January 2012       Industry Perspectives and Insights  Searching for Primetime                                   Executive...
search activity: Dancing With The Stars is both the     Exhibit 2: Weekly Queries Per Show, Fall 2011 Premiereshighest-rat...
Search intensity for the fall 2011 season thus far is                It is particularly telling that five of the 10 most1....
has been turned off, registering a 0.7 search                                  for CBS, which is characterized by an older...
highest levels of Internet and mobile device usage,                Cable’s elevated search intensity levels are alsorelyin...
episodes to maximize viewer exposure to a particular        Exhibit 11: Query & Viewership Trend, Drama Seriesseries and t...
Exhibit 13: Query & Viewership Trend, Reality Series       Mobile searches decline immediately following                 ...
We believe the shift in search patterns within a          Terms indicating intent to watch full TV episodesseason can be e...
Exhibit 18: Share of Clicks, Queries Related to Full Episodes   response to shifting audience preferences and             ...
content to new platforms, and by investing in        cross-media digital strategies for reaching users        where they c...
Appendix: Search Intensity By Series, Fall 2011 Premieres                                      Search                     ...
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2012 searching for_primetime_engagement

  1. 1. January 2012 Industry Perspectives and Insights Searching for Primetime Executive Summary Engagement  The TV landscape has evolved rapidly over the past several years, as competition for viewers has tightened, audiences How TV viewers search for shows, have fragmented, and networks have retooled their strategies. and what it means for networks In this report, we seek to develop insight into the complexities of the TV ecosystem by examining viewer engagement The past decade has seen rapid transformation patterns beyond traditional tune-in. in the television landscape. Broadcast TV, once a dominant mainstay in nearly every American  The lines have blurred between broadcast and cable, and living room, has seen its commanding position networks have leveraged new strategies as competition has intensified. Fall 2011 has been marked by new programming in the industry slip as viewers increasingly concepts; increasingly shorter, staggered seasons; continued migrate to cable TV, premium channels, and improvement in the production quality of cable series; and more recently, online video. With the renewed efforts by networks to take ownership of the online proliferation of cable networks and the rise of video ecosystem. disruptive models such as UGC, streaming  We offer insight into these changes through an examination of video on-demand, and mobile video, it is no search intensity, or indexed searches per viewer. Search secret that the broadcast networks have intensity helps us to understand viewer engagement levels struggled in the face of increased competition across networks, shows, genres, and specific points in time. from a wide array of players. As the marketplace has crowded, we have seen  High search intensity is strongly indicative of shows and networks with unconventional programming concepts and broadcasters begin to embrace alternative younger viewers. By contrast, low search intensity generally programming strategies in an effort to stem the corresponds to more traditional themes and an older audience. tide of viewers tuning in to cable or opting for other entertainment and media options.  Cable series demonstrate significantly higher levels of search intensity in comparison to broadcast shows. This is likely due But how can we measure the success of the to cable’s edgier programming, younger audience, and networks’ latest offerings? The most obvious frequent re-run airings. answer is Nielsen ratings data, which has long  The season premiere and finale of a show see large spikes in been the industry-recognized authority on TV search intensity, and present ideal opportunities to reach audience measurement. However, other types viewers online. YouTube searches tend to occur at the of viewer activity beyond tune-in can offer beginning of a season, mobile searches surge toward the end, additional clues into both the size and and desktop search maintains more consistent volume with engagement level of a TV series’ audience. In less extreme swings. this paper, we use online search as a vehicle  Audiences have increasingly been searching for full episodes, for understanding the dynamics of TV an indication of the growing availability of full-length TV content viewership. online. A large and increasing number of users who search for these terms ultimately find their desired content at the official As a general rule, we see high levels of network websites. correlation between viewership and GoogleAnalyst TeamJason Lee Jen ChoAnalytical Lead Sales Development ManagerMedia & Entertainment Media & Entertainment212 565 2924 212 565 2607jasonalee@google.com jencho@google.com
  2. 2. search activity: Dancing With The Stars is both the Exhibit 2: Weekly Queries Per Show, Fall 2011 Premiereshighest-rated and most-searched series of the 2011season thus far, while less popular shows receivemany times fewer queries on Google. Yet, we also 26% increaseknow that this relationship is neither perfect noruniform: search activity may be heavier or lighter ona relative basis for different shows depending ongenre, network, audience demographic, and other 2011factors. With our analysis, we seek to shed light on 2010these dynamics through the lens of online search.Fall 2011 Primetime Season-To-Date:Growing Search IntensityFall 2011 has been marked by new approaches to Source: Google internal dataprogramming lineups by the Big Four broadcast (Note: Query basket includes exact show titles and close variantsnetworks (ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX). The current for fall primetime shows on broadcast networks. Sports and news programs have been excluded from our analysis.)season has seen the emergence of new genres,including supernatural and fantasy concepts, male-oriented comedies, remakes, and period dramas. In The discrepancy between growth in viewership andcontrast, fall 2010 saw the resurgence of the sitcom, the more sizeable growth in Google queriesand also marked the final season for a number of suggests that online search activity per TV viewerlong-running series, creating opportunities for new has intensified in 2011. In order to quantify thisentries in 2011. We have taken a closer look at relationship, we introduce a new metric calledviewership numbers and Google query data across search intensity, which we define below:both years in order to measure changes in relative  Search Intensity: The ratio of Google queries toaudience interest since last year. total viewers. Values are indexed based on theLooking at the first 12 weeks of the 2011-12 season, average result for all 2011 primetime series onprimetime viewership on the Big Four networks has broadcast networks.increased by 3% over last season’s levels, o Search Intensity > 1.0: Above-averagerebounding slightly from declines experienced in search activity per viewerrecent years. o Search Intensity = 1.0: Average searchExhibit 1: Average Nightly Viewership (2+), Big Four activity per viewerBroadcast Networks o Search Intensity < 1.0: Below-average 42M search activity per viewer 41M Exhibit 3: Search Intensity Index, Primetime Broadcast Avg. Primetime Viewers Shows (2010-11) 40M 39.3M 1.2 39M 1.0 38.0M 1.0 38M 0.8 Search Intensity 0.8 37M 0.6 36M 35M 0.4 2010 2011 0.2Source: Nielsen Media Research 0.0 2010 2011By comparison, total Google queries per primetimeshow this year have grown by 26% versus queries in Source: Google internal data, Nielsen Media Researchfall 2010, as shown in Exhibit 2 below. 2
  3. 3. Search intensity for the fall 2011 season thus far is It is particularly telling that five of the 10 most1.0 (used as baseline for the index), a 24% increase search-intensive series are supernatural or teenover last year’s value of 0.8. We offer three dramas, such as Glee, Terra Nova, Once Upon aexplanations for the intensifying search activity in fall Time, and others. This genre of shows has carved a2011 versus last year: growing niche on broadcast TV, as the networks have adopted new programming strategies to 1. This year’s crop of primetime shows features compete with cable in both originality and freshness an increasing number of new concepts, such as of content. Although shows in this category have not supernatural-based themes and period dramas. always translated into ratings hits, they have shown As we discuss in the next section, these show a unique ability to generate online engagement with types lend themselves to greater levels of their highly dedicated base of younger viewers. We search activity among viewers. also see high levels of search intensity for popular 2. Mobile queries on TV show terms have grown comedy series – particularly those featuring fresh, at a blistering 119% year-over-year, compared edgier concepts (e.g., Family Guy, The Office, to 8% growth seen in desktop search. This Community). suggests that the rapid growth of smartphones Broadly speaking, we can observe that shows with and tablets has resulted in new search activity unconventional themes or elements demonstrate that is largely incremental to existing volumes. strong levels of viewer engagement online, and 3. Viewers are increasingly opting to watch shows ultimately, high search intensity. Conversely, the online, thereby generating search activity that is series with the lowest search intensity are heavily not captured in TV viewership data. tilted toward procedural drama titles such as Blue Bloods, Body of Proof, CSI: New York, and others which attract an older-skewing audience. Below, weUnconventional, Edgier Programming display search intensity for fall 2011 primetimeGenerates High Search Intensity series by genre.We have extended our analysis of search intensity Exhibit 5: Search Intensity By Genreto individual series airing on the broadcast networksin primetime (Exhibit 4). At the high end, Glee (FOX) 1.6achieved a search intensity of 3.6, receiving 1.4 1.4significantly higher query volumes per viewer than 1.4any other series. At the other end of the spectrum, 1.2 Search Intensityviewers of Man Up! (ABC) conducted the fewest 1.0 1.0online searches, reaching only 0.2 on our scale. 0.8Exhibit 4: Search Intensity Index, Top 10 & Bottom 10 Shows 0.6 0.6 Glee 3.6 Terra Nova 0.4 2.7 Grimm 2.5 0.2 Fringe 2.3 How I Met Your Mother 2.1 0.0 Procedural Comedy Reality Non-Procedural Family Guy 2.1 Drama Drama The Office 1.9 House 1.9 Source: Google internal data, Nielsen Media Research Community 1.8 Once Upon A Time 1.8 A Gifted Man 0.2 Genre and programming themes also have a Mike & Molly 0.2 significant bearing on the relative search intensities The Middle 0.2 of the broadcast networks. In Exhibit 6, we use a NCIS: Los Angeles 0.2 scatter plot to display search activity and viewership CSI: New York 0.2 for all 2011 primetime shows by network. FOX, Body Of Proof 0.2 known for its edgier, alternative programming The Cleveland Show 0.2 concepts, ranks the highest on our scale at 1.7. By Rules of Engagement 0.2 contrast, CBS’ portfolio of procedural dramas and Blue Bloods 0.2 Man Up! 0.2 family-safe sitcoms generates the lowest engagement of any network once the television set 0.0 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0Source: Google internal data, Nielsen Media Research 3
  4. 4. has been turned off, registering a 0.7 search for CBS, which is characterized by an olderintensity. audience and lower search intensity.Exhibit 6: Viewership & Query Volume, 2011 Primetime Exhibit 7: Search Intensity and Percent of Total ViewersShows Within 18-49 Demo, Big Four Networks 60 2.5 50% 45% 46% 50 2.0 37% 40% 34% 1.7 Indexed Query Volume 40 Overall Search 1.5 30% Intensity 1.2 1.1 30 FOX = 1.7 1.0 20% 0.7 20 NBC = 1.2 0.5 10% ABC = 1.1 10 CBS = 0.7 0.0 0% CBS ABC NBC FOX 0 0M 10M 20M 30M 40M Search Intensity % of Total Viewers Between 18-49 Average Weekly Viewers Source: Google internal data, Nielsen Media ResearchSource: Google internal data, Nielsen Media Research We can observe the same pattern on an individualIt is important to note that search intensity is not show-by-show basis. Exhibit 8 displays the 10intended to be an indicator of the popularity or highest and 10 lowest series in our search intensitysuccess of a show or network. Rather, the metric index organized by each show’s percent of totalnormalizes for viewership levels to determine the viewers falling within the 18-49 demo. Across bothlevel of online engagement for a show or network’s dramas and comedies, those series with youngeraverage viewer. Indeed, although CBS is the most- audiences demonstrate a significantly higher searchwatched network by a wide margin, it ranks last in intensity than those which skew older.our index of search intensity, posting a 0.7 mark. Exhibit 8: Search Intensity and Percent of Total ViewersWhile search intensity does not indicate overall Within 18-49 Demo, Representative Primetime Seriesviewership levels, we find that it does provide insightinto the demographic makeup of a show or 4.0network’s audience. We outline this point in the 3.5following section. 3.0 Drama Search Intensity 2.5 ComedySearch Intensity is Indicative of 2.0Audience Demo 1.5Our analysis of shows, genres, and networks 1.0indicates that the younger an audience is, the more 0.5intense its search activity is likely to be. SinceGoogle protects the privacy of individual users who 0.0search, we must rely on empirical evidence in order 0% 20% 40% 60% 80%to quantify this relationship. % of Total Viewers Between 18-49As shown in Exhibit 7, we find a strong correlation Source: Google internal data, Nielsen Media Researchbetween search intensity and the relative youth ofeach network’s overall audience: FOX attracts the That younger audiences search more than olderyoungest audience (46% of its viewers are between audiences is not surprising. Millennials, bornthe ages of 18 and 49) and also has the highest between the years 1982 and 1995, are the firstsearch intensity of the Big Four. The opposite is true generation to have grown up in the era of modern technology. Younger Americans demonstrate the 4
  5. 5. highest levels of Internet and mobile device usage, Cable’s elevated search intensity levels are alsorelying on technology more than any other generation. apparent when looking at individual series. In ExhibitWithin the TV industry, the young demographic is 10, we have plotted representative cable seriesextremely desirable, yet difficult to reach. Although against the full slate of broadcast shows, andmillennials account for a quarter of the US population observe above-average search intensities for cableand $200 billion in total spending power, they watch across the board. Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family)less TV than older generations and tend to be less and Beavis & Butt-head (MTV) receive search itrusting of traditional marketing messages . intensities of 8.3 and 7.4 respectively, far outpacing all of the broadcast series we have tracked this year.Thus, our analysis underscores the need for TV Even crime dramas such as Southland and Burnnetworks to maintain a strong online presence. As the Notice have search intensities greater than 1.0,median TV viewer has continued to age in recent significantly higher than their procedural dramayears, the prized younger demo represents an counterparts on broadcast networks, which averageincreasingly vital category of viewers who will shape 0.5.the future of an industry currently in transition. Youngerviewers have shown a greater degree of engagement Exhibit 10: Viewership & Query Volume, Representativewith TV content, both on the Internet and mobile Cable Shows vs. Broadcast (Fall 2011)devices. In response, TV marketers are investing in 60media-rich, interactive, and up-to-date show websitesas a core part of their online strategies. Additionally, Search 50 Showmobile-friendly sites, presence on social networks, and Intensity A) Pretty Little Liars 8.3frequently updated video content have emerged as key Indexed Query Volume B) Beavis & Butt-head 7.4 40digital offerings which resonate with tech-savvy young C) Jersey Shore 4.1 D) Project Runway 3.6audiences. Thus, search is becoming an even more C E) Teen Mom 2 2.4 30critical connective medium between audiences, F) Top Chef 2.4 Acontent-rich sites, and social platforms. As millennials G) H) Southland Burn Notice 1.6 1.2come of age, we expect all digital platforms to become 20 Bincreasingly important in the quest to both retain D 10 Eexisting audiences and attract new viewers. F H G 0 0M 10M 20M 30M 40MCable’s Search Intensity is Significantly Average Weekly ViewersHigher Than Broadcast’s Source: Google internal data, Nielsen Media ResearchShifting our focus to cable, we observe robust 41%year-over-year growth in Google queries for primetime We believe there are two underlying rationalesshows on 30 leading cable networks. This compares behind cable’s high search intensity:with the 3% increase in total viewership received bythese networks over the same period. Converting First, cable series are known for their targeted, nichethese numbers into search intensity, this year’s slate of appeal. With the rise in popularity of specialtycable shows receives a 3.0 on our scale, a 26% networks aimed at enthusiasts of a particular topic,increase over last year’s mark of 2.4, and significantly cable viewers have become increasingly devotedhigher than the 1.0 posted by broadcast. and invested in the content of their favorite shows. Similarly, cable networks tend to feature grittier,Exhibit 9: Search Intensity Index, Broadcast & Cable alternative concepts which cater to a younger 3.5 audience: the median broadcast viewer’s age 3.0 3.0 reached 51.6 in 2011, while the median cable viewer ii 2.4 is a comparatively youthful 44.8 years old . As we Search Intensity 2.5 2.0 allude to in the previous section, shows with such Broadcast 1.5 Cable characteristics see more intensive search activity 1.0 1.0 0.8 when compared to more traditional concepts with 0.5 broad appeal. 0.0 Second, cable networks provide viewers with more 2010 2011 opportunities to watch their favorite series throughSource: Google internal data, Nielsen Media Research multiple re-run airings. In addition to airing new episodes, many cable networks recycle past 5
  6. 6. episodes to maximize viewer exposure to a particular Exhibit 11: Query & Viewership Trend, Drama Seriesseries and to fill time slots. For instance, Bravoroutinely airs up to five episodes of its most popularshows (e.g., Real Housewives, Top Chef) per day, apractice that is mirrored by other top cable networks.While our search intensity metric excludes viewershipdata for such re-run airings, it captures all searchvolume related to a TV show throughout the season(including search activity associated with re-runs).This contributes greatly to the search intensity ofcable series, particularly when compared to broadcastshows which typically air only once per week.Our analysis indicates that the shifting dynamics andpower structure within the TV industry have translated Queries Viewersinto the arena of online search. Cable has steadilygrown its audience over the past decade by focusing Source: Google internal data, Nielsen Media Researchon niche, alternative themes which lend themselvesto greater levels of viewer engagement. This is Comedy series are less subject to swings in searchmagnified by multiple re-run airings which enable activity and viewership throughout the season.networks to maximize the reach of their shows with Unlike dramas, which often employ serialized storyTV audiences. As cable’s production budgets begin to arcs, sitcoms generally feature a string of self-approach those of the broadcast networks, we expect contained episodes. As such, we do not observethat cable will continue to command high levels of significant increases at the finale, and notice a slightonline viewer engagement in the future. downward trend in ratings during the second half the season.Search Intensity Spikes at Different Exhibit 12: Query & Viewership Trend, Comedy SeriesPoints of the Season Depending onGenreIn this section, we examine the concept of searchintensity over the length of a full season. We haveaggregated search volumes and viewership data for30 popular series from 2010 (15 broadcast and 15cable), and aligned the premiere and finale dates forall of the shows by genre. We find that these twometrics (viewership and Google searches)demonstrate a strong positive correlation over thecourse of a season, with correlation coefficients of57% for dramas, 45% for comedies, and 74% for Queries Viewersreality shows. Yet, we also see systematic patterns ofdivergence at key points of a show’s season. When Source: Google internal data, Nielsen Media Researchthis occurs, the result is either a spike or a dip insearch intensity. Below, we note the different patterns Reality series demonstrate sustained query andfollowed by each genre type from finale to premiere. viewership volumes throughout the season withDrama series tend to see large peaks in online limited drop-off after the premiere. In fact, wesearches at both premiere and finale, with a slight observe significant increases toward the latter halfdownward trend in between. Viewership follows a of the season when many reality competitions beginsimilar pattern, but experiences far less pronounced to heat up. At the finale, both viewership andspikes; this indicates high levels of search intensity at queries surge, though search volume acceleratesboth ends of the season. In Exhibit 11, we show faster and reaches greater heights relative toviewership and queries overlaid against one another: viewership. 6
  7. 7. Exhibit 13: Query & Viewership Trend, Reality Series  Mobile searches decline immediately following the premiere with a drop-off of over 30%. However, this trend reverses itself mid-season leading into the finale, when mobile search levels surge to 175% of the premiere’s volume  YouTube follows the opposite pattern: queries on the video site show particular strength before and immediately after the premiere. After this initial spike, however, YouTube searches decline rapidly over the course of the season and see only a slight bump for the finale. Queries Viewers  Traditional Google search maintains the steadiest volume across the duration of theSource: Google internal data, Nielsen Media Research season, generally staying in between the two extremes.To summarize, Google queries for TV shows aretightly correlated with viewership over the course of Exhibit 15: Query Trend Within Season By Google Platforma season. While various genre types experience 200%different peaks and valleys in viewership, thesetrends are largely mirrored by searches on Google. 150%Yet, we also observe two notable exceptions: thetwo metrics tend to diverge at premiere and finale, 100%with Google queries peaking higher than theassociated viewership levels. During these periods, 50%we can note that search intensity is higher than atany other point in the season, indicating the largest 0%opportunity to reach and convert potential viewers. Premiere FinaleExhibit 14 shows the trend followed by each genre Mobile Google YouTubeof TV shows. An upward-pointing arrow indicatessearch intensity that is at least 10% higher than the Source: Google internal datagenre’s overall average; all other arrows indicatesearch intensity that is generally in line with the Exhibit 15 (above) displays indexed query volume bygenre’s average for the season. Google platform with all three platforms pegged at 100% for the premiere. Below, we show the relativeExhibit 14: Search Intensity Trend By Genre mix of queries at premiere and finale across each platform. Google search accounts for 54% to 58% of Mid- Premiere Finale total queries, while the other two platforms see more Season extreme shifts from premiere to finale. YouTube, Comedy which comprises nearly one third of total queries at premiere, drops to 18% by the finale; by contrast, Drama mobile rises from 14% to 24% of queries over the same period. Reality Exhibit 16: Share of Queries, Premiere & Finale 100%Search Levels on Mobile and YouTube 80% 32% 18%Vary Over Time Based on Audience Intent 24% 60% 14% YouTubeWe have also examined in-season search patterns Mobile 40%segmented by the following Google platforms: 58% Google 54%traditional Google search, mobile search, and 20%YouTube. This exercise offers perspective into the 0%evolution of viewer behavior and engagement Premiere Finalepreferences as a TV season progresses. Overall, weobserve the following patterns by platform: Source: Google internal data 7
  8. 8. We believe the shift in search patterns within a Terms indicating intent to watch full TV episodesseason can be explained by both user demand for have demonstrated the fastest growth, with a 69%various types of show-related content, as well as the CAGR from 2008 to 2011. By comparison, genericnetworks’ strategies in making such supplementary show name queries have grown more modestly overcontent available: the same period (34% CAGR), and searches for short-form clips have actually decreased (-12%At premiere, many programs are heavily promoted CAGR).on YouTube and other video destinations in the formof trailers, clips, and other promotional spots. This Exhibit 17: Search Volume Trend By Query Typecoincides with viewers’ demand for catch-up contentfrom previous seasons, pre-premiere video teasers,and clips from the first episode as they make tune-in 69% CAGRdecisions.Subsequently, as a series establishes a baseaudience of viewers who become advocates for theshow, we see a shift away from short-form video 34% CAGRengagement in favor of show information, analysis,and full online episodes. We see viewersincreasingly search on mobile as the seasonprogresses and the stakes of a series get higher; we -12% CAGRbelieve this is due in part to users who tune in whilesimultaneously conducting searches on their mobiledevices during the telecast. Popular reality 2008 2009 2010 2011competitions with an online voting component (e.g.,Dancing With The Stars, American Idol) likely serve Episodes Episodes Clips Clips NameShow Name Alone Show Episodes Alone Clips Show Name Ato further this phenomenon, particularly in the finalepisodes of a season. Source: Google internal data These results mirror recent trends in the supply ofUsers are Searching for Full Episodes online video content. In the mid-2000s, theOnline and Finding Them on Network ecosystem for full online episodes of broadcast TV was non-existent, with ABC launching its onlineWebsites player in 2006 and the other major broadcastersIn the above sections, we have established that following suit soon after. The emergence of Hulu,search intensity for TV shows is increasing, and that Netflix, and other over-the-top providers in 2008it varies based on genre, network, demographic, and created further momentum, and the act of watchingtime of season. But less clear is exactly what type of full TV episodes online began to enter thecontent TV show searchers are seeking out, and mainstream. Over this period, we observe growth inwhere they ultimately go to find it. Given the rise of demand for full-length content far outpacing theHulu, Netflix, and network-led efforts to offer content corresponding growth in queries for generic showonline, we are particularly interested in the impact terms and short-form video clips. This indicates thatthat online video has had on the growth in search users seeking full online TV episodes haveintensity, as well as identifying which online video contributed to the heightened search intensity levelsdestinations are most popular. To provide insight we have observed thus far in 2011.into these topics, we have analyzed TV-related But which sites do users ultimately visit aftersearch terms which demonstrate a specific searching for online TV episodes? Our analysisnavigational intent. suggests that the official network websites receive aIn Exhibit 17, we show the growth in Google search large and growing share of such users’ clicks,volume for three variants of TV-related terms: increasing from 34% of the total in 2009 to 45% currently. Third-party online video sites (including  Full Episodes: “Watch [Show Name]” and over-the-top providers and referral sites such as “[Show Name] Full Episodes” Hulu, Netflix, Yahoo! TV, and others) represent 41%  Short-Form Videos: “[Show Name] Clips” of total clicks, remaining relatively stagnant over the past several years.  Show Name Alone: “[Show Name]” 8
  9. 9. Exhibit 18: Share of Clicks, Queries Related to Full Episodes response to shifting audience preferences and industry dynamics. In this paper, we have analyzed 100% 3% 4% 10% 9% TV-related search activity on Google in order to 17% 80% 12% provide deeper understanding of those strategies which have resonated most with viewers. Based on 41% 60% 44% 40% our analysis, we can make the following observations: 40%  The broadcast networks have driven increased 20% 41% 45% primetime viewership in the fall 2011 season by 34% fielding a more experimental, unconventional 0% programming lineup than in years past. We 2009 2010 2011 observe an even larger increase in TV-related Google queries: search intensity, or average Network Websites OTT & Related searches per viewer, has increased by 24% Unoffical Fan Sites Other versus one year ago, indicating growing levels ofSource: Google internal data, Experian Hitwise US engagement among TV audiences. Our analysis highlights the significant opportunity that liesWe should note that the above analysis is limited to ahead for networks to develop engagementa subset of TV-related Google queries and does not strategies which will convert more searchers intocapture direct navigation to online video viewers.destinations. Yet, the data suggests that the  Younger viewers are driving a substantialnetworks’ efforts to take ownership of their digital amount of search activity for TV shows,content have been met with success. In recent providing broadcasters with a unique opportunitymonths, broadcasters have tightened their to connect with and grow their 18-49 audience.management of third-party relationships and altered Networks are entering a crucial juncture as theydistribution windows. At the same time, they have develop new strategies to attract youngerimproved their own online video portals while viewers who are faced with more entertainmentlaunching accompanying tablet-based players in a options than ever before. As this cohort of youngbid to directly capture online viewers of their content. adults comes of age, their viewing habits andSuch tactics have proven to be effective for the digital engagement levels will become morenetworks, yielding them a growing share of visitors representative of the broader target audience.searching for full-length content on Google. Networks that can understand and capitalize onIn summary, an increasing number of Google the intent of these viewers will have an edge insearchers have sought to watch full-length TV converting engagement to tune-in.content online. Our analysis indicates that networkshave been successful in capturing a significant  Networks can tailor their strategies to reachportion of these viewers, while leveraging new viewers when and where engagement levels arestrategies to manage content availability on over- highest. Our analysis tells us that search activitythe-top sites. Yet, the networks’ recent success on among TV viewers is most intense at the seasonthis front does not guarantee supremacy in the premiere and season finale. In addition, we seefuture. As TV viewing continues to shift cross- heightened levels of YouTube search at theplatform toward online and mobile destinations, we beginning of the season, giving way toexpect viewers’ preferences to become more significant levels of mobile search at the finale.defined and the competitive landscape to grow Understanding the nature of these shifts canincreasingly crowded. Ultimately, it remains to be provide insight into audience behavior andseen which parties stand to gain and lose as the enable networks to capitalize on newburgeoning market for online video gains maturity in opportunities to bring viewers in.the coming years.  By expanding their presence online and more tightly managing third-party content availability, the networks have taken greater ownership ofConclusion & Key Takeaways the full-length online video ecosystem. Yet, we expect the landscape to transform significantly inThe TV landscape is evolving at a rapid pace. the future as the online video market continuesNetworks have adapted their approaches to to develop. Networks can stay ahead of theprogramming, distribution, and marketing in curve by fully embracing the migration of TV 9
  10. 10. content to new platforms, and by investing in cross-media digital strategies for reaching users where they can increasingly be found – online and on mobile devices.Our analysis has uncovered some of the meaningfulrelationships that exist between search andemerging trends in TV. Just like new, differentiatedprogramming strategies have delivered a positiveimpact on viewership, we believe that onlineengagement patterns can also reveal newopportunities for networks to connect with viewers.As both TV viewing and engagement activities shiftto online platforms, we believe that understandingsuch insights will become increasingly integral to theenduring success of the networks.Endnotesi Demographic Profile – Millennials. eMarketer. May 2011ii Horizon Media 10
  11. 11. Appendix: Search Intensity By Series, Fall 2011 Premieres Search Search Network Series Network Series Intensity Intensity FOX Glee 3.6 NBC Up All Night 0.8 FOX Terra Nova 2.7 CBS The Amazing Race 0.7 NBC Grimm 2.5 ABC Suburgatory 0.7 FOX Fringe 2.3 ABC Happy Endings 0.6 CBS How I Met Your Mother 2.1 CBS Person of Interest 0.6 FOX Family Guy 2.1 ABC Castle 0.6 NBC The Office 1.9 CBS Hawaii Five-0 0.6 FOX House 1.9 CBS NCIS 0.6 NBC Community 1.8 ABC Extreme Mak eover: Home Edition 0.6 ABC Once Upon A Time 1.8 ABC Private Practice 0.6 ABC Dancing With The Stars 1.8 FOX Raising Hope 0.5 ABC Greys Anatomy 1.7 NBC Prime Suspect 0.5 FOX The X-Factor 1.7 FOX American Dad 0.5 ABC Pan Am 1.7 CBS 2 Brok e Girls 0.5 NBC The Sing-Off 1.7 CBS CSI 0.4 CBS The Big Bang Theory 1.6 ABC Last Man Standing 0.4 NBC The Biggest Loser 1.5 NBC Harrys Law 0.4 ABC Modern Family 1.5 CBS CSI: Miami 0.3 NBC Park s & Recreation 1.4 CBS The Mentalist 0.3 FOX Bones 1.4 FOX Kitchen Nightmares 0.3 FOX New Girl 1.4 CBS Unforgettable 0.3 CBS Two and a Half Men 1.3 CBS A Gifted Man 0.2 ABC Revenge 1.3 CBS Mik e & Molly 0.2 CBS Survivor: South Pacific 1.2 ABC The Middle 0.2 NBC Law & Order: SVU 1.0 CBS NCIS: Los Angeles 0.2 ABC Desperate Housewives 1.0 CBS CSI: New York 0.2 FOX Allen Gregory 0.9 ABC Body Of Proof 0.2 CBS Criminal Minds 0.9 FOX The Cleveland Show 0.2 FOX The Simpsons 0.9 CBS Rules of Engagement 0.2 NBC Whitney 0.9 CBS Blue Bloods 0.2 CBS The Good Wife 0.8 ABC Man Up! 0.2 11