Politically driven media is not something new. Fox News pioneered this for television years ago. It has found success and sustainability delivering news in a way that serves information how viewers want to hear, see and experience it. (sound familiar?)
One thing is for sure, political TV viewership is alive and well as shown by the ratings increase in line with an appetite for political information. Which in theory is a good thing. I can say this from my time working in political television: getting people to pay attention and care is no easy business.
Now, it gets interesting when Fox Network leverages its political network for say, an interview with President Trump from Bill O’Reilly before the big game. Some would say that seemingly biased political volleyball doesn’t have a place in front of what is objectively America’s annual TV fest. The pre-game show served up over a billion (1.3) TV ad impressions for Fox according to iSpot.tv. It’s good business for Fox.
Which begs the question, what do the advertisers that support O’Reilly, Fox News and its audience look like? Below is some data as gleaned from iSpot.tv, the attention analytics company that tracks TV advertising in real time from more than 10 million smart TVs.
Reach and Attention: A snapshot from October 1-January 31
To put the reach of the network into perspective: there were 49.8 billion TV ad impressions served to Fox News viewers during this time period. 47.7 billion of which were live or same day impressions.
There isn’t a huge VOD or time-shifted opportunity for advertisers with news networks in general. It’s all about the current event. Which means expanded costs of programming with no long tail, but it also means something else: attentive viewers.
Fox Network provides a sticky 78% completion rate for advertisers and an average view rate of 87%. MSNBC has identical numbers (87% and 78% completion rate), though MSNBC tends to have slightly more time-shifted viewing.
But who is watching? Perhaps who you think. 50% of FoxNews households are over 55.
Compare that to MSNBC which skews slightly younger, but is still arguably content for older audiences.
When it comes to shows, here is where its revenues come from:
Which brands are advertising on FOX News? Close to 1,000 (981) brands from Oct 1- Jan. 29 Here is an industry breakdown:
Compare that to MSNBC? Cars and credit cards and pharma are spreading across both. MSNBC has less weight loss and hospitals and more disposable income categories such as travel and movies and apps.
There were fifty brands that spent over $2 million dollars on Fox News since October 1
Sirius/XM Satellite Radio
Shriners Hospitals for Children
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
JoS. A. Bank
AARP Services, Inc.
hum by Verizon