NFL Games Remain Popular on American Televisions


Thanksgiving Day is well-known for two things in America, and they are eating and football. The NFL hosts three games each year on Thanksgiving, with the Dallas Cowboys being one of the teams who plays each year on the holiday. This year they hosted the Las Vegas Raiders, which turned out to be the most-watched regular season game since 1990. It was estimated that there were 38.5 million viewers tuned in for the big game, which is mightily impressive. Some factors that likely went into this large number are that the Cowboys are historically the league’s most watched team, as well as the Raiders also being a popular team, historically. Also, the game was highly competitive, as it was a narrow matchup and also went into overtime.

            This story interests me because as a football fan, this was definitely an interesting matchup that I was excited for, but I was not aware of the amount of people that also thought it was an interesting matchup. There have been bigger games with interesting matchups in the past 31 years, but they were not able to draw in the same number of viewers. The face that it was Thanksgiving could have played a role because even people who are not interested in football may watch the games on Thanksgiving as part of the holiday tradition. While many people often ridicule the league for many of the things they do and even threaten to stop watching games, the league remains powerful and dominant across televisions in America.


NFL Ratings Surge Blessing for TV Networks

CNBC’s recent article covering the NFL ratings surge experienced by the league this past year is an insightful look at the important role sports broadcasting plays in the world of television.  According to the news site, the NFL’s ratings grew by five percent this past season after years of decline. This will be monumental for the league as renegotiations with television networks are set to begin in 2021.  Not only is this good news for the NFL, but also for TV networks in general who rely heavily on strong sports ratings for advertising revenue. CNBC’s report stated that sixty-three percent of the Fox networks gross ratings last year came from the NFL alone.  In recent years, TV networks have seen their NFL ratings take a sharp decline as consumers continue to transition away from cable TV in favor of cheaper streaming services. Interestingly, this past year overall the league saw their ratings among the eighteen to twenty-four demographic shrink by slightly less than five percent while ratings among older viewers grew.   

I found this article to be of particular interest to me because it perfectly encapsulated the pivotal role sports broadcasting, particularly the NFL, plays in the overall success of traditional TV networks.  The statistic that more than half of the Fox networks gross ratings come from football alone completely took me by surprise by how critically important the NFL is to cable television. This news of a ratings leap will definitely give the league a significant amount of leverage in the coming months when negotiations resume between the NFL and television networks.  It remains to be seen however, how long this surge in ratings will last; as streaming continues its inevitable growth.

Over 100 Million People Watched League Of Legends Championship, Making It Top Dog In E-Sport

There were over 100 million people watching the championship with a peak of 44 million concurrent viewers during the final round of the tournament. There were teams from 13 different regions around the world, and the matches were broadcasted in 16 different languages. That just shows the global impact that the game has as well as the developers catering to those different markets. They could of easily just appealed to their biggest markets, but from a revenue stand point as well as just brand inclusion they wanted everyone to be belt o experience the championship. The game is 10 years old, but it is still one of the most played video game titles in the world. At peak hours, more than 8 million people are logged on, and playing the game on a daily basis.

The game is at the top of its class and the next closet title would be Fortnite. League of Legends has been able to grow due to the constant community engagement and partnerships that expand the franchises recognizable characters beyond the gaming industry. The tournaments do not offer as much prize money as other games like Fortnite, but it provides stability for professional players. Players in the most successful regional leagues earn annual salaries as well as other benefits from their teams.

Meet SoundCloud’s Rival Audius

SoundCloud has been one of the last free streaming services for music and a home for new and upcoming artists. Many artists have made their names public due to the exposure that they received on SoundCloud but that could change. Fan and musicians are sick of SoundClouds expensive hosting costs and their take downs. On the technical and interface side of things, the app and website are slow and lagging to many consumers so that is a concern as well. Audius is supposed to be the exact opposite of SoundCloud and it’s supposed to be a new home for artists and music lovers. It is said that the artists who put their content on Audius will be available to earn 90% of revenue earned. That alone will be a good incentive for some artist to consider putting some of their music on the platform. Another incentive will be that the platform can not take down music themselves.
I found the article interesting because I like competition. I like to hear about a company coming into the market that tries to knock out the top dog. I use SoundCloud occasionally, but because that it doesn’t have a lot of music that I want, in the right versions I tend not to use it as much. It will be interesting to see how many artists begin to make a switch from SoundCloud to Audius and also how many new artists will blow up from the new platform. Audius is incorporating cryptocurrency into the app as well which is new to me, but could be something that can be picked up in the near future if proven successful.

Time Spent Watching Online Video Expanding To 100 Minutes Daily

Time spent watching online video is predicted to expand more than 20% over the next 2 years. The time spent watching online video has been growing at an average rate of 32% a year between 2013 and 2018. The amount of time watching these videos online has continiously increased due to the improvements in the media devices that displays them. Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase, “The medium is the massage ” meaning that the channel that the message is transmitted is more important than the content/message. The power of computers increase every 2 years according to Moore’s Law, so the devices to indulge in media will continue to get better.

The content creators like Netflix, Hulu, Premium cable channel’s, put a lot of money and time into original content designed to keep you hooked. In the ending season of Game of Thrones, HBO spent upwards to $15 million in each episode. I’d assume that if a company is willing to put that much money into one episode they are pretty confident that they will make that money back and then some. It is going to be interesting to see who is at the top of the streaming charts in about 5-10 years. Netflix has been the king for the past couple of years, and has created serious buzz with their original content. However, a lot of their subscribers use the service for network TV shows like The Office, Friends, Breaking Bad, Marvel shows and movies. If those networks, and companies were to take their content back like Marvel started to, will Netflix still be at the top of the list. Media giants like Apple, and Disney are coming out with their own streaming service in the near future so it will be interesting to see how things shake up.

Digital media consumer behavior research sources

First, there are the brands: Pandora, Spotify, Apple Music, NPR, Amazon Music, Audible, Google Play, iHeartRadio, and other companies like Stitcher, TuneIn, RadioPublic, and Luminary, all wanting a piece of the audio (and growing video) audience and market.

Then there are the technologies and social media platforms: podcasts, streaming, smart speakers, in-car media, and others.

In trying to understand the media landscape, there are a few sources of information for digital media consumer behavior research.

Since 1998, Edison Research has been conducting an annual research study of digital media consumer behavior in American called The Infinite Dial. In the recent survey, Edison made the following observations based on their findings:

Online audio has reached a new high in weekly time spent listening, potentially driven by podcasting and smart speakers.

Podcasting has reached a milestone, with the majority of Americans now saying they have ever listened to one.

Along with the increases in podcast listening, audiobook consumption also surged, indicating a trend towards increased spoken word audio consumption.

Smart speaker ownership continues to grow, approaching one in four Americans age 12+. The average smart speaker user possesses two devices.

In addition to the Infinite Dial project, the Pew Research Center evaluates listening to content in the United States by terrestrial radio listening, online listening and other sources and devices. Pew makes available a broad range of topics, data and insight into media and news, internet and technology, social media, and other valuable information.

Along with the Edison Research data and Pew Research, another source is Nielsen, a global measurement and data analytics company.

Using these sources to help understand digital media consumer behavior will be able to help you evaluate the current media landscape and identify current trends and nascent/emerging platforms.