What is Live-Plus-35?

The entertainment and media industry has been aflutter about Nielsen’s plans to launch “Live-plus-35” this fall. This would entail extending the ratings window to 35 days beyond the initial live broadcasting of a TV program. Considering that today’s TV experience involves multiple devices and platforms that support delayed viewing via DVR recording, VOD, etc., it shouldn’t be a surprise that consumers are becoming more and more likely to watch TV content after it has aired. According to Glen Enoch, Nielsen’s Senior VP of Audience Insights; "We have found that audiences continue to grow beyond seven days in every instance, some by 58 percent among adults 18-to-49."[1]

For networks, going from 3/7 to 35 days should ease their frustrations over not getting full viewing credit for their programs. For example, there is a growing trend of consumers preferring to watch drama series and animated comedies over time periods much longer than three days.[2] In fact, some shows are mostly watched via delayed viewing well outside of the Nielsen C3/C7 window and consequently have low ratings because they have small in-window audiences. In other words, these shows become undervalued despite having high consumer engagement.

Until Live-plus-35 arrives, roughly 75% of broadcast and cable networks are now insisting on using Nielsen's C7 as the primary way to measure success when setting upfront deals.[3]  Although C7 has been around for a while, Nielsen only allowed C7 in Canada until this year. Now that C7 is allowed in the U.S., the majority of broadcasters and networks are starting to drop C3. Just four days more than C3, this small extension of the ratings window is expected to increase revenue by 1-3%.[4] Now consider the potential impact of adding 28 more days to C7…

Imagine the kind of impact Live-plus-35 will have!

 

[1] “Introducing Live-Plus … 35-Day Ratings(!) as TV's New Normal Struggles” by Michael O’Connell, The Hollywood Reporter, June 2016

[2] “

[3] “75 Percent of Networks Will Use C7 Advertising Metric for Upfront Deals” by Jason Lynch, ADWEEK, June 2016

[4] “More C7-Driven Media Buys? Next, Look For Data-Driven Deals” by Wayne Friedman, TVWATCH, June 2016