With seemingly unlimited options available in today’s television-watching space, it’s no surprise that viewers are now leaving traditional television, cable tv and satellite in droves for more flexible streaming platforms. That’s why I believe that traditional advertising agencies and digital marketing should be steering their clients to spend more advertising dollars on streaming television platforms and invest little-to-none on traditional TV.
According to Forbes.com, when advertisers buy broadcast or cable advertising, they’re very limited with their target audience. When picking a spot time, a show and a wide zone, they are taking a guess on viewership. When done correctly, streaming advertising can not only prove to be extremely successful for the advertiser but also help consumers be exposed to messages that are more relevant to them. Traditional TV, also known as Linear TV — when a viewer watches a TV program on a specific channel, at a scheduled time — was once the only go-to option for placing a visual message in front of thousands, or even millions of captive viewers.
Here’s an example: Flashback 15 years ago to 2004. It’s 7:55 p.m. on a Wednesday night and the season finale of “American Idol” is set to air in just 5 minutes. To find out the results, the millions of viewers who wanted to tune-in needed to be on the couch, in position, snack in-hand at 8 p.m. sharp, and remain through the duration of the show, commercials and all. Miss it, and the moment would be gone.
Fast-forward to 2019 and options for TV viewers have skyrocketed. Most viewers say, “I’ll record it on my DVR,” “I’ll just fast-forward through the commercials to speed things up,” or “I’d rather watch last season on-demand instead.” These are just a few of the many options that viewers have today. Connected TV is a television or connected device with an internet connection and a User Interface (UI) device that enables users to access content through applications. Examples include Over-The-Top Devices (OTT) and Subscription Video-On-Demand Services, which includes popular options like PlayStation Vue, Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire.
Popular platforms like Netflix, Hulu and YouTube have also changed the game. They are not only offering appealing options to viewers, but also to advertisers. At Wizard Digital, we’ve recently started shifting clients, such as car dealerships, retailers, healthcare and consumer product companies who are notorious for traditional TV commercials, to streaming platforms and online pre-roll ads. Now, both viewers and advertisers have seemingly endless options when it comes to catching their favorite shows.
This past year, I had the opportunity to work with an automotive group with four dealerships in Miami, Florida. When I arrived, they were spending a significant amount each month on traditional advertising including broadcast and cable TV advertising. By redirecting a portion of their existing budget to YouTube, CTV, and OTT advertising, we were able to target individuals in the market for a new vehicle in their target zip codes. The additional tracking data was extremely helpful in optimizing our video advertising campaigns in ways that we were not as easily able to through traditional advertising.”
Here are a few key reasons why this shift is happening:
1. More Specific Demographic Targeting
Streaming platforms are a great place to reach active Millennial and Generation X consumers. According to a 2017 Nielsen study, 56 percent of people ages 18-49 are using Connected TV. Unlike traditional TV Advertising that limits geographic targeting to broad, pre-determined ‘zones’, streaming advertising allows the advertiser to select (and de-select) specific zip codes in a desired area. Also, instead of taking a guess and hoping to reach the right viewership, digital options allow advertisers to reach consumers directly where they consume content. For example, let’s say ‘Gym A’ wants to reach ‘Mary’, a 29-year-old female who lives within a one-mile radius of their location. On a streaming platform, the gym can target Mary based on her interests, behaviors, age, gender, location and more.
2. Ability to Reach All Screens and all Streams
Opportunities to reach viewers in today’s on-the-go society have expanded well beyond the living room, the bedroom, and the Connected TV screen. Advertisers now have many options to make their message ‘follow’ viewers wherever they may be watching. From desktop computers, mobile phones and tablets, there are no shortage of ways to position a brand in front of potential new customers. Specifically, Wizard Digital specializes in helping clients to create and implement both long-format and short format video content for optimization on all devices and platforms. Advertisers enjoy broadcast-quality content with the scale and measurability of digital media. Short-form online video allows advertisers to connect with consumers on premium content and build brand engagement by featuring a brand before, during and after a show, episode or segment. These types of videos are viewable by design, can be viewed in full-screen or vertical mobile mode, can appear as pre-roll, mid-roll or post-roll and can be done in six, 15, 30 or 60-second formats. Having a variety of messages accessible by all devices can ensure that any brand’s message reaches its intended audience.
3. More Flexibility
Perhaps the most appealing reason to engage in digital TV advertising is for the flexible options that it offers. On YouTube alone, advertisers can reach their audience using a one-off video, longer form video, a series, an ‘always-on’ channel (tentpole campaign) and more. With this, targeting can be specified by interest, age, gender, parental status, household income, affinities, and life events. Advertising on an on-demand, OTT or streaming platform also allows a unique opportunity to see and evaluate results throughout a campaign. With regular, sometimes even real-time campaign reporting, clients can enjoy more transparency, allowing them to make data-informed decisions and tweak campaigns for maximum optimization. Although the experience of curling up on the couch with a good show at 8 p.m. sharp still has its place in our society, it’s also no secret that the ‘Netflix and chill’ trend is here to stay, and one that should not be ignored by potential advertisers looking to reach a more specific audience across all devices and garner real results.