Do Streaming Services Know How to Reach the Masses?

by Laura Hudson | February 5, 2019

This year’s Super Bowl broadcast had all the usual suspect advertising we’ve come to expect with Anheuser-Busch, Pepsi, car makers and Doritos. But there were also at least 6 subscription streaming video services running ads during the game.

Why would a streaming service choose linear TV to advertise its product?

When you’re trying to reach everybody, you have to be in front of everybody. While we all know that streaming is growing, it’s not there yet. The number of viewers who streamed the game was up 31% this year. However, when we compare that to the linear viewer, it’s a drop in the bucket: 2.6 million people streamed the game, but almost 100 million watched the old-fashioned way.

At a high level, there are parallels to be drawn between our audience and the audience for streaming services. We don’t know where the next client will come from, so we aim to hit the most eyeballs for the least amount of money using our tracking to guide us into more efficient areas. Our goal is to build brand efficiently, so you are the first call. Streaming services just want to grow and build brand. They want to be top-of-mind, i.e. the first call. I wouldn’t call the Superbowl efficient as the ads went for over $5M per spot, but they reached the most eyeballs.

With all the talk of OTT, CTV, digital spending, display, PPC, TrueView, Google ads, social media ads, and on and on and on, it’s hard to know what you should be doing. We will be diving in to the world of ‘digital’ with a new blog series to help explain what’s what. We believe that there is a time and place for all the options. But we also believe that the place to be when you need people to know who you are, to make you the first call, is still good ol’ fashioned linear, traditional TV… and the streaming services believe that, too. They proved it Sunday night by spending big money to be there.