This week, Nielson released The Media Distributor Gauge. This tool provides new insight (layered with their traditional measure: The Gauge) focused on expanding and evolving media channels.  

Measuring audiences and engagement is becoming increasingly sophisticated as more content is produced and redistributed across an ever-increasing number of digital streaming platforms. 

What Does This Mean for Public Media? 

Local stations are losing the battle in the competition against commercial streaming platforms.

Source: Nielson, 2024

Television viewership is dropping, and media/marketing teams can no longer count on website views. This is coupled with an increasing concern that Passport and the PBS App are underutilized and unintuitive.  

Why Is This Important Now? 

PBS linear-only viewing has fallen from ~60% in 2018 to ~30% in 2024. The number of 55+ viewers who stream their local news is up to 40% (and up to 68% for younger viewers). There is a desire to consume content from local stations, but the means of consumption have shifted. 

YouTube is the #1 app on connected TV. There are 53+ million monthly viewers of PBS channels on YouTube. 67% of viewers in the 35+ demographic consider YouTube a “must-have” channel. 

Simply put? Audiences are already making the decision, it’s our job to present relevant and engaging content that meets them where they are.  

What Does This Mean for Your Station? 

The most successful stations are already honing strategies for engaging with external audiences. NextGen is working with several stations to expand and react to new and diverse prospect audiences.  

One of our focus areas for FY25 is supporting clients with digital paid advertising, including video ads on individual streaming platforms like YouTube and Hulu or with larger-scale programmatic buys. 

The rich video content produced by PBS stations provides an incredible point of invitation. This is especially critical for acquiring new prospect audiences unfamiliar with public media: YouTube accounted for nearly 10% share of total viewing in April 2024. 

Digital audiences are savvy, and the current user-centric nature of digital streaming plays to the strengths of public media. PBS is built on trust and authenticity: your station’s powerful content and perspectives touch the hearts of your respective communities. As people age, they take their habits with them. Creating a strong first impression helps establish a life-long audience. 

How Can NextGen Help Your Station? 

NextGen’s certified experts provide a turn-key digital advertising channel mix tailored to your content and goals. We provide a full-funnel approach based on delivering value, not just soliciting donations.  

Video continues to be one of the fastest-growing ad formats. We ensure you are matching pace, cultivating diverse audiences, and producing measurable overall lift across channels.  

Contact us today to learn more.