“DAYPARTS ARE DEAD”: New Reality…or Streaming Network Spin?


As television and cable networks begin revealing their new programming for the 2015-2016 upfront season, we are seeing how networks and online streaming services are trying to change the ad industry’s mindset. As such, we are being fed sound-bites such as “Dayparts are dead”, which was the mantra of Turner (TNT/TBS) upfront event earlier this week.

Needless to say, that’s a pretty broad statement. It’s reminiscent of times when the industry said that the “30-second spot is dead” or other equally shocking predictions of change. The truth is, while digital streaming revenues have increased dramatically, current estimates show that television ad dollars will still outpace digital video by as much as a 6-to-1 ratio as far ahead as 2018.

So when a fairly definitive statement such as “dayparts are dead” is thrown around, it’s easy to find data to disprove that theory. When it comes to traditional television and cable, dayparts are still alive and well – depending on your target audience and geographical target market. In the Milwaukee market, an average of 47% of Adults 18+ tune into the 8p-9p hour during the work week. That number stays relatively flat for Women 25-54 (43%) but drops dramatically to 26% of Men 18-34.

There is no disputing the fact that television viewing has decreased while online video is up. Overall HUT/PUTs (households or people using television) have dropped between 15-25% in the last five years. However, advertisers need to understand their target audience’s viewing patterns before completely jumping the television ship. It is nowhere near being underwater yet.