Fishing for TV’s ‘cord cutters’ with streaming video ads

Nov 15 , 2017

Reprinted from South Florida Business Journal.

Video streaming services and platforms are creatively helping all sizes of advertisers reach straying target audiences who are rapidly fleeing traditional TV and cable networks.

In fact, new research shows that hundreds of thousands of Americans dropped their traditional pay TV package in the first quarter of 2017. And just in the last five years, more than 40 percent of teens and younger millennials have moved onto other entertainment, including streaming. Add to that exodus, 25 percent of older millennials and you’re talking about a large audience of potential viewers. This is where marketers need to look up and pay attention, because this is a continuing story.

Both large and small advertisers pay attention.

Being able to develop a TV audience based on guaranteed programming is pretty much a thing of the past. But with a good fishing strategy on streaming video you can still find both the programs and the audiences that you may have previously invested in.

In fact, for big brands this means reaching those audiences in a more targeted way, for less money and with guaranteed views they did not receive with traditional TV.

Even a mom and pop shop with a limited budget, can cast a wider net with streaming video to effectively reach a targeted local audience without the waste.

The conundrum is a maze of streamers and content.

Among the most popular streamers are Hulu, Amazon Video and ABC. But there are dozens of them and many new ones swimming in the waters, including YouTube TV, which last month announced its expansion into South Florida.

Streaming video services provide most advertisers the ability to geographically target by age, behaviors and viewing habits. And they “guarantee” those audiences and the number of impressions. Part of the reason they can make that guarantee, is that their video ads run “in stream” and cannot be skipped or fast-forwarded.

What most streaming services don’t have is the ability to target household income. There are exceptions but the costs skyrocket.

The other hiccup, compared to traditional advertising, is there is no guarantee for program content adjacency. To assist in segmenting, the larger streamers do offer “genre” buys, based on lifestyle such as LGBTQ, ethnicity, traditional and multi-cultural families, and the like.However, specific programs are not guaranteed.

Program content creators free to roam

Programming content creators have already broadened their base from their cable alliances, to provide their audiences many ways to view their programs via their own websites, apps, or arrangements with multiple streamers. How all of these will play into the picture for advertisers is still to be determined.

What is certain is that the binge viewers of streaming video content may watch all of the lastest series of their favorite show in one sitting, but they have no patience for long video ads. They are good for 15 seconds of viewing with the best creative, and that is about it. The good news is that you only pay for what’s played. Even traditional TV has more and more 15-second ads, and you might even see two of the same ads in one commercial break – a strategy that seems to be working.

The bottom line is that you cannot catch a fish without your hook in the water. Still, many advertisers have yet to go after this audience, which is abandoning their parents’ traditional TV viewing habits and who are out on their own finding a huge menu of content for their entertainment.

Not long ago, a report stated that under $10 billion is spent in digital video market advertising and not all of that on the video streaming services. It’s prime time for you to “drop a hook in the water” and get some of the benefit of this audience migration for your organization. Video streaming ads can definitely provide a competitive advantage.

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