How Much Data Do Linear TV Marketers Need In A Non-Ad Streaming World?

There is a lack of transparency in the streaming world. Does it matter to major TV marketers when it comes to limited advertising minutes?

When it comes to those advertising-free streamers options/services -- such as Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu -- there’s big amounts of streaming usage to consider.

Those platforms total a huge bulk of streaming viewing. In the second quarter of this year, Nielsen says 25% of total TV consumption comes from streaming. But only 6% is with ad-supported streaming services.

Still, it’s a worldview to consider: TV marketers not only focus on what they can access, but what they can’t access (or used to access). And, if all linear TV viewing usage isn’t being converted -- completely whole -- to the streamers' world, where should they go?

Looking at a granular level, analysts make big estimations on streaming data. But it’s perhaps more important what publicly traded media companies disclose. And from CNBC’s take, it isn't all that good.



From its point of view, Netflix, Disney, Discovery are fairly transparent about their streaming data overall -- at least from a financial perspective. The less transparent ones are HBO Max, Apple TV+, ViacomCBS’s Paramount+ and NBCU’s Peacock.

Even then, what do we really get? Paying subscribers (in the U.S. and worldwide); ARPU (the average monthly rate per subscriber); and, in the case of ViacomCBS, for its free, virtual video on demand service, Pluto TV, average monthly users.

But much is lacking, of course.

Right now, even with Netflix, there’s little in the way of regular usage/viewing for these services. Sure, third-party researchers, like Nielsen, offer what seems to be reasonable viewing data -- total viewing minutes of specific shows on a weekly basis. But in the digital world where servers have actual viewing data, it’s not enough.

And there are other more pressing issues: A continuation of the supply-and-demand problem started years ago with linear TV for top prime-time ad inventory.

Now, marketers are chasing a finite part of all the new premium streaming advertising opportunities -- all due to those platforms' efforts to limit advertising to around four-to-five minutes an hour.

While promising new streaming technology is here -- with the hope of more business outcome data attached to that viewing -- we continue to deal with reruns.

2 comments about "How Much Data Do Linear TV Marketers Need In A Non-Ad Streaming World?".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, July 8, 2021 at 3:47 p.m.

    Interesting question, Wayne. To me the obvious answer is to get a third party panel type service such as Nielsen up to speed regarding sample size, and the ability to measure all activity---including the various digital devices, not just "TV sets". Then an advertiser does not have to be concerned about varying definitions of "viewing", "walled  gardens", and honest reporting, which are major issues today.  You don't need census level data to get a pretty good fix on what's being "watched" as has been demonstrated for every mediam that sells ads in history---but this requires advertiser /agency involvement and funding so as to keep the operation honest and not overly influenced by the sellers.

  2. John Grono from GAP Research, July 8, 2021 at 6:32 p.m.

    Funny you should mention that Ed.

    Down here in AU, our new system called VOZ (Video in Australia) launches later this month but started releasing some data yesterday.

    It is a development by our TV ratings company OzTAM.   It is currently based around the broadcasters and subscription TV which are already measured by OzTAM.  It includes BVOD, SVOB, CTV which will be reported side-by-side.   The system does capture in-home video usage beyond the core broadcasters and STV, but I think that is reported in aggregate at this stage.

    Worth Googling and having a look.

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