ABS-CBN going Digital: By the Numbers
When ABS-CBN was served a Cease-and-Desist Order by the NTC, all free to air TV and radio broadcasts were terminated by the network. Unsurprisingly, ABS-CBN turned to all their existing digital platforms to continue serving their loyal viewers. We even predicted this would happen back in February.
The very first Facebook and YouTube live streams of TV Patrol breached some record-breaking numbers with the FB live stream reaching over 190,000 concurrent viewers at its peak.
On May 7, TV Patrol garnered a whopping 8.78 Million views on Facebook and 1.1 Million on YouTube. That’s close to 10 million views all put together.
While the numbers do not include TFC, cable, website, app and the ABS-CBN TV Box, this enormous shift to online broadcast of ABS-CBN is a good indication that the network’s nationwide reach is undeniable and maybe sustainable moving forward. Many digital strategists and content creators hailed this as a triumph of going digital.
Of course, from a business perspective, the advertising revenues from TV and radio broadcasts are way better than an online broadcast but that’s another discussion altogether.
The more interesting question for now is, was the momentum sustainable? The initial broadcast took close to 10 million views on FB and YouTube so we expect the numbers to slowly grow as the days passed.
Here’s what we observed.
The initial broadcast was a huge success, attracting close to 10% of the total population of the country (for simplicity, we assume 1 view is 1 person).
However, on the second day of the live stream, the numbers dropped by about half at just 5.6 Million views. This could indicate that the first-day live stream mostly attracted curious viewers who do not necessarily watch TV Patrol regularly.
The 3rd day of the live stream was more telling with only just a little more than 2 Million total views, 80% below the numbers of the first day. The succeeding 6 more days also showed similar numbers, mostly hovering 2 Million in total for each stream.
One can deduce that more or less, these 2 million views would be the network’s loyal online viewers. That sudden drop from 10 million views to an average 2 million views in the last few days of the live stream could indicate the true strength of the network’s digital assets.
Likewise, we also benchmarked the concurrent viewers of TV Patrol against GMA 7’s 24 Oras to see if there’s a significant bump.
From a high of 190k concurrent viewers, TV Patrol now has an average viewer of about 55k per stream. Compared to 24 Oras which has about 44k concurrent viewers, the numbers aren’t that far behind considering that GMA 7 viewers still have their TV sets as the primary screen to watch the network.
ABS-CBN will certainly go back (whether it’s a provisional franchise, a TRO or a 25-year renewal) to free-to-air TV and radio sooner or later but this all-digital broadcast of the network certainly gave a good glimpse of the power of platforms such as Facebook and YouTube. The numbers might not be as stellar as your typical TV or radio, but the potential is there and was clearly demonstrated.