A wall-mounted TV displays a holiday movie.

New Effectv Research Highlights the Perennial Value of Holiday Programming in a Changing Media Landscape

Key Takeaways

Effectv’s analysis of viewership trends from Thanksgiving to Christmas shows that nearly all households get into the holiday spirit, with 92% tuning into holiday programming.
Findings also revealed a 46% increase in streaming viewership on top holiday networks during this time period – reinforcing the importance of adding streaming to TV advertising strategies.

New York, NY

Today, Effectv released a new research study illustrating that although the way consumers watch television is evolving, holiday programming still remains a fundamental way for advertisers to reach their audiences in the coming weeks.

The study looked at how households choose to watch their favorite holiday programming – highlighting the seasonal impact on viewership across program genres, co-viewing and streaming viewership.

These insights, collected from Comcast’s aggregated viewership data from Thanksgiving to Christmas 2021, reflect holiday programming across screens. The vast majority of households get into the holiday spirit with 9 out of 10 (92%) tuning into holiday programming last year, a nod to the widespread reach of this category. Additionally, households watched an average of 20 hours of holiday programming throughout the season.


Of households tuned into holiday programming last year

“As the TV viewing landscape changes, the way households view holiday programming may be changing, but their appetite for the content is still strong,” said Travis Flood, Director, Customer Insights, Effectv. “Consumers still love getting together with their families to watch holiday programming, and today, many are turning to streaming services to do so.”

By analyzing the way consumers are watching, advertisers can ensure they’re reaching their audiences wherever and however they choose to watch.
Travis Flood
Director, Customer Insights, Effectv

According to the study, in 2021 there was a 46% increase in streaming viewership on top holiday networks from Thanksgiving to Christmas (versus the previous period), with 79% of streaming impressions taking place on the big screen. The analysis also reveals that light- and no-TV households were 51% more likely to stream holiday programming. Streaming ultimately provided an avenue to get in touch with these harder-to-reach households.


Increase in streaming viewership on top holiday networks from Thanksgiving to Christmas

In previous studies, Effectv has recommended that to maximize audience reach, advertisers dedicate 20 to 30% of their TV budgets to streaming, and the rest to linear TV, a recommendation that still holds true with holiday programming.

In addition to showcasing the importance of streaming, Effectv’s new research also illuminates the value of holiday programming in bringing households together, finding that families are 15% more likely to tune into holiday programming – and there was 12% more co-viewing on top holiday networks during the holiday season.


Increased likelihood that families tune into holiday programming

“These months reveal a vast amount of TV viewing occurring on the big screen,” Flood said. “It’s a clear opportunity to reach more engaged consumers enjoying a lean-back, big-screen experience.”

This increase in family co-viewing means advertisers can reach more attentive audiences as families spend time together with holiday content.
Travis Flood
Director, Customer Insights, Effectv

The research concludes that although the ways in which households view their daily content has changed with multiscreen access, holiday programming remains foundational – though movies, TV shows, music specials and beyond.

To view the full research, illustrated in an infographic, “Let it Glow: Holiday Programming Across Screens,” click here.