How Dramas are hitting the magic million

TV dramas are drawing over a million viewers with Timeshifted viewing.

Dramas including The Secret Daughter, Doctor Doctor, 800 Words, Hyde and Seek and Brock have been reaching audiences of over a million viewers each, after Timeshifted numbers are added in.

Each of the post-Olympics dramas have eclipsed the magic million in the 5 metro cities once 28 Day Consolidated numbers are in from OzTAM, sometimes piling on an extra 200,000+ viewers.

The increases show that while Overnight numbers attract the bulk of the audience, viewers continue to connect with Australian drama through various playouts.

Adding in Regional viewers, repeats and Video Play Measurement they track higher still -it’s these kinds of numbers that networks are using to measure a show’s overall performance.

Free to Air Australian Drama, 5 City Metro (post Olympic data):

800 Words Seven:
Highest Episode:
Overnight: 793,000
7 Day Timeshifted: 1,031,000
28 Day Timeshifted: 1,097,000

Episode Average:
Overnight: 730,000
7 Day Timeshifted: 934,000
28 Day Timeshifted: 984,000

The Secret Daughter Seven:
Highest episode:
Overnight: 899,000
7 Day Timeshifted: 1.09m
28 Day Timeshifted: 1.11m

Episode Average:
Overnight: 817,000
7 Day Timeshifted: 980,000
28 Day Timeshifted: 983,000

Doctor Doctor Nine:
Highest Episode:
Overnight: 826,000
7 Day Timeshifted: 1.03m
28 Day Timeshifted: 1.03m

Episode Average:
Overnight: 770,000
7 Day Timeshifted: 937,000
28 Day Timeshifted: 944,000

Offspring TEN:
Highest Episode:
Overnight: 812,000
7 Day Timeshifted: 958,000
28 Day Timeshifted: 985,000

Episode Average:
Overnight: 676,000
7 Day Timeshifted: 853,000
28 Day Timeshifted: 885,000

Brock TEN:
Highest Episode:
Overnight: 827,000
7 Day Timeshifted: 964,000
28 Day Timeshifted: 1.00m

Episode Average:
Overnight: 675,000
7 Day Timeshifted: 829,000
28 Day Timeshifted: 849,000

Home and Away Seven:
Highest Episode:
Overnight: 878,000
7 Day Timeshifted:  947,000
28 Day Timeshifted:  948,000

Episode Average: 716,000
7 Day Timeshifted:  767,000
28 Day Timeshifted: 772,000

Hyde & Seek Nine:
Highest Episode:
Overnight: 878,000
7 Day Timeshifted: 1.00m
28 Day Timeshifted: 1.01m

Episode Average:
Overnight:  638,000
7 Day Timeshifted:  766,000
28 Day Timeshifted: 768,000

The Wrong Girl TEN:
Highest Episode:
Overnight: 683,000
7 Day Timeshifted: 824,000
28 Day Timeshifted: 830,000

Episode Average:
Overnight:  541,000
7 Day Timeshifted: 629,000
28 Day Timeshifted: 632,000

The Code ABC:
Highest Episode:
Overnight:  435,000
7 Day Timeshifted: 533,000
28 Day Timeshifted: 561,000

Episode Average:
Overnight: 346,000
7 Day Timeshifted: 438,000
28 Day Timeshifted: 460,000

Deep Water SBS:
Highest Episode:
Overnight: 380,000
7 Day Timeshifted: 490,000
28 Day Timeshifted: 499,000

Episode Average:
Overnight: 267,000
7 Day Timeshifted: 373,000
28 Day Timeshifted: 377,000

Neighbours ELEVEN:
Highest Episode:
Overnight: 209,000
7 Day Timeshifted:  235,000
28 Day Timeshifted: 238,000

Episode Average:
Overnight: 165,000
7 Day Timeshifted:  184,000
28 Day Timeshifted: 186,000

Seven also recently supplied a snapshot of how national audiences are consuming content.

In Week 43 for example X Factor, Home and Away, The Secret Daughter and Cold Feet all grew with extra viewers on assorted platforms.

From the bottom up, Overnight audiences attracted the biggest slice of the audience, then Timeshifted viewing, Encores (repeats), a small number of 7Live viewers and finally Plus7 catch-up (light blue). Nationally these see Secret Daughter grow from 1.4m (metro+ regional) to 1.91m (NB: these figures include OzTAM, Regional TAM and Seven’s internal numbers in the case of 7Live).


© OzTAM Pty Limited 2016. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM.

10 Responses

    1. If you record the shows to PVR, you still get a dose of ads even if you skip them. A viewer doesn’t have to see the whole ad to have the brand name imprinted, especially if they have seen the ad before during live viewing.

      When you fastforward through ads, you are just seeing them faster but still seeing them. If you jump the recording forward, you will still land in an ad, or rewind back to the last ad before the show returns.

    1. Everything is recorded minute by minute. If a 60 minute program has 45 minutes of content and 15 minutes of ads, and a person FFwds or skips the ads, then they will effectively count as 0.75 of a person for that program (multiplied by whatever the scaling factor is for their statistical region).

      All PVRs can FFwd, most have skip buttons (some of which are deactivated but can be re-activated using “cheat” codes).

  1. Thanks for the article, David.

    I still believe that overnight numbers are what counts, as those are the people who watch the ads. I personally find no logic in renewing a show based on time shifting/multi platform data if the L+SD ratings are not there. For example, is it really worth renewing The Wrong Girl for 500,000 viewers just because it timeshifts well?

    And even when you factor in time shifted viewing, dramas still used to attract a lot more than 900k-1m viewers. And viewers don’t seem to stick around year to year like they once did.

  2. Great story David, thank you!

    This shows increasingly that metro overnights only show part of the picture. When TV Tonight and other sites all post overnights every morning at 9am we all rush to declare a show a failure or success.

    So when we see that “The Secret Daughter” had just 798,000 viewers we are quick to point to a mediocre performance and the death of first run Aussie drama.

    But really that metro overnight is about 55% of the total viewership. When regional (national) 28 day, live streaming and VOD viewership is added the ratings basically double. And Seven collects revenue for all this. Collectively this data is what networks will renew and axe shows on.

    We need to better remember this when we all debate the ratings every day. When we see 5 city overnights – we are only seeing numbers half the total viewership.

    Apple doesn’t count how many…

    1. While there are certainly more people time-shifting, live streaming, and watching online catch-up these days, it’s disingenuous to include numbers from outside the 5 capital cities which is still the standard. You have to compare like with like.

      If people were commenting on the success of a program 3 years ago based on 5 cap city numbers then that is what people should be using now. A few programs might be just hitting the magic million when time-shifted numbers are added in but 5 years ago there were plenty more that were comfortably exceeding a million, often 2 million.

      Time-shifted numbers might be good for the networks to spruik but they’re of less relevance to advertisers who are the ones who matter. If you’ve got a sale on this week it’s of little value for someone to see your ad in ten day’s time.

      1. Not sure I completely follow.

        The Networks make money off regional viewership too. The regional ad market is worth $1b a year, and with Affils paying between 35% (win) and 50% (SCA) to the networks – that is hundreds of millions in ad rev a year. So you you bet the networks include regional ratings when factoring a shows overall success to their bottom line

        I don’t think people are comparing what Secret Daughter rated compared to what Underbelly rated 3 years ago. They are comparing it to what Nine and Ten had in the slot, and what the network had in the slot 6 months ago. And in 2019 I don’t think we will be looking back comparing that seasons dramas to The Secret Daughter

        Yes advertisers matter. But advertisers also buy time in VOD plays. As long as networks are collecting revenue from the viewer (VOD, regional) that viewership will be factored into renew/axe decisions

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