How Streaming Services Do Advertising

If you’re going to interrupt my viewing program it better be worth it.

I have lived my entire adult life without a cable bill…SPOILER ALERT: I’m only 23 years old. As a millennial woman, you can guess that I am obsessed with all things Meredith Grey, final roses and Dunder Mifflin. So what am I doing to fill my need for dramatic, raunchy and pointless TV? You guessed it, by using streaming services.

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TIME reported that in the second quarter of 2016 alone, 812,000 Americans eliminated their cable bill. Each year, more and more viewers are cutting the cord to avoid paying hundreds of dollars in cable charges. Why pay the high cost of cable when you can pay just $8/month to watch the show the next day, $9/month to binge watch your favorite sitcom or $15/month to watch the most recent Game of Thrones episode and other favorites.

Streaming companies make millions of dollars each year off advertisements, but as Netflix has proven, the no-commercial model works and is ideal for consumers who find ads annoying and invasive. Hulu recently began offering a commercial-free service for a higher monthly subscription and Spotify (a music streaming service) is accessible to anyone, but can only be an uninterrupted service if you pay the monthly subscription.

So what is this telling advertisers? That now, more than ever, ads need to be relevant to the audience because in this day and age, we can just pay to get rid of them. Consumers that are using streaming services are choosing how and when they want to watch certain programs, so why can’t the same be done with advertisements? Interactive ads through streaming services are becoming more and more popular to keep consumers engaged and keep ads personalized to the viewer.

An ad tech company, BrightLine, is bringing the digital ad space to TV and has tons of data that can be shared and segmented so that brands are serving their ads to the right audiences. We are beginning to see brands respect and value the viewer’s time more, which is why the message needs to be clever, direct and interactive. Interactive ads are those that the viewer can use and engage with, rather than just watching a commercial. Interactive ads have a higher click-thru rate than those of regular digital display ads because of the engagement that is required of the user. Once a brand is able to identify its target market, it must create content that a viewer will interact with because viewers are not as likely to pay to eliminate commercials they think are enticing or relevant.

Selecting the services for your ad to appear, choosing the correct audience and creating content that will get the consumer to engage are all key to the new developing ad space that is streaming services. These services are allowing us to reach TV viewers in more direct and personalized ways.

So the next time we advertisers want to share our brand’s message right before the voting results are revealed for the most recent Dancing with the Stars episode, let’s make sure our viewer will interact, watch and engage.

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About Natalie Nunez

Natalie assists in the media planning and buying processes with the media team and works closely with the accounts team. She also collaborates with media outlets and reps to make the best media recommendations for the client. Before joining MCC, Natalie graduated from Sam Houston State University, earning a degree in Mass Communication with an emphasis in Public Relations and Advertising. She was born in Chicago and raised in Houston, Texas. Outside of work, she enjoys hanging out with friends, spending summer days at the pool and scrolling through her Instagram feed.

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