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State of the Screens

DNC, RNC Find Common Ground In Lower Convention Ratings

By September 3, 2020November 15th, 2021No Comments

The conventions are behind us, and now it is all out 60+ day sprint until Election Day.

Big question #1: How did viewership compare to past cycles?

Quick answer: Viewership on TV was down for both the DNC and RNC.

RNC TV viewership for night four (YoY growth) according to Nielsen:
2008 – 39.0M
2012 – 30.6M (↓ 22%)
3) 2016 – 32.2M (↑ 5%)
4) 2020 – 23.8M (↓ 26%)

DNC TV viewership for night four (YoY growth):
2008 – 38.4M
2012 – 35.7M (↓ 7%)
3) 2016 – 29.8M (↑ 17%)
4) 2020 – 24.6M (↓ 17%)

Change in viewership for night four between 2008-20:
RNC – ↓ 15.2M (↓ 39%)
2) DNC – ↓ 13.8M (↓ 36%)

Big question #2: Does this matter?

Quick answer: Unlikely.  A massive shift in video consumption habits have occurred over the past 4+ years, and I would not be surprised if more people watched convention content than ever with social/digital factored in.  All signs (fundraising, mid-term turnout, etc.) point to massive turnout in the fall.

PSA: ≈ $3B in video advertising dollars will flow through politics over the next 60 days!

More: Nielsen – 2020 Election Hub

Michael Beach

Michael Beach

Michael Beach is the Chief Executive Officer of Cross Screen Media, a media analytics and software company that enables marketers to plan, activate, and measure CTV and linear TV at the local level. Michael is also the founder and editor of State of the Screens, a weekly newsletter focused on video advertising that is a must-read for thought leaders in the advertising industry. He has appeared in such publications as PBS Frontline, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Axios, CNBC and Bloomberg, and on NPR’s Planet Money podcast.

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