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Broadcast vs. Digital Video Advertising: Research Proves Segmentation is Key

Sep 02, 2018 10:45AM ● Published by Alyssa McGinnis

The reports of traditional media’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. Broadcast television, for example, isn’t dead. Far from it, according to a new study from Salesforce. As video streaming giants like Netflix and Hulu continue to gain subscribers, it’s easy to fall into the trap of assuming traditional TV is fading into obscurity. Well, the data says otherwise.

The research findings did, however, back up what a lot of us in the marketing industry have long believed — video consumptions habits have changed. That is…

the way Americans are watching their favorite shows and
video clips have evolved in step with advances in streaming technology…

and it’s yet another example of the classic generational divide.

Now I know this may seem like an obvious deduction, but it’s good to have the actual research on our side… otherwise we’d be forced to just keep repeating my favorite Stephen Colbert quote: “Why do research when I can just say it?!”

H2M prides itself on being a “non-biased media ad agency,” meaning we hold firm to the conviction that advertising success is based on solid research, not just trends. So while the competition may push the latest and flashiest digital tactics, we rely on data like this latest study from Salesforce to guide our strategy. If the numbers call for a bit of tactical flash, we will execute, but only if the research shows it to be the best way to engage the target audience.

Speaking of the numbers… below are the study’s key takeaways about video consumption habits. They prove that the strategies — a mix of digital and traditional —  that we’ve got in place for our clients are, in fact, on the right track.

Study Findings: Digital vs. Traditional Video Consumption

Traditional broadcast television continues to be the top media channel worldwide. Believe it. Salesforce polled internet users worldwide and found that more than 80% of people still watch TV at least once a month… that’s more than any other advertising channel, including radio, streaming video and print.

The lesson within the data, however, isn’t about traditional video vs. digital… it’s about segmentation.

Traditional TV viewership (at time of broadcast):

  • Baby Boomers: 72%

  • Gen X: 58%

  • Millennials/Gen Z: 42%


Streaming video viewership:

  • Millennials/Gen Z: 66%

  • Gen X: 40%

  • Baby Boomers: 23%

The difference is clear: older adults, and proven “spenders” are still in the routine of appointment viewing for traditional broadcast television, while younger generations have made the switch to digital video-on-demand content across various devices.

So, we hear a lot about the “digital first” approach, but that only holds for “digital natives” of the younger generations. Just like you rely on research to understand who your target audience is, so should you use this data to inform your decisions about how to target those users for maximum engagement.

Traditional is not dead.


Technology, News H2M Baby Boomers Gen X Millennials Streaming TV

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