Advertising on Streaming Services

Before the rise of streaming, advertising on cable or satellite television was one of the best ways to reach your audience. Netflix changed the game with the evolution of its content streaming platform, which gave viewers on-demand access to movies and TV shows on any device, for a subscription fee instead of running advertising. A segment of the consumer market was happy to pay this subscription fee in exchange for avoiding ads while accessing premium, professional content.

Fast forward to 2021, where many companies, particularly those that owned proprietary content (e.g. Disney, NBCU) saw the success of Netflix and began creating their own streaming services. With consumers spending lots of time at home in a post-COVID era and looking to be entertained on a tight budget, these companies developed ad supported streaming services as an alternative to Netflix and consumer adoption has taken off like wildfire. Part of the reason that ad-supported streaming services like Philo and Sling are successful in spite of the fact that they have ads is because you can still stream shows whenever you want instead of being stuck with the network programming schedule.

Streaming services have been steadily increasing in popularity over the last few years, going from 52 percent of consumers subscribed to at least one service in 2015 to 78 percent in 2020 (2). Many of these subscribers are cord cutters — people who have dropped their cable or satellite TV in favor of streaming — or they never had a cord, to begin with. It is because of that that over-the-top (OTT) advertising has emerged as a vital way for businesses of any size to reach their audience. OTT advertising is the ads that you see when you are streaming shows and movies.

Benefits of Advertising Through Streaming Services

When you advertise on traditional television, your ads’ exposure is limited to however many people are watching the show at that time. This means that many of the people who are watching the program when your ad comes on are probably not in your target audience, and you are not getting the most out of your advertising budget. 

Streaming platforms have data on their individual users from their watching behaviors. The profiles you can create under a single account in streaming services allow them to learn more about you so that businesses can learn more about their target audiences and buyer personas. When you use OTT advertising, you can utilize this data for more precise targeting, so your ads can reach your intended audiences.

OTT advertising can be highly beneficial for a business of any size, but especially for a small business with a smaller marketing budget. A smaller company can utilize the more precise targeting available through OTT advertising to reach more of their audience for a better price than purchasing ads for cable and satellite television. You can still target specific shows to advertise during, but since people tend to binge watch shows on streaming services, during those extensive binge sessions, they can see your ads frequently, giving you tons of exposure as opposed to only having your ads air with that show once a week. By the time they are done with a season or series, the customers will have seen your ads so much that they may be more likely to seek you out.

Where Can I Buy OTT Advertising?

There are two ways that your business can get OTT advertising: through an OTT advertising platform or through the individual publishers. When you purchase OTT ads from publishers, you are limited to the networks and series they have available, and if you want to have your ads on shows that are not part of those networks, you need to make additional deals with each publisher. This can be time consuming and expensive. With an OTT advertising platform, they do the work for you. JamLoop, one of the fastest growing OTT advertising platforms on the market, has access to many publishers, so you can make a single deal with them and gain access to what your buyer personas are currently watching. As a small business with a lower advertising budget, this can be highly beneficial since you only have to work with one company and pay one rate for the advertising space you will be using. You can also get help optimizing your advertising campaigns, and since OTT advertising is often much less expensive, you can even put together multiple ads targeting different segments of your audience, allowing you to design each ad to be relevant for each segment.

(1) Feiner, Lauren. “Netflix could lose almost a quarter of its subscribers if it started running ads,
study shows.” CNBC. 05 Jul 2019.
(2) Stoll, Julia. “Share of consumers who have a subscription on-demand (SVOD) service in the
United States from 2015 to 2020.” Statista. 13 Jan 2021.

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