How Reach and Advertising Impact are Related in Total Audience

Thankfully it’s less challenging when media consumption can be sliced and diced across multiple platforms to see how Americans are spending their media days in an age of overwhelming choice. And the astounding choice is actually driving increased media consumption. According to our most recent Nielsen Total Audience report, the average U.S. consumer has added an hour of daily media usage over the past two years.

And as the media world changes the patterns and tendencies of consumers everywhere, we’re finding more and more examples of why it’s important to judge each platform by the three basic cross-platform tenets: how many people use each platform, how often do they do so and how long do they stay.

More so than other factors, these three basic elements (which can also be categorized as reach, frequency and time spent) affect how engagement on each platform looks when it’s gauged by the discerning eye of deep-dive analysis. This can be especially enlightening when you scale your analysis according to the “Pareto Principle,” which, in the media realm, states that 20% of the media-consuming public drives 80% of consumption. For example, for the first-quarter Nielsen Total Audience report, we investigated the impact of the top 20% of users for each medium to see just how much of the total time spent with each platform they contributed.

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