NOTE: This paper includes an updated methodology section added after the initial release.
Established as a bastion of direct response advertising and long considered the home for niche audiences, online has lagged behind other media, namely TV, as a channel for broadly messaged, brand advertising. The emergence of far-reaching publishers like Facebook, however, means that marketers now have another option for reaching consumers en masse. Likewise, the availability of true cross-screen metrics enables them to understand how digital can reinforce and complement their TV investment.
In fact, according to a recent Nielsen study commissioned by Facebook—which has more than 1 billion users globally—for certain age groups, Facebook can contribute significant incremental or duplicated reach to that of major TV networks. This was particularly true for younger demographics.
During the daytime, Facebook has a reach comparable to or exceeding the four TV networks measured. For consumers ages 25-34, for instance, Facebook added up to an incremental 41 percent reach to the TV networks during the day.
During primetime, when TV networks reached more consumers than Facebook, Facebook was a strong driver of duplicated reach—meaning that a marketer could reach the same consumers online and on TV. For consumers ages 25-34 during primetime, for example, Facebook contributed up to 36 percent duplicated reach to the four measured TV networks.