Nine is anticipating "significant growth" in Love Island audiences off the back of the recent success of ratings 'juggernaut' Married at First Sight.
Speaking to AdNews, Nine chief sales officer Michael Stephenson says the growth of MAFS will fuel further engagement in its 9Now platform, particularly around "premium content" such as Love Island.
Last year, Love Island Australia became a talking point for the growth of broadcast video on demand (BVOD) locally, with the majority of the show's audience coming from live streaming and catch-up.
This year, Nine is expecting an even bigger audience, going so far as to move away from its initial multi-channel broadcast strategy and air the show in an evening slot on the main channel.
"Married at First Sight again shows a move towards - whilst television is still the primary place in which they will consume the content - a demographically different audience. It's much more of a 25-54-year-old audience consuming this content on a connected device," Stephenson says.
" As a result, we see that Love Island Australia later this year will draw a greater audience through both television and on demand and I think the demographic profile of the audience watching will only expand further within that bracket."
Stephenson says the network has also used MAFS, which ended Monday night, as proof that it can provide advertisers "constant ratings surety" throughout the year.
Hey says the program has given Nine its strongest start to the year in some time and expects shows such as Lego Masters, The Voice and The Block to carry that success throughout the year.
"There's no doubt that Married at First Sight has dominated the national conversation in a way that no other show has," he says.
"This has given us a great start to the year and the importance of having the Australian Open prior to the show's launch, as well as it acting as a launchpad in its own right, can't be undersold."
MAFS, for the second year in a row, set ratings records for Nine, with multiple episodes reaching audiences of over one and 1.5 million metro overnight viewers.
Monday's finale reached over 1.9m overnight viewer, setting a new benchmark for the series, while it garnered a massive 2.6m nationally.
"We're seeing strength through the entire schedule which is really pleasing and again reaffirms to advertisers that the place to get a consistency of ratings is Nine," Stephenson says.
"But it shouldn't just be viewed through an overnight audience lens, the show has also shown there is an appetite for premium content on-demand."
The show consistently held multiple places in OzTam's top 10 most viewed broadcast video on demand (BVOD) shows, with some episodes drawing in more than 400,000 views according to OzTam's video player measurement (VPM) scores.
Compared with this time last year, the most recent season is well ahead in terms of performance across digital, increasing significantly across all key VPM metrics.
The total cross-platform average audience for Married at First Sight (across overnight, time shift and rolling cume VPM) reached 2.58m people for every episode.
"In all you've got close to three million people consuming our content, whether it be live, within a live stream or ultimately on demand. That says that when you've got great Australian content, you can aggregate massive audiences," Stephenson says.
"The challenge for media buyers now is how you capture that audience across all of those screens because as consumption moves between one or the other, you need to be able to aggregate and then communicate to those audiences with your message."
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