Streaming TV Marketing Slows Due To Strikes, Less New Programs, Cost-Saving Issues

Although premium video streaming services have increased TV paid advertising and promotional efforts, efforts are now increasing more slowly -- just 10% higher over the last three months versus the previous period to paid/promo total value of $151.97 million, according to estimates from EDO Ad EnGage.

This occurred at the same time that the writers' strike began (May 2) followed by the actors’ strike  (July 14).

Some of this current activity may be misleading: Over the last three-month period, there have been 79,600 national TV ads/promo messages, up nearly 90% versus the previous three-month period-- and 34% higher than the same period a year ago.

But nearly all of this dramatic rise came from the most active brand in the period: Warner Bros. Discovery’s Max, which aired a massive 44,250 ad messages, mostly on-air promos on WBD networks -- totaling $72.2 million in value/spend. This was to promote its transition from the HBO Max brand, which changed over to Max on May 23.



But all that focused was for overall general branding messaging of the new platform. It is expected there will be a dramatic slowing down due to lack of new programs to promote if the strikes continue.

This comes as premium streamers are seeking ways to cut costs for the last six months -- especially TV production costs. The strikes are helping in this regard. 

Reports suggest, for example, that Netflix might be saving $1.5 billion on a year basis in additional cash flow. Recently, Warner Bros. Discovery said it believes the strikes -- to date -- have lowered costs by $100 million.

This year, only two of the top five streamers had a paid/advertising value of $10 million or more.

In addition to Max, Amazon Prime Video had $20.6 million in paid ad spend (4,990 airings). 

Last year, from May 11 to August 11, the top five most active platforms included YouTube TV, $15.6 million (606 airings); Amazon Prime, $15.4 million (3,050 airings); HBO Max, $15.2 million (6,560); Paramount+, $11.0 million (8,340).

Most of those that are high on the list a year ago have dropped, with YouTube TV now at $5.53 million (513 airings), followed by Paramount+ at $4.9 million (2,820 airings) and Peacock at $4.4 million (1,450 airings). Peacock was at $5.2 million in spend for 2022 over the period.

Farther down the 2023 list are The Disney Bundle (Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+) at $6.8 million (1,633 airings); Disney+, $5.8 million (1,550 airings); and Hulu, $5.7 million (1,620 airings). 

Many of the big TV-network based companies' national TV campaigns place a large percentage of their TV commercials for their streaming platform on their own TV network airwaves.

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