Tops of 2020: Television Key Insights

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With 2020 nearing its end and 2021 on the horizon, Nielsen has compiled a list of 2020’s Top TV Shows.

2020 was not, by any standard, a typical year. It certainly was not for television as well, as the global pandemic halted production of new and existing shows, delayed fall TV season premieres, and made Americans across the country quickly adapt to quarantine life for the health and safety of their neighbors. In all likelihood, the atypical nature of the year will be profound enough to drive permanent shifts in consumer behavior, including media consumption.

While much of the shifting behavior involves streaming on-demand video, consumers continue to spend the lion’s share of their TV time with live and time-shifted programming.

• In fact, second-quarter 2020 live and time-shifted TV consumption among people 18 and older increased by an average of 4 minutes per day (to 4 hours: 8 minutes) from the prior year. That dwarfs the 1 hour and 14 minutes we spend with our TV-connected devices each day..

As consumers adjust their media habits to fit their on-demand lifestyles, it’s critical for programmers, advertisers and studios to understand what program types are engaging live and time-shifted audiences.

• The top time-shifted programs stand as evidence, as a vast majority of the listed programs there are primetime dramas.

Consumers will always gravitate toward good content.

• In light of shifting work schedules, we’re even seeing shifts in when consumers are watching TV, namely those who now primarily work from home.

• The growth in available streaming services has also showcased the value of library content—programming that stands the test of time and engages audiences well after the original air dates.

The complete list of the top shows on TV can be found HERE - please feel free to use these lists, sourcing Nielsen and linking back to the post if possible. For more year-end insights, check out the Nielsen Newswire.

Happy Holidays!
Michael Receno

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