of TV viewership. Its TV measurement panels, for years, have reflected cross-sections of representative homes linked to TV networks. They use meters to monitor TV viewership, which is done as the meters collect details about what is being watched, estimating who by, and how many are watching per building.

Nielsen provides a continuous, real-time stream of information using data from set-top boxes, exposing tuning activity during programs and commercials. Using Nielsen’s historical and real-time TV viewership data, you can tell which ads are being watched and which have the highest effect. You can also evaluate which position is most successful for a particular brand in the program or commercial block.

How to measure TV audiences?

You can measure TV audiences by population sampling. Researchers may record what a select group of people are watching at a given point in time via this methodology, and they apply that knowledge to a larger population.

This is also what Nielsen does: they pick a subset of people from a broad population and, based on their needs, filter out the right set of people for the experiment or survey. This provides them with an estimation of the viewership demographics. They learn about the viewing patterns of people from a particular age group, race, or even gender with this technique.

TV viewership data analysis can be carried out using these measurements and methodologies.

What are TV ratings?

TV ratings are run by Nielsen Media Research, so they can also be called Nielsen TV ratings or Nielsen ratings. They aim to assess the audience size and composition of television programming in the United States, using a rating system. In order to rate TV viewership, Nielsen uses a methodology called statistical sampling, which is similar to those used to predict the outcomes of elections. Nielsen generates a “sample audience” and then counts how many people watch each show in that audience.

Nielsen then extrapolates the responses from the survey and calculates the number of viewers watching the show around the whole population. Nielsen also relies primarily on real-time TV viewership data gathered from the TV set meters the company installs and then blends this data with large program databases that appear on each TV station and cable channel.

Why were TV ratings created?

Since 1950, US network and cable historical and real-time TV ratings have been compiled by Nielsen Media Research. There’s a lot going into calculating ratings, but, as we’ve seen, Nielsen’s basic methodolgy is as follows: the company assembles a random selection of different American households and installs meters to keep track of what’s being watched. They also monitor how long an audience spends watching, how many individuals are watching, and the computer or TV set used. All of this information is sent out to networks overnight.

Broadcast networks and cable use the TV ratings to carry out Tv viewership data analysis. This helps them benefit from the sale of advertising space during programming. In order to determine whether a TV show is lucrative and worth maintaining on their schedules, networks use TV ratings to know what viewers like or don’t like.

What are the attributes of TV Viewership Data?

TV viewership data can provide all kinds of insights into TV viewership.
Datasets may include national or international coverage providing household information, such as address, or demographics about viewers, such as age or ethnicity. It can tell you how many household members there are, their ages and their TV preferences.
You might also get web information, as more and more poeple switch to online viewing. From this, you can get important information such as email and IP adresses for both household and individual matching.
It can also tell you about ‘Commercial Ratings’. This calculates the average viewership for commercial time only.

How is TV Viewership calculated?

Typically, TV viewership calculations are done to scale responses by attaching a computer to the TV set of many viewers’ houses. During the broadcast, this system telecasts a specific code, which records the length and the display of TV shows, collecting real-time TV viewership data about a viewer on a particular day. For a 30-day duration, the measurement is taken, which gives broader audience data for shows or channels. These figures are interpreted as reflecting the total number of television viewers in various geographical and demographic divisions.
A “Target Rating Points,” or TRP, can then be determined. TRP quantifies the viewership points obtained within a wider population by an advertisement or show among selected individuals and audiences.

What is TV Viewership Data used for?

TV viewership data is primarily used by marketers. Both TV viewership and Commercial Ratings can be used to sell advertising space to companies and to adjust the rates based on how popular the show is.
The development of TV viewership information means marketers now have access to viewers’ interests, preferences and purchase habits as well as basic information such as location, age and gender. Marketers use this information to target different viewers and tailor their advertisements to be more profitable and increase ROI.

What are key statistics for TV Viewership in 2020?

  • In the period between 2019 and 2020, there were 120.6 million TV-owning households in the United States.
  • UK individuals watched an average of 2 hours, 9 minutes of commercial linear in-home TV per month. Complete linear TV set viewing was 3 hours, 11 minutes a day.
  • Historical TV viewership data obtained showed that in 2019, there were up to 1.7 billion pay-TV subscriptions in households worldwide. That is an increase from 1.67 billion in the previous year.
  • At 88.4 percent, the overall weekly reach of linear TV viewership for the UK remains high.
  • Subscription Video on Demand or SVoD subscriptions in households all over the world are estimated to increase from 250 million in 2018 to 450 million by 2022.

Is TV Viewership declining?

Yes, it is. Nielsen numbers and general historical TV viewership data show that ad-supported TV has been on the wane for years. The continued proliferation of online and offline viewing options, coupled with the diminishing number of cable or satellite subscribers, has not helped the situation.

Typically, the reasons for the decline are “cord-cutting” and “streaming,” which have both brought disruptive side-options to advert-oriented TV. In essence, these two forms of media entertainment represent modern TV viewership. Networks have adapted to the streaming era themselves, as have fans, who are now used to on-demand shows, with full seasons of series readily available, something that wasn’t the case until recent times, when productions were delayed as new series were created.

How can a user asssess the quality of TV Viewership Data?

The best TV viewership datasets will contain up-to-date information about viewers’ preferences, habits and basic details to ensure you can continue to market to them effectively. Historical data is also important as you can see how trends and preference patterns have changed over time, although they are less essential as your marketing campaign is likely to be focussed on the here and now. Before buying, always make sure to read the data provider’s reviews and ask for a data sample before you purchase to ensure the data matches your company’s needs.

Who are the best TV Viewership Data providers?

Finding the right TV Viewership Data provider for you really depends on your unique use case and data requirements, including budget and geographical coverage. Popular TV Viewership Data providers that you might want to buy TV Viewership Data from are BDEX, TiVo, Alphonso, Tru Optik, and Samba TV.

Where can I buy TV Viewership Data?

Data providers and vendors listed on Datarade sell TV Viewership Data products and samples. Popular TV Viewership Data products and datasets available on our platform are Streaming & Linear TV Viewership Data by Above Data and Throtle Connected TV (CTV) by Throtle.

How can I get TV Viewership Data?

You can get TV Viewership Data via a range of delivery methods - the right one for you depends on your use case. For example, historical TV Viewership Data is usually available to download in bulk and delivered using an S3 bucket. On the other hand, if your use case is time-critical, you can buy real-time TV Viewership Data APIs, feeds and streams to download the most up-to-date intelligence.

What are similar data types to TV Viewership Data?

TV Viewership Data is similar to Event Data, Podcast Data, Streaming Data, Sports Data, and Odds & Betting Data. These data categories are commonly used for TV Viewership Data analytics.