Flynnsights // October 11, 2023

Catching Your Target Audience in Streaming Video

Navigating today’s fragmented TV landscape

Bob Burch

Bob Burch

Chief Media Officer

If you’re reading this at home, chances are you or someone in your household is currently watching a streaming video service (or more than one).

While half of US adults still have a monthly cable or satellite TV subscription,1 streaming accounted for the biggest share of TV viewing throughout 2023, peaking in the summer months when there’s less new content and live sports.2
Break down that streaming share further into the services people are watching, and you’ll see that beyond YouTube and Netflix, the pie has a lot of narrow slices. With the number of Americans who subscribe to four or five streaming services more than doubling from 2019 to 2022 (and 7% of households now subscribing to six or more),3 that fragmentation isn’t surprising—it’s inevitable.

Reports of video advertising’s death have been greatly exaggerated

The good news for advertisers? Options for streaming video advertising are also exploding. A growing number of viewers opt for ad-supported video on demand (AVOD), trading a bit of advertising for lower subscription costs. In fact, that number has risen to 90%.1
In the first half of this year, significant portions of new subscribers to Netflix, Max, and Disney+, as well as the majority of new Hulu and Peacock subscribers, were choosing ad-supported options.1

There’s also been significant growth in free, ad-supported streaming television (FAST) platforms such as Freevee and Pluto, with one in three US streaming video users subscribing to these services.1 With more than 1,000 individual FAST channels available in the US, additional fragmentation is unavoidable.4

The more things change…

In this constantly evolving, highly fragmented environment, one thing does remain constant: the need to get the right message to the right person at the right time. To help make that happen, the Flynn media team sticks to a few core principles:
  1. Think Audience First
    While streaming video consumption continues to rise across virtually every demographic, we never jump right into it (or any tactic) without first diving into audience data to better understand who they are, what they think, how they shop, how they consume media, and how they prefer to discover new brands.
  2. Choose Quality Over Quantity
    Streaming may have dozens of platforms and thousands of channels, but we work to curate a list of the best platforms to efficiently reach our target audience, then negotiate direct or programmatic guaranteed deals with a focus on quality programming.
  3. Follow the 80/20 Rule
    Diversification and ongoing testing is key to nailing the right mix to reach your audience. While the vast majority of our media spend goes to tried-and-true tactics and platforms, we reserve at least 20% of any media budget for ongoing testing and vendor discovery.

What’s next?

Certainly “more”—more platforms, more fragmentation, more share grabbed from cable and broadcast. But no matter what happens, staying focused on your audience, sticking with the best programming, and committing to testing and learning will allow you to continue utilizing the unmatched power of video advertising.
1. Samba TV, “The State of Viewership,” 2023
2. Nielsen, August, 2023
3. Nielsen, “State of Play,” 2022
4. Nielsen, “State of Play,” 2023

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