QR Codes as an engagement mechanism. Here to stay?

  • A key barrier to entry for QR Code usage has been third party app to read the codes and lower smartphone usage. In 2020 81% of U.S. adults have smartphones. And nearly all of them read QR with no third party app required.
  • QR Code usage is taking off and many DTC companies are trying to figure out how to integrate QR Codes into their ad campaigns to enhance brand engagement and response – especially with the usage adoption in 2020.
  • Modus has started utilizing QR Codes as a response mechanism on television (linear and OTT/CTV) campaigns and though consumers are responding and engaging, the verdict is still out on the overall effectiveness. That being said, QR Codes are here to stay and we need to continue to work toward understanding how they can add value to advertisers campaigns.
  • QR Code usage to engage consumers with your brand should start to be a conversation…if it isn’t already!

Olympics – Record Coverage Planned

  • The opening ceremony for the Olympics is scheduled for July 23, 2021
  • NBCUniversal has announced they will air a record 7,000 hours of coverage!
  • Roughly 3 in 5 US Adults are expecting to watch.
  • Record coverage, does not necessarily mean record Viewership. With Olympic controversy comes speculation on actual engagement and many feel the Olympics should be postponed again.
    • Athens (terrorism concerns) and Rio (Zika) both had controversy and ratings suffered.
  • The position at Modus is like everything with COVID, this is different, and NBC is poised to deliver historic viewership based on consumers yearning for Sports programming – especially the emotional, competitive and elite delivery of the Olympics.

Source: NBCUniversal will air more than 7,000 hours of Olympics coverage (cnbc.com)Survey Shows High U.S. Awareness, Viewership Intent for Tokyo Olympics, but Pandemic Presents Other Concerns (morningconsult.com)

U.S. Upfronts – great outlook!

  • Advertisers will increase their upfront spending by 7.6% this year to nearly $19.9 billion.
  • As Modus Direct participated in the Network Upfronts last week, there were some key takeaways.
    • PRIMETIME IS ANYTIME. More focus this year on the network portfolios than primetime programming – head of sales for WarnerMedia stating “IP is the new Primetime”
    • DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION. All major networks focused on the importance of diverse casts, storytellers, producers as well as all inclusive themes in programming. We are seeing this as a theme across client creative as well.
    • Media companies are no longer in the business of selling TV commercials. They are in the audience delivery business.
      • 91.6 million people watched the Super Bowl on CBS linear while only 5.7 million streamed.
      • Linear provides audience delivery volume at a lower cost. CTV/OTT offers unparalleled targeting at a higher cost. Combined they provide optimal reach and ROI.

Expand Linear TV Reach and Targeting

OTT / CTV can efficiently expand your campaign television reach. We always recommend a balanced scorecard while allowing the performance to inform the spend distribution.

  • Inform consumer and network targets
    • We have utilized OTT/CTV to inform larger Hispanic targeting initiatives leading to linear TV network additions to include Hispanic targeted networks.
    • Some networks are more risky to test in a traditional linear environment (such as HGTV or Discovery Prime) but may produce the best results via OTT/CTV. This learning allows us to add networks to linear plans with more confidence and less risk for our clients.

The Media Tipping Point

  • 78 million U.S. households maintained a cable subscription at the start of 2021. At the same time, advertisers could reach more than 84 million households via connected, streaming TV services for the first timeAnd, according to The Trade Desk, and all of us in this business – this trend is not likely to reverse.
  • OTT / CTV outpaced all other media in 2020 (which is not a surprise to anyone) and the projected cord cutting for 35+ in 2021 is something that can not be ignored.
  • That being said, campaigns targeting 65+ DTC products and services outperformed linear TV in some cases. This is a huge finding for companies targeting 65+ and should be a strong consideration to augment the linear workhorse.

As the country begins to open up, so do Podcasts!

  • Up 4% for downloads and 3% for audience compared to the previous week.  
  • 4th consecutive week download growth has been flat or positive, and 5th consecutive week that audience growth has been flat or positive.
  • Podcast streams and downloads during peak weekday morning commute times were down an average of 16% for the week of May 11-17 compared to the week of March 2-8 across all Podtrac measured podcasts. 
  • On Saturday May 16 the peak hour was up 18%, and for Sunday May 17 the peak hour was up 27%.
  • Top Genre Categories: News continues to excel; Sports trying to recover; and Society and Culture continue to take the biggest hits.
U.S Weekly Downloads and Audience
U.S Weekly Downloads: Top Categories
U.S Weekly Downloads: All Genres

More: http://analytics.podtrac.com/blog/2020/5/18/weekly-podcast-data-amid-the-coronavirus-crisis-update-through-may-17-2020

Nielsen: Connecting TV and Social Media in campaign performance is more important than ever

  • Not only are people consuming more TV, but now they are having more conversations about the programs they watch on Social Media
  • Total volume of TV and COVID-19-related conversations, on Twitter alone, reached nearly 9 million since the start of 2020 in the U.S.—a staggering 40X increase
  • 588% increase in Social TV Activity comparing Spring 2019 and Spring 2020 for Children and Family Movies
  • Interestingly Spanish-language entertainment is down 23%, but Spanish-language News & Talk is up 71%

More: https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/article/2020/quarantined-consumers-are-bridging-gaps-in-social-contact-with-tv-and-social-media/

Number of TV tweets mentioning COVID-19 or Coronavirus
Volume of Social TV Activity: Spring 2019 vs. Spring 2020
Volume of Social TV Activity: Spanish, Prime Talk and News
Volume of Social TV Activity: Children and Family Movies, Streaming Services
Shows Sports Fans are tweeting about during the pandemic

COVID-19: Why TV Ad Spend Will Fall. Sports and Political Ad Spend.

eMarketer: Why TV Ad Spend Will Fall. Sports and Political Ad Spend.

  • Previous reports called for a 2% increase in TV Ad Spend for 2020. Now, experts are estimating a 22.3% – 29.3% DECLINE in TV Ad Spend first half of 2020.
  • Political ad spend will be on hold in 2Q20. Candidates don’t want to be seen as being insensitive campaigning during the pandemic.
  • No Sports Content. Professional leagues have cancelled or suspended season.
  • Kantar estimated March Madness, the NBA playoffs and the NHL playoffs collectively accounted for about $2 billion in TV ad revenues last year.
  • NBCUniversal reported advertiser commitments for the 2020 Olympics amounted to about $1.25 billion and Moffett Nathanson Research estimated losses to ESPN, ABC and TNT ~$700 million due to the NBA season cancellation.
US TV Ad Spending, H1 2019 & H1 2020
US TV Ad Spending Growth, 2019 & H1 2020

More: https://www.emarketer.com/content/how-the-coronavirus-will-change-our-us-tv-ad-spending-forecast

Changes in Audience Trends for Adults 55+

iSpot COVID-19: Adult 55+ Audience Trends

  • The 55+ demo is seeing the most reach during Primetime on the 4 major broadcast networks (NBC, ABC CBS, FOX).
  • Of these top performing broadcast networks, NBC Primetime is the top performer for the 55+ demo with 35% segment reach in comparison to FOX which only saw 24% reach within the segment.
  • Of the 4 major broadcast networks, ABC is seeing the largest increases in WoW Average Time Viewed.
  • In particular, the Late Fringe PM daypart led with a 31% increase and Early Morning (+17%) and Overnight (+15%) followed.
  • Fox News Daytime is a strong performer among the 55+ demo, ranking top 10 in reach while seeing the second highest Average Time Viewed (115 min) and a 10% increase in WoW viewership.
  • While Fox News Daytime appears to be increasing in WoW viewership, CNN Daytime should also be monitored as it’s seeing the largest WoW increase in viewership (15%) compared to other cable news networks on any other daypart.

iSpot: Top 20 National Cable Networks by Adults 55+ Viewership

iSpot: Top 20 National Cable Networks by Adults 55+ Viewership

COVID-19: Is Podcast listenership up or down?

Podtrac: Podcast consumption is changing too. Adjustments to media placements are critical.

  • Podcast streams and downloads during peak weekday morning commute times were down an average of 29% for the week of April 13-19 compared to the week of March 2-8 across all Podtrac measured podcasts.
  • Weekends: On Saturday April 18 the peak hour was up 9%, and for Sunday April 19 the peak hour was up 20%.
  • Top Genre Categories: YTD Biggest hits in Unique Weekly Audience are Sports and Society and Culture. News peaked week of Mar 9.
  • All Categories: 4 of the 5 last 5-weeks have shown positive growth in the Fiction category of Podcasts.
Podcast: U.S Unique Weekly Audience: Top Categories
U.S Weekly Podcast Downloads: All Categories
More: https://analytics.podtrac.com/blog/2020/4/20/weekly-podcast-data-amid-the-coronavirus-crisis-update-through-april-19-2020
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