IMDb ads significantly increased viewership for two new TV series

A celebrated TV network was gearing up to premiere two new series, helmed by iconic stars. Episodes wrapped. Trailers hit the internet. Buzz was brewing. Now, in the run-up to their premieres, the series just needed to find their relevant audiences. To reach potential viewers, the network decided to meet entertainment lovers where they are: on IMDb.

Building buzz

IMDb is known as a popular and authoritative source for information on movies, TV shows, and celebrities. It’s a place for fans to visit when they’re trying to decide what to watch and where to watch it.

Working with IMDb, the TV network developed a campaign to promote the new series. The goal: inspiring audiences to tune in. The campaign ran for 17 days in February 2021, with the two new series premiering on broadcast TV one week into the campaign flight. On the premiere day, the series were emblazoned across IMDb.com, thanks to a one-day homepage takeover of IMDb.com. Throughout the campaign, display ads ran across the site. In addition, the TV network ran sponsored ads on related IMDb pages, to reach audiences who may be interested in the series’ genres, stars, or subject matter.

Measuring viewership

To gauge the campaigns’ effectiveness, IMDb and the TV network teamed up with Samba TV, a TV measurement and analytics technology company.

Samba TV found that IMDb drove an increase in verified tune-in rate (the percentage of households exposed to the campaign that watched the program) across all viewership windows. The IMDb campaign drove a 3% lift in verified tune-in rate on the day the series premiered. The lift continued to increase across viewership windows: After three days, the campaign drove a 16% increase in verified tune-in rate, when compared to unexposed viewers. It drove a 17% lift for viewership, respectively, within seven and 35 days of the series’ premieres.1

The IMDb campaign also inspired some viewers to watch the series’ second episodes. One series saw a 28% lift in verified tune-in rate when compared to the control group. The other saw a 35% lift.2

When it came to campaign performance by device type, viewers reached on tablets converted at the highest in incremental tune-in rate (53%), followed by mobile (20%), then desktop (12%).3

Each campaign tactic also proved successful in driving incremental gains in viewership: IMDb run of site ads drove 13% lift, share of voice takeovers (like on the IMDb homepage) resulted in 18% lift, and sponsored ads on related content netted a 65% lift in incremental viewership.4

That’s a wrap!

Overall, IMDb drove significant lift for the TV network’s new series. The campaigns achieved strong time-shifted performance, with viewers watching the series three, seven, and 35 days after seeing the IMDb homepage takeovers. In addition, the campaign created an overall lift in viewership for both series’ second episodes. Meeting entertainment fans where they are proved successful for these two new series.

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1-4 Amazon and Samba TV Verified Tune In Study, 2021