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Advertising On Streaming Services

Advertisers go where the audience is. A decade ago, that meant advertising on television. Then the audience shifted to the big streaming services, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. Soon everyone wanted to get in on the game. The streaming marketplace fragmented to include single-network offerings like Peacock, HBO Max, Discovery Plus, and Curiosity Stream.

The Streaming Video Service Marketplace

For now, we’ll ignore the streaming services that mirror ads from the over-the-air platforms like DirectTV streaming or Paramount+. We’re focusing on places you can buy advertising specifically for streaming services.

Some platforms, like Peacock, allow you to buy ads across their parent company’s entire network of streaming and traditional TV services using a single marketplace. In fact, they encourage advertisers to do so with NBCUniversal One Platform.

Anyone who wants to buy ads on streaming services should be testing and learning too. The video-on-demand advertising market is evolving rapidly thanks to the speed of technical innovation and changing consumer expectations. To stay relevant in this shifting marketplace, brands need to stay aware of the rising trends.

Reaching Cord Cutters with Streaming TV

The biggest trend in television advertising is the continued movement away from traditional TV. Viewers, especially young people, are skipping live TV in favor of streaming services. In the third quarter of 2021, cable and satellite television companies lost about 1.33 million TV customers.

Where did they all go? Mostly to streaming services.

People are still watching TV, they’re just picking different ways to do it. About 82% of US households had at least one subscription video-on-demand service according to the Leichtman Research Group’s Emerging Video Services 2021 study. More than half of U.S. households have three or more subscriptions.

Consumers generally prefer the convenience and cost savings of streaming services. They like that they can access all of their favorite shows anywhere on any device.

Best Practices For Ad Buys On Streaming Services

Before we dive into buying on specific platforms, there are some best practices that apply to all streaming services.

  1. Know your audience.

One of the benefits of advertising on streaming services is the access to nuanced viewer data. Platforms know more about viewers than just what they watch. They may also have demographics, buying habits and other data valuable for targeting. To use these tools to your best advantage, you should understand exactly who you’re trying to reach before advertising on streaming services. Think beyond demographics to create a detailed buyer persona.

  1. Choose the right streaming service.

Each service caters to a slightly different audience. While many households have multiple streaming services, that doesn’t mean they’re all the same. Ask for information about their audience demographics and viewership habits to decide if this is the best platform for you.

  1. Design for multiple screen sizes.

Remember that television screens are just one way that people watch video on demand. Viewers may see your ad on their desktop computer, tablet or cell phone. Create an ad that is visually effective even if it’s served on a five inch screen.

  1. Keep your brand in focus.

“If you’re going to spend the money on video make sure your brand is really present as you’re telling your brand story, not just a logo that pops up at the end.” Power said. “Bring that story to life in the context of how the product is used.”

That doesn’t mean you stick a logo on every available surface, but it does mean your viewers should know what the commercial is advertising even if they look away from their screen for a few seconds.

  1. Follow ad guidelines for each platform.

Streaming services have ad guidelines for a reason. They help you meet viewer expectations and create high quality ads. Review and understand the ad guidelines for each program before you even start the video creation process.

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