Advert-supported streamers are seeing the most important vacation increase of all time

Black Friday is still a few days away, but for ad-supported streaming services and connected TV platforms, this Christmas advertising season is already the biggest, longest, and busiest of all.

That's good news for the fast-growing streaming landscape, which has already seen a record year in both audience growth and marketing investments due to Covid-19. As this unusual (and extended) Christmas shopping season progresses faster and faster, ad-supported streamers are leveraging a confluence of benefits – lengthy sales, retailers' emphasis on online shopping, and the need for precision – all of which help drive connected television and streaming as marketing promote vehicle for both direct-to-consumer brands and big box retailers.

“In 2020 everything changed. Why should this holiday season be any different? ”Said Alison Levin, Roku's vice president, global advertising revenue and marketing solutions.

The promising Christmas advertising season for streaming starts after ad spend has already increased on these platforms. Connected TV and OTT advertising spending increased 70% from the first quarter of 2020 to the third quarter. This is based on recent figures from Pixalate, a global platform for information on advertising fraud and compliance with marketing guidelines.

As we head into the fall, retailers who saw sales declines due to downtime and other disruptions from Covid-19 are seeing an opportunity to make up for lost sales. Adobe predicts record sales during the vacation. According to a joint survey by Roku and Harris Poll, consumers expect to spend an average of $ 885 on vacation shopping, up 2.5% year over year.

The same consumers start shopping early on their vacation: nearly two-thirds of Americans said they are already well on their way, according to the Thanksgiving survey. This has resulted in longer retailer ad times, starting as early as October when Amazon's delayed Prime Day encouraged particularly early Christmas shopping and turned on the marketing spigot for streamers.

"Black Friday used to be a big deal, and Cyber ​​Monday was a big deal, and it was kind of a start to the season," said Mark Rotblat, chief revenue officer of Fox's own ad-supported streamer Tubi. “This year, Amazon Prime Day was part of the season, and lots of promotions were distributed in October and November. There isn't that one point in time when it was in the past. "

These advanced marketing campaigns are increasingly focused on promoting business through e-commerce channels rather than through in-store sales. Per Roku and Harris, while three-quarters of consumers won't go to physical stores on Black Friday, 40% of consumers plan to check for deals online that day. This is where ad-financed television gets a further boost: OTT viewers are, on average, younger than linear television viewers, and younger shoppers are generally more convenient to shop online.

"For retailers who have an e-commerce message or a retail message, or even just a message about what their brand means to an audience like our Hispanic audience, streaming was a breeze," said Natalia Borges, marketing director at ad-supports Spanish speaking streamer Vix. "Where are your most captive audiences that are young, spending the money, ordering? We can offer that to the audience. "

Streaming services and platforms also benefit as marketers continue to face pressures to get measurable results with lead generation and sales results. At Roku, marketers have seen a noticeable increase in interest in using interactive ad formats as part of marketing campaigns, Levin said.

"Brands want to use the television screen to initiate a transaction with a consumer and connect them from there to the cell phone or from there to the desktop," said Levin. "Whether it's a QR code or a sweepstakes where you enter an email, the transaction will start on the TV screen and broadcast to other platforms. While the ability existed before, it wasn't used that way how it is used now. "

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