Streaming Continues to Grow: What the Industry Needs to Focus On Now

Streaming has changed and grown exponentially this past year and continues to grow in importance for marketers as it rises to main stream media numbers. With this continued growth, Ad spend in the streaming digital ad space is projected to pass $10 billion dollars in 2021, according to eMarketer.

In the early 2010s, streaming video was a secondhand platform compared to cable and tv providers. Today Farfetched Studios has found that it has matured technologically to engage more audiences and greatly increased its scale. Unfortunately, the rapid growth over the past year has left the marketplace full of poor-quality ads and unsophisticated delivery platforms.

As marketers, Farfetched found working with streaming partners that are open with their current advertising experience and have the ability to host premium-quality ad content is the most important thing when starting OTT campaigns. It is even more crucial to incorporate streaming and OTT within a larger media mix, including linear TV, in order to reach the maximum target audience.

“About 25% of households skewing younger are OTT/streaming/digital delivery-only, about another 25% average older and are more accustomed to the broadcast TV format… and that leaves about half the other people in the middle,” said Jonathan Steuer, EVP, TV strategy & currency at VideoAmp.

Being able to accommodate the overlap of how viewers are seeing the video within the distributing platforms – including traditional and streaming – are vital for advertisers futures. Without a targeted strategy you will either miss your target audience or over saturate the market for customers.

In order for OTT and streaming platforms to remain in the top marketing channels they will need to deliver quality content and develop the following dimensions of their platforms:

  1. Scale and Unification

With streaming being 25% of total video consumption, the premium advertising opportunities that come with it are less than half of that total (54% of that total is advertising-based Video On Demand, and more than one third of that is YouTube, which is not considered premium content).

The challenges that arise with the unification is with the alignment of systems and data and adopting a standard to solve the managing of ads across both linear and digital audiences. These systems will need to work and communicate in real-time to ensure campaign optimization, to eliminate issues like duplication across platforms.

  1. Targeting

Another challenge Farfetched studios has found is mirroring ad buys across both OTT and Linear campaigns due to different data delivery dynamics and content catalogs. OTT buyers often look for specific inventory based on demographics and behavior that can’t quite be matched in Linear content buys.

There are many targeting capabilities offered by TV publishers that operate across both streaming and linear, but they currently lack the ability for advertisers to bring their own first-party data to target audiences. Audience-based targeting has shown rapid growth in the last year as data sets and solutions have come full cycle in the streaming market.

  1. Quality

Since OTT is IP-based, many marketers have shown concern about viewability and fraudulent traffic. With the increased demand for streaming audiences, the chances of fraudulent activity will increase as well. Companies are hurriedly trying to develop solutions to certify and authenticate their viewership in order to ensure actual viewers and not bots.

With increased privacy legislation passing and data sharing restrictions tightening, fraud detection has come to another impasse as the tracking identifiers for legitimate users is less persistent. While OTTs technology has greatly improved with measuring valid traffic, every sign is pointing towards premium partners and recognized buying platforms to give the advertisers the guarantee on their investment.


  1. Audience measurement

Measurement of OTT has faced a multitude of challenges since the 2010s. Due to it being a digital channel, advertisers are expecting digital style measurement that cannot match perfectly due to the cookie-less environment and inability to validate human traffic. However progress is being made

“Measurement has evolved from probabilistic to deterministic data sets, and attribution techniques can link both linear and OTT exposure to actual business outcomes. We are seeing significant value in the incremental reach of streaming audiences, not only to drive additional exposure to linear but also to bring lift to website engagement and actions,” says John Hoctor, co-founder, Data Plus Math (LiveRamp)

The Future

Streaming may be over 10 years old, but with new entrants and viewing and advertising standards still evolving, the next decade is going to be fascinating. TV will continue to refine its tactics, but its clear streaming is going to be on top in the very near future. If you would like help in developing OTT and Linear television strategies for your company, please contact Farfetched Studios LLC. Let us find the perfect balance and audiences specifically for your campaigns!

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