Streaming video has quickly become a cornerstone of consumers’ daily entertainment diet, and many pay for multiple streaming services.
In fact, more than 49 million homes -- or 53% of U.S. Wi-Fi-connected homes -- accessed at least one over-the-top (OTT) streaming TV service, according to December 2016, data from comScore.
The data provider found that Netflix is the leader in the streaming space, claiming 75% percent of OTT homes as of last December, while YouTube was viewed in 53% of those homes. At the time, Amazon Video had 33% of the homes and Hulu had 17%.
The growth of OTT services reveals that streaming video is firmly entrenched, according to Greg Isaacs, chief product and marketing officer, Branded Entertainment Network (BEN), a global hub that identifies placement opportunities for brands across digital media and entertainment platforms.
BEN has worked with brands like Microsoft, Heineken and Honda, and Dyson, and developed OTT and TV integrations for Dos Equis ("Portlandia"), Dunkin' Donuts ("Orange Is the New Black"), Dyson ("Grace & Frankie"), GM ("House of Cards"), and Zillow ("Royal Pains").
Video Insider spoke with Isaacs about the streaming video space.
Video Insider: What do you want people to know about the streaming market?
Greg Isaacs: The market isn’t emerging, it’s here. And it’s dominated by Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu--65% of households have one of these services. Netflix has 52 million subscribers and Amazon has 48 million. The audiences for shows on these services are huge and are beginning to rival TV.
For example, on Netflix, "Orange is the New Black" had an audience of 14.8 million in June, "House of Cards" had 9.9 million people in June, and "13 Reasons Why" had 14 million people in May. These are very sizeable audiences and they rival broadcast TV.
Audiences prefer integrations vs. interruptions from ads.
We found that nearly all original series on Amazon in 2016 had at least one product integration. Ninety-one percent of Hulu’s originals, and 74% of Netflix’s had integrations. We estimated there are 2.6 billion available impressions on Netflix in 2017.
VI: What trends are up in the streaming market?
Isaacs: We’re looking at what’s going to happen with respect to live programming. Live sports and events are keeping broadcast TV alive. Amazon is experimenting with the NFL. What will it learn? When and how will these companies monetize their audiences beyond a subscription model?
Clients want to know how big the audiences for streaming video are relative to broadcast and TV. We’ve found the streaming platforms and their programming rival -- and, in some cases, surpass -- broadcast.
For programming on these services, we think brands need to find another way to get in front of their audiences via product integration.
One thing brands need to know is that social media influencers are not always celebrities. They’re tastemakers and best friends. Interestingly, we’ve found that about 40% of millennial subscribers to YouTube say influencers know them better than their friends.
VI: How do you assess the performance of integrations?
Isaacs: We measure every integration and how it performed: how many people saw it, the audience makeup, and, in some cases, how a campaign drove brand awareness and purchase intent.
Clients want to know the size of the anticipated audience that will see the integration. Then after the integration, they want to know how big the audience actually was in terms of impressions. Then they care about whether the integration increased brand recall.
We do pre- and post-campaign surveys on aided and unaided awareness. We want to know how the integration impacted the consumer’s affinityfor the product, and then how did the integration move the needle on purchase intent. We do that through available data sources like MRI and proprietary research.
For auto brands, we look at purchase intent, but that’s typically on a three- to four-year time horizon. In our surveys we ask questions about consideration, affinity for the brand, and how watching the show has changed their willingness to consider the brand.
VI: What’s your take on measurement in this space?
Isaacs: Nielsen’s approach is a step in the right direction. Advertisers and media are struggling to come up with a standardized measurement for streaming services. There’s still a lot of work to do. Nielsen’s latest move is still very much a linear programming methodology based on watching live TV.
People are watching TV in different ways -- and not necessarily live TV. The industry hasn’t really come up with a solution. Plus, the streaming services have no incentive to disclose audience data on their own.