Saturday Night Live ended its 47th season on NBC last Saturday. And while the long-running sketch comedy show’s biggest constant is that it’s constantly changing, it also remains a constant draw for audiences and advertisers.
Below we look at how SNL performed by TV ad impressions and its social video viewing, using the network and view TV ad impression information via iSpot.tvand online video viewing via Tubular Laboratories.
A Top 15 program for NBC by TV Ad Impressions
SNL has been an institution for NBC for nearly five decades. For its 47th season – from October 2, 2021 to May 21, 2022 – the program was No. 15 by TV ad impressions delivered, with more than 3.0 billion, or 1.39% of the total on NBC when it first aired, according to data from I spot.
The show compares well to programs appearing on all four major broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC). During its 47th season, Saturday Night Live was #4 among comedy and variety shows on the Big Four, with 11.0% of impressions, and the only one of the top five to air only once a week. Limiting things to only prime time and late hours on these networks, SNL ranks 41st for non-sports or news programs – with 0.94% of impressions.
Which brands have benefited from these impressions? Progressive was the most viewed advertiser during SNL all season, with 1.79% of impressions, followed by Disney Plus (1.62%), Kohl’s (1.60%), T-Mobile (1.35%) and Target (1.35%). Department stores led the way by sectors, accounting for 6.89% of impressions during the season, but theatrical movies (6.70%) and streaming services (5.93%) followed closely behind.
The focus on entertainment for advertisers also shows the value of SNLfor streaming subscribers and movie buffs. And interestingly, a lot of those impressions were actually for non-NBCUniversal services and movies. Disney Plus, Warner Bros. and Apple TV Plus all had more impressions during the show than Universal Pictures or Peacock. The six most viewed streaming or theatrical ads during SNL this season were also all non-NBCU entities, led by MGM’s spot for Licorice Pizza.
Over 5 billion minutes watched on Facebook and YouTube
For years, Saturday Night Live leaned into growing its audience, uploading skits to social video platforms to encourage audiences to watch and share individual skits – whether they actually listened when it originally aired or not.
During the show’s 47th season, viewers around the world watched more than 5 billion minutes of SNL highlights on YouTube and Facebook, according to Tubular Audience Ratings. This includes a monthly high of over 813 million minutes in October 2021 alone. Since the start of 2022, audiences have been listening to an average of more than 500 million minutes on these two platforms each month. About 20% of these minutes watched come from viewers under the age of 25.
In April 2022, SNL was 13th among U.S. broadcast, cable, radio and movie creators by minutes watched, behind Jimmy Kimmel Live (564.2 million minutes) and ahead Interior Edition (431.4 million). Among the creators owned by NBCU, Saturday Night Live was only behind MSNBC (over a billion minutes), Telemundo Case Cerrado (827.3 million) and NBC News (801.9 million).
On YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, SNL recorded 794 million video views this season, led by October squid game parody, with over 13.6 million views. Of the 10 most-watched videos uploaded by the show this season, four featured Kim Kardashian (who hosted in October) and six featured outgoing actor – and Kim Kardashian’s current boyfriend – Pete Davidson.
Only three of the top 10 videos were pre-filmed sketches, directed by the aforementioned squid game segment. Although “Weekend Update” has been one of the show’s most popular elements for some time, only one of the show’s top 20 social videos came from this segment (this track about Will Smith and Chris Rock received 7.3 million views). Just one of SNL‘s 20 most watched – this sketch “Republican or not” with 4.6 million views – was inherently political in nature. ■