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Why Advertising on Streaming Services Beats Linear TV


The last decade has seen a real boom in the subscription video on demand (SVOD) market. As consumers have come to expect flexible, easy access to content, they’ve grown increasingly dissatisfied with the traditional, linear TV experience and are making the switch to streaming.

This phenomenon has caused a major shift in the advertising landscape and left many marketers wondering how to respond.

Streaming Services Can Target More Specific Audiences

The benefits of streaming TV advertising over linear TV aren’t limited to the user experience; they also extend to advertisers. With streaming services, corporations can reach specific audiences through advertising content that is better tailored to them.

When advertisers are able to find the right content for their target audience and place their ads in it, they have a much better chance of engaging with the right people. There are many ways that streaming services make this possible.

For example, streaming companies have gathered data on their users’ viewing habits to better understand what makes them watch certain shows over others or keep watching after they’ve started playing.

This data has been used to create algorithmically-generated categories that make it easier for viewers to find what they want to watch at any given time, but they also make it simple for advertisers to identify the best places for their ads based on who is watching what and when.

The Commercial Load Is Lighter

The average commercial load on a streaming service is much lighter than it is on linear TV (especially if you watch basic cable). Viewers who are used to binge-watching six episodes of their favorite show in one sitting don’t want to sit through a two-minute commercial break every 15 minutes.

This lighter load leads to higher engagement with ads that spark interest — since viewers aren’t jumping at every opportunity to hit the fast-forward button.

Streaming Services Are More Mobile Friendly

Millennials have a reputation for eschewing traditional media in favor of mobile platforms. That’s why it’s no surprise that streaming services have fully embraced mobile streaming (whereas many network apps still require you to prove your cable subscription).

This preference means your ad has the chance to be seen by a lot more eyes than it would have otherwise — if you didn’t know, the average American spends five hours of their day scrolling through social media and apps on their phone!

There’s a Lot Less Competition

The rise of streaming services has caused many advertisers to cut their budget for linear TV ads, leaving more space for those who remain.

For this reason, you can expect to see higher rates for commercials on live television during prime-time viewing hours, whereas ad slots on popular streaming sites are often just as affordable as ads on niche sites.

Streaming services offer a wide variety of content and formats to choose from, making them extremely versatile. These streaming services also have a much larger audience than linear TV — in fact, 84% of U.S. internet users stream video online at least once per month, compared to the 78% who watch linear TV on any given day.

With younger demographics cutting the cord and moving towards streaming platforms, the future is looking bright for those who advertise on these platforms.

Since there’s so much streaming content out there for viewers to choose from, it stands to reason that watching television no longer means sitting half-distracted in front of a screen for hours upon end. People aren’t just watching — they’re binge-watching!

When they’re binge-watching, they’re not just passively sitting back (or lying down) and absorbing information — they’re actively engaged in what they’re watching, and they want more! That’s the kind of engaged viewership that advertisers need if they want their campaign to reach a huge audience.

There’s Less Money Wasted on Irrelevant Consumers

In the past, advertisers would have to pay for an ad to be shown to an entire demographic segment — even if only one person in that segment was interested in the product or service being offered.

With the ability to target specific groups of people based on their online behavior and information that they’ve provided themselves, your ad is more likely to be seen by someone who already wants what you’re selling.

As you might realize, these four features have a lot to offer advertisers and viewers alike. Combined, they create an engaging experience for viewers that makes advertising during streaming services more attractive than linear TV advertising.

Now it will be up to streaming services to continue improving their services and grabbing market share from traditional networks.

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