Recent announcements about over-the-top (OTT) products from HBO, CBS and Sony as well as offerings from Comcast and DirecTV point to an anticipated shift in viewing behavior, if it’s not already here.
According to Nielsen’s recent Cross-Platform Report, 69% of U.S. adults 18+ today own a gaming console, multimedia device or enabled TV. And 21% of US households now have dedicated set-top or plug-in devices, an increase of 10x since 2010. Which means they have the ability to stream content on-demand in several ways. Additionally, there’s been 53% growth in media consumption year-over-year for 18- to 34-year-olds, and part of this increase is due to viewing content on laptop and mobile devices.
So if there’s no denying that this change is happening, why aren’t more marketers and publishers paying attention?
Consider Roku: It is now the #1 streaming multimedia device in the U.S, with 46% market share. Yet I was shocked to see only 1,800 apps or “channels” in the Roku Channel Store. To put this in perspective, Apple’s iPhone has about 41% market share in the U.S., and there are 1.2 million apps in the Apple store.
Seems like a huge opportunity for publishers to get their content onto a streaming device, and for marketers to reach consumers through a not-so-fragmented (yet) market of channels -- especially anyone targeting 18- to 34-year-olds. From 2009 through 2013, I saw publishers race to get apps into the Apple App store, only to find it was extremely crowded, hard to stay relevant and difficult to grow the subscriber base.
Publishers with a strong video offering should be pushing to get onto the major streaming devices while marketers should be vying to get their messages to consumers on these devices! As more eyeballs shift to commercial-free, on-demand viewing, reaching consumers through the streaming device will be an important channel.
Still not convinced? My company has an intentional focus on 18- to 34-year-old Millennials, and in recent audience surveys, we’ve found 11% of the viewers to be self-proclaimed cord-cutters and another 5% cord-nevers, adding up to a combined 16%. Yet when we view the data with a different lens -- specifically viewing patterns around our streaming content coverage -- we see another 25%-30% of the audience actively seeking out streaming content they could only access through the likes of Amazon, NetFlix and Hulu.
Again, for marketers and publishers, there is an opportunity to connect with these young consumers NOW and shape their brand loyalty.
• Don’t ignore emerging platforms, as incremental effort for streaming devices such as Roku is minimal, and the competition is much less than on other platforms.
• Streaming devices are a captive experience.
• If you’re a publisher, creating compelling content is hard, but the distribution is getting easier. If you already create compelling video content, why not get on these platforms?
• For marketers, devices such as Roku serve ads through digital ad platforms, creating a frictionless buying experience.
The best approach for marketers and publishers is to stay one step ahead of the changing consumption landscape.