Explained: Why primary feed of news channels is the buying currency

BestMediaInfo Bureau
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New Delhi: News channels are no longer unaffected by the growth of digital and a significant movement of viewers from TV to digital has brought them a huge opportunity to maximise their revenues.

Until a few years ago, advertisers were allegedly suppressing their TV rates on account of the fragmentation and movement of their viewership to digital.

After the suspension of ratings following the alleged TRP scam in November 2020, began reporting the concurrent viewership data from YouTube for each news channel.

Republic Day parade of January 26, 2021, was the first visually rich event reported by after the suspension of TV ratings.

Sustained reporting of YouTube concurrent viewers delivered a massive breakthrough to the news channels on December 3, 2023, the counting day for five state assembly elections.

Leading news channels sold hundreds of L-bands (a form of advertising wrapping the screen).

The numbers turned into thousands barely after a month on January 22, 2024, during the consecration ceremony of Ayodhya Ram Temple.

By the time of the announcement of the general elections, the base was built for the news channels eyeing to reap the benefits of their dominance on digital.

Industry sources told that digital ad sales were the mainline for a few news channels this election season due to limited inventories on TV.

Saturday was the first big day for the news channels before counting day and reported the leaderboard of Hindi news channels’ concurrent live viewership of their primary feed.

In no time, received dozens of queries from our viewers and advertisers asking how the primary feed data is important.

What is the primary feed in YouTube LIVE?

Primary feed primarily is the longest-running feed of a channel which depicts the top anchors of the channel in their thumbnails. Sometimes, the primary feed runs for years.

Besides primary feeds, all the news channels run multiple feeds on their YouTube channels to maximise their revenues from YouTube.

A channel can be seen creating dozens of such feeds on any given day running different content.

On the other hand, the primary feed is necessarily the digital version of the live TV feed running on the YouTube channel.

Why primary feed is an important metric

The primary feed has a loyal audience who is prompted to them whenever they visit YouTube.

The multiple or additional feeds get traffic from YouTube search and other YouTube features including click-bait through tricky thumbnails.

On important occasions, other tricks such as bots and influencer push are used to inflate the viewership of additional feeds.

It is also noticed that the viewership of the primary feed remains stable throughout the broadcast whereas there is a major fluctuation in the viewership of additional feeds as soon as the impact of bots or influencer push fades away.

Specifically, for this reason, advertisers look at the primary feed numbers and reports about primary feed numbers to avoid any ambiguity.


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