January was a great month for TV, as total viewing reached a four-year high. Versus the previous month (which calendar aficionados will recognize as “December”), TV viewing minutes were up 3.7%.  Some of this is due to increases in Streaming (+4.1%), but Linear TV was strong with Broadcast up 7.1% and Cable +2.7%. Together, Broadcast and Cable account for 52.1% of all minutes viewed. 

Note: January 2024 topped any month in the COVID pandemic era when all platforms increased as people spent more time at home.  (MediaPost: Feb 20, 2024; Chart: Nielsen)


This year, only two candidates oppose the incumbent President, compared to the several Democrats competing at this time four years ago. One could expect political ad spending to be down significantly versus 2020 because of that. In fact, spending is down, but only by about six percent ($1.69 billion versus $1.8 billion in 2020). Why? Down-ballot races. House and Senate campaigns and PACs are buying up inventory in competitive districts across the country, with multi-million dollar spends in California and Alabama in particular. AdImpact has projected that the shortfall will be more than made up for by November, when total political spending is estimated to reach a record $10.2 billion. (InsideRadio: Feb 20, 2024)


Though an exact date has yet to be identified, it has been reported in multiple outlets that Amazon’s Freevee service will be discontinued in the coming months. The platform, which offers free, ad-supported movies and TV programs, became somewhat redundant once the mothership Amazon Prime Video introduced advertising last month.  It is believed that Freevee’s offerings would be folded into Prime, which would then have three distinct tiers: a premium ad-free Prime Video, a less-expensive Prime Video with ads, and a totally free service with a more robust commercial load (FKA Freevee). Amazon has denied these reports, stating that: “Amazon Freevee remains an important streaming offering providing both Prime and non-Prime customers thousands of hit movies, shows, and originals, all for free.” Time will tell. (Adweek, among others: Feb 21, 2024)


Every year, it seems like the industry is going to agree on something approaching a common cross-media measurement, and every year… we don’t. With so many companies trying to take Nielsen’s place as the dominant U.S. measurement service, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the Kantars, Comscores, and Arribas. So overwhelmed, in fact, you might not have noticed we made that last one up. Luckily, AdAge offers a look at how Nielsen’s rivals stack up in 2024 to help make sense of it all.  (AdAge: Feb 15, 2024)


February 22, 1992 – Barbara Streisand makes a surprise cameo in SNL’s “Coffee Talk” sketch, joining Mike Myers, host Roseanne Arnold, and guest Madonna to kvell about Babs’ new film The Prince of Tides.  It’s like buttah.

YouTube is neither You nor a Tube. Discuss.