Seven has won the ratings year, while Nine tops in demos, but a senior television executive has said 2016 marks the “right moment in time” for the industry to look beyond overnight ratings and eye consolidated figures.
According to figures from Seven, the network had the highest audience share with 29.3% of the viewing audience followed by Nine on 28.1% and Ten on 18.9%. ABC ranked fourth with 17.6% and SBS was fifth on 6.2%.
By demographic, Nine topped all the key advertising brackets of 25-54, 18-49 and 16-39.
The only commercial channel to increase its total audience this year was Network Ten.
Seven chief revenue officer Kurt Burnette said 2015 will go on record as the largest ever year for advertising revenue, with the network expecting it to be surpassed in 2016 on the back of events such as the Olympics and the election.
“In 2016 we will be investing in more content and in the technology that helps us connect that content to our audiences, and grow and engage with those audiences,” Burnette said.
“Our content plans are enormous adding to an already market leading position that will grow domestically and globally. No technology or algorithm will take the place of powerful storytelling. And in the domain Seven and Seven West Media are the proven leaders in the space, now and into the future.”
Seven network director of programming Angus Ross said that Seven set the agenda for its “ongoing leadership” this year and in 2016 aims to deliver more viewers across television and any connected device.
The top show of the year by five city metro and regional was Nine's showing of State of Origin, followed by the Rugby League Grand Final and State of Origin One.
Seven's My Kitchen Rules' winner announcement episode and grand final were the top two non-sport shows of the year.
Nine director of content partnerships, digital product specialist sales and trade marketing, Lizzie Young, told AdNews that Nine's strategy continues to be be focused on providing premium content and distribution to people where they want it.
“The interesting thing for us next year is having more Australian content [which] means more opportunity for brands, and that means we've got to find more solutions and build more innovation,” Young said.
“9Now will bring with it new opportunities as well as working out how we develop content ideas and associations with talent and take them all the way through to retail.
“It's not just about what is on the TV screen and the sponsorship billboard any more, it's about the entire life of the journey for a product and how it's integrated.”
Free to air (FTA) viewing audiences have been declining according to the overnight ratings, but as Nine released its full year figures, its director of television Michael Healy said the “overnight viewing figures only tell part of the story” adding “as an industry we need to work harder to communicate this message”.
Nine released its own cross-platform TV metric, Platform Agnostic Ratings for Content (PARC) in May this year, ahead of OzTam's highly-anticipated measurement.
Young said 2016 will see an increase of interest in consolidated rather than overnight ratings as a result of the innovation coming out of networks in real-time streaming and catch-up services.
“It's been well documented that if you consider the overnight numbers, time shifted viewing, encore episodes and catch-up, the total viewers are still there,” Young said.
“They're just happening in a different way. 2016 will be the year where those kinds of consolidated numbers are promoted a little more heavily as we all move to streaming platforms, so it's the right moment in time.
“You can't shout about it until you've done it, and it's working so I think next year is the year.”
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