Who’s winning so far? Consumers and marketers.
An IAB study in August showed over three-quarters (76%) of those who regularly stream video say they watched ad-supported OTT (ad-supported video on demand). Nearly half (49%) of those streamers report they watched ad-supported OTT most of the time.
Premium video streaming has gained big momentum, particular with D2C advertisers that look to expand efforts beyond their narrow-focused digital platforms to include traditional linear TV, as well as related premium OTT platforms.
Advertising on OTT is expected to grow 37% this year to almost $7 billion, according to a recent eMarketer estimate.
But there is less clarity when it comes to standard measurements of OTT activity and business outcomes.
A range of ad-supported digital VOD platforms include vertical programming platforms like Hulu and CBS All Access; set-top box/software platforms (Roku or Amazon Fire TV); as well as virtual streaming linear TV services (Sling TV, AT&T Now, fuboTV, Tubi TV). At the same time, there are full subscription, no advertising services: Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV+ and the upcoming HBO Max.
Of course, some are playing in both advertising and non-advertising areas: Hulu, as well as HBO Max and NBCU’s Peacock.
Consumers may wonder what combination of digital services they might want -- not just to replace traditional TV services, but perhaps as transitional services. Many have both traditional TV and digital TV platforms.
The Video Advertising Bureau says 70% have both -- with 15% doing streaming-only and 15% with a streaming and digital TV antenna combination.
Other recent surveys note there is a wide disparity among demographics. For example, the VAB says 65% of Gen Z/millennials have four or more paid OTT subscriptions, with just 13% of seniors/baby boomers having four or more.
Do you need a game plan? Maybe throw in a detailed algorithm of your own choice.