The Nielsen Company is regarded as the world's most trusted source of television ratings statistics, and in a new report utilizing GLAAD's own work in television, they've turned their attention to how LGBT-inclusive programming stacks up in terms of both viewership and ad dollars. Some of the findings come as a pleasant surprise.
Nielsen also worked with GLAAD to help them determine which programs on broadcast television included at least one regular or recurring LGBT character or cast member, and then compared those programs against others that did not. The inclusive shows comprised 24% of the programming on broadcast television last season, but actually attracted 28% of the audience share. On the whole, the average ratings for inclusive programs were better than those for programs that were not.
Other interesting findings include:
- Among viewers aged 12 to 34, at least 37% of their primetime broadcast scripted TV viewing was spent on LGBT-inclusive programs, as shown in the above Nielsen graph.
- While they accounted for 28% of viewership, 22% of advertising dollars were spent on LGBT-inclusive programs. (GLAAD Note: a discrepancy reports like this will hopefully rectify)
- The highest percentage of advertising dollar share for LGBT-inclusive programs came from the motion picture industry (28.3) and department stores (27.6).
- The lowest percentage of advertising dollar share for LGBT-inclusive programs came from pharmaceutical companies (14.9).
In regard to these findings, Nielsen's Executive Vice President of Audience Measurement, Matt O'Grady, expressed a sentiment GLAAD has shared for years: “The inclusion of LGBT characters on TV more accurately portrays the diverse and multicultural society we live in by encompassing all segments of the population.” GLAAD thanks Nielsen for recognizing this and sharing their findings with the public.