Linear TV may still be on the decline, but new data from iSpot.tv showed daytime’s spotlight getting a bit brighter based on growth in TV ad impression deliveries.
Primetime is still the leading programming block for linear ads but while it experienced a 3% year-over-year decline in TV ad impressions between Labor Day 2022 and Memorial Day 2023, daytime saw an increase of 1.3% - partially driven by growth on broadcast networks where daytime TV ad impressions grew nearly 10% compared to a year prior. Over the period, daytime TV accounted for 17.7% of all household TV ad impressions on linear – second only to primetime dayparts which accounted for 25%, iSpot found. In total, linear TV delivered 860.3 billion ad impressions over the study period.
According to iSpot, these shifts “create new avenues for networks to maximize the value of non-primetime dayparts, while advertisers can locate pockets of broad-reach programming for lower CPMs.”
For background, dayparts are a way network and linear cable TV advertising are sold – meaning buying based on the time or part of the day programming airs (aka dayparts), such as primetime, early morning, late night or the like, with advertisers able to target by certain shows within dayparts or buy largely across the segments (such as just “late night” on a specific network) to reach wider audiences believed to tune in during those times.
iSpot’s report details daytime’s top networks and programs by TV ad impression delivery, with CBS at the top of the pack with 12.4% share of daytime TV ad impressions and leading the second-top network (ABC) by a nearly 5-percentage point margin. That said, in the second spot with a 7.76% share, ABC saw its household TV ad impressions during daytime programming increase notably by 15% year over year. CBS and fourth-place NBC also marked gains of 7.3% and 4.6% respectively. Together the three broadcast networks delivered 9.5% more daytime TV ad impressions year-over-year.
Rounding out the top five networks behind CBS and ABC were Fox News (with 4.6% share of daytime TV ad impressions), NBC (4.44%) and CNN (3.47%). The bottom half of the top 10 included Sinclair’s ION, Univision, ESPN, MSNBC, and HGTV, all with above 2% share of daytime TV ad impressions.
TelevisiaUnivision’s Univision’s year over year daytime ad impressions growth also reached double-digit percentages – jumping 13%, a boost iSpot attributed in part to telenovelas, which more than doubled impressions during the daytime programming. And growth wasn’t only seen in broadcast as cable news also saw yoy daytime increases with a 1.8% bump in ad impressions at Fox News, a 4.5% increase at CNN and 42.3% at MSNBC.
As for the genres that are delivering the most daytime TV ad impressions, drama and action was the top category, capturing a 13% share. Also in the top three and grabbing a more than 10% share each were talk and reality TV. Those were followed by general news & info, soap operas, and quiz & give away shows.
Zeroing in on gains in various genres of daytime programming, general news & information delivered 15% more household TV ad impressions in daytime year over year – while quiz and giveaway programming climbed 8.5%, fueled in part by shows such as “The Price is Right.” That show in particular was the top daytime program between September 5, 2022 and May 29, 2023, accounting for 3.5% of ad impressions. New episodes of the show also delivered nearly 6% more impressions year over year, despite 2% fewer ad minutes.
Here are the top 10 daytime TV programs by share of ad impressions, according to iSpot:
On the syndicated front, “Friends” continues to resonate, landing as the No. 7 program by daytime impressions and number one among all syndicated programs in daytime. As for who’s advertising on daytime, iSpot found weight loss brands are leaning in, growing impressions by 35% over the past TV season, including brands GOLO and WW, which more than doubled daytime impressions compared to the prior year.
One genre that iSpot called out as not gaining impressions during daytime is kids programming, which delivered 7.3% fewer TV ad impressions, in part marking a continued shift toward digital platforms. Another category that saw a decline was the daytime staple of soap operas, which saw 13% fewer household TV ad impressions in daytime, mainly attributable to “Days of our Lives” landing on NBCUniversal’s Peacock.