Commentary

Will Streaming Platforms Get Their True Share Of Super Bowl Ad Dollars?

The most recent Super Bowl data continues to show rising results for streaming. But perhaps not so dramatically in real dollars.

CBS says a record 5.7 million average minute viewers watched the game on all streaming platforms, up 65% from the year before. This comes against a total of 96.4 million TV and streaming viewers who watched the game.

That amounts to a 6% share for streaming. The bigger question is about the bottom line: When will meaningful dollars flow through those streaming platforms?

The broadcast network airing the annual event now regularly posts -- as expected -- very big dollars.

Last year on Fox, ad research company Kantar says, the network pulled in $448.7 million from in-game advertising -- up 33% from the year before. Individual 30-second commercial unit prices also keep climbing -- now $5.6 million this year, up from $5.5 million a year ago, according to estimates.

What part of these advertising dollars should be ascribed to streaming? Should we assume the share of overall TV-video viewership at 6%?

That would be roughly $27 million in video advertising -- which would be the highest ad revenue ever for a single digital video event.

In reality, TV networks do a lot of bundling of platforms -- especially when it comes to highly viewed, high-priced TV events. So the incremental revenue would seem to be lower.

New media platforms always had this hurdle to get over when competing with legacy media: Can they run up revenue to parity levels of traditional media platforms?

There is a lot of room to grow in the future -- a potential 310 million U.S. TV viewers, according to Nielsen. In 2020, there were 206.2 million people viewing content on CTV platforms in just over 80% of all U.S. homes (104.5 million), per eMarketer.

Perhaps digital media should get a greater share of revenue, according to some analysts. Digital media, with valuable return-path engagement, business outcome data, would seem to have the upper hand — at least for now. Traditional linear TV is trying to catch up.

Maybe the big game just needs to be exclusive to those streaming video platforms in some degree to show its true worth. Care to make any bets as to when that might be?

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