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Use the 80/20 Rule to Attack Television

Use the 80/20 Rule to Attack Television

The 80/20 rule is the one ring that pretty much rules them all. It says that 80% of the consumption comes from 20% of the users. In other words, heavy users drive consumption. The same can be said about television viewership. A small segment of the population watches the bulk of broadcast TV.

Don’t just take my word for it. You can prove this in your local market. If you are a Scarborough subscriber and utilize Tapscan, you can easily show how much broadcast television is viewed by different population segments. You can therefore document that a large segment (often nearly half) watch little or no broadcast TV, and that a small portion of your entire market is doing much of the TV consumption.

Simply click on the Crosstab report and make your column Adults 18+. For the rows, select Media Heaviness, Broadcast TV, and select all times.

This will segment your market’s entire population by how much TV they watch. Below is an example of the output that is automatically exported into Excel. You can see that of this market’s 4.5 million people, 1.4 million (32%) watch no broadcast TV. Another 1.1 million (23%) watch less than 9 half-hours of TV a week. In other words, 55% of the population watch little or no broadcast TV.

A quick calculation or two will determine that – per this example – over half (52.3%) of ALL television viewership is done by only 12.4% of the population.

To put this another way, if you allocate your entire ad budget for television, you are getting a tremendous frequency, but are missing a large portion of the population. The above example is based on the market’s total 18+ population. This same exercise can be done on a specific demographic group, or an advertiser’s target consumer.

So, who are these people who are not watching broadcast TV? That’s next in our Growing the Radio Pie series.