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Ads served on TV streaming sites perform better: Study

With TV viewing habits evolving as tablets and smartphones become mediums to consume television content, marketers are also going beyond TV and looking at streaming sites to reach audiences. A whitepaper by TubeMogul on programmatic TV in US highlights that ads served on streaming sites significantly outperform ads on other content. Viewability rates on streaming sites are nearly 70 per cent higher than the US pre-roll average, producing 25 per cent more efficient VCPMs despite higher upfront costs.

The whitepaper suggests that streaming sites are an excellent medium to reach younger audiences, who increasingly see the computer as their main TV screen. Younger audiences are also seen tuning in online on content aggregators which allow users to watch television without a pay TV subscription.

The audience is attentive on this medium as there is limited drop-off in completion rates between 15 and 30 second ads, according to the whitepaper. This allow marketers to spend more time delivering their message.

In terms of devices, computers lead as the most popular device for accessing streaming sites – though consumption is increasing across all screens. Viewing on computers is fairly steady throughout the day, beginning in the late morning and continuing until 11 pm. Viewing on tablets and phones, on the other hand, peaks between 10 pm and midnight. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the most busy days for streaming sites as they feature the popular broadcast television shows.

For planning a strategy for TV streaming sites, the whitepaper highlights that marketers have the option of targeting audiences based on genre or network, which is similar to picking channels and programs in a linear TV buy. Beyond audience and engagement, this allows marketers to consider ad to content ratio.

Reality TV shows offer the highest ad to content ratio and are followed by dramas and documentaries. The number of ads per episode has grown 83 per cent for dramas over the past year, granting advertisers more opportunities to run alongside gripping content.

It is also important for marketers to consider which type of service is providing the content while planning the marketing strategy. There are three ways to reach the TV streaming audience:
• Service Providers: sites and apps for pay TV providers (e.g. AT&T, Comcast) that require users to sign in to access content.
• Program Providers: sites and apps for television networks or programs (e.g. NBC, Telemundo) that sometimes require users to sign in with their pay TV provider to access content.
• Content Aggregators: sites and apps that bundle programs and allow users to watch without a pay TV provider; sometimes require a subscription fee (e.g. Hulu, DramaFever).

The whitepaper highlights that each of these options offer different value for marketers. Service providers offer efficient VCPMs, program providers offer high viewability and content aggregators offer global reach. Each service comes with its own audience and demographics that are crucial in media planning.

Advertising on streaming sites allows marketers who want to build on their TV plan to reach demographics who may have low linear TV consumption (like young millennials), and do so with the same content, engagement and high-quality context they expect from TV, the whitepaper suggests.

Streaming sites also fit in well with marketers who want to build on a digital plan as the whitepaper highlights, it offers all of the targeting options of digital, combined with high performance and a lean-back viewing experience – whether it occurs in an actual living room or not.

Shubhi Tandon

Shubhi Tandon is the Assistant Editor at Digital Market Asia. Fascinated by the evolving digital media industry, she has focussed on tracking developments in the Asia Pacific market since 2014.