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NZ On Air Where are the Audiences? 2020 – ThinkTV response

3rd September 2020

NZ On Air’s latest ‘Where Are The Audiences?’ research provides insight into how and where New Zealanders are consuming media today. The results give advertisers a lot to consider, and there are important takeaways to highlight when looking at TV in totality across the survey.

‘Where Are The Audiences?’ shows TV still delivers mass reach, but it’s the high engagement of these viewers that makes TV unique. Time spent viewing and attention are key drivers for ad effectiveness and ad completion. Linear TV and Broadcaster Video OnDemand remains unmatched for converting eyeballs into sales.

‘Where Are The Audiences? 2020’ takeaways for TV viewership:

  • Linear TV reaches more people every day and for longer than any other medium. Linear TV reaches more than 6 out of 10 New Zealanders per day (61%) and holds New Zealanders’ attention the longest by a significant margin, at 2 hours 17 minutes per day.
  • Linear TV dominates throughout the evening.TV attracts the biggest audience during evening peak time, when audiences are relaxed and less distracted. This has not changed since NZ On Air’s original 2014 study.
  • Over one-quarter of the population are consuming NZ Broadcaster Video On Demand (BVOD) on a daily basis. The daily reach of BVOD has grown by 37% in two years - from 19% to 26%. Time spent per day on BVOD is now 31 minutes, up from 21 minutes 2 years ago.
  • TV is a trusted news source. Daily Covid-19 updates on TV were widely used and overall the most trusted source of news during the pandemic. These findings align with results from an Ipsos report earlier in the year, showing New Zealanders turn to TV in a crisis


Jodi O’Donnell, ThinkTV’s Chair says “It’s pleasing to see free-to-air TV continuing to deliver big audiences and it’s great to see the growth of Broadcaster Video On Demand too. It’s not just about audience size though, it’s also about impact. TV offers a premium viewing experience that delivers better returns for advertisers.  With businesses focusing on their post lockdown recovery, making the marketing work hard is important and this is where TV comes out on top.”

Nielsen currency ratings numbers show that Linear TV viewing remains stable, including with younger viewers. The average daily reach of All People 15+ across the period of the NZ On Air survey was 2.15 million, compared to 2.21 million two years ago. And more than half a million New Zealanders – 566,000 - aged 15-39 are reached on a daily basis by Linear TV, compared to 611,000 in 2018*.

The way New Zealanders are consuming media and TV content is changing. For this reason, New Zealand Broadcasters are planning and investing for the future. As recently announced by ThinkTV and Nielsen, streaming meters will be added to the Nielsen panel, which will provide a passive measurement of viewing of all internet-enabled devices in the household.

With increased competition from global giants and audience fragmentation, Time spent viewing and attention remain crucial metrics for advertisers – engaged viewers are more likely to turn into potential consumers. The combination of TV and BVOD advertising is proven to be more effective than advertising on other online video platforms.


*Nielsen TAM, Consolidated, Total TV, All People 15+, Average Daily Reach 000’s, w/c 17/05/2020 - 13/06/2020 compared to w/c 15/04/2018 - 12/05/2018.