OTT Advertising Becoming ‘Safe Haven’ in Shifting Market
As the pandemic has changed viewing habits, advertising on OTT opens new avenues
WASHINGTON—With the COVID-19 pandemic boosting streaming hours, it’s very likely that the viewing habits of a majority of consumers have been altered for good. The advertising market may soon follow them as OTT offers new opportunities for both sides of the coin to capitalize on, as detailed in the MediaRadar-hosted panel “The Future of OTT: What to Expect.”
Linear TV advertising has been down since the start of the pandemic in March, as economic realities changed for many companies and TV content that would draw big audiences and could charge large advertising fees was either postponed or cancelled. However, the OTT streaming market has, for lack of a better word, according to Bill Condon, senior vice president, Advertising Partnerships at Xumo, “done well in this new reality.” Condon told the panel that Comcast’s free ad-supported streaming service Xumo has seen spikes in the number of people watching its content and subsequently a spike in its advertising.
Matthew Graham, general manager for Acorn TV, a U.S.-based SVOD service specializing in British programming, supported Condon’s assertion, saying how in the early days of the pandemic they were seeing between two and three-times the increase in value in their ad opportunities. While those numbers have come down in recent months, they are still ahead of where they were in February before lockdowns began. “There feels like there’s been a shift,” he said.
There’s more to that shift than just an increase in ad-supported streaming, as Justin Gutschmidt, head of National Sales, Premion, explained to the panel. The opportunities available with advertising on OTT are both bigger and more specific than what is traditionally available through linear.
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