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Samba TV’s State of Viewership Report Finds Growth of Streaming Choices for Consumers Usher in Innovative New Opportunities for Advertisers


Report Highlights OTT Ad Market’s Growth and Offers Advertisers Some Advice

In its most recent State of Viewership report, Samba TV, the industry’s top source of omniscreen analytics and measurement, examined around 45 billion hours of linear and streaming content during the first half of 2023. Targeted insights from Samba TV show a viewing environment characterized by fresh and inventive ways for viewers to consume over-the-top (OTT) content, including recently launched AVOD options from streaming giants Disney+ and Netflix as well as the expansion of free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) options. In order to reach younger and more diverse audiences—more than half of whom don’t watch traditional cable television—advertisers need completely embrace these platforms.

“Ad-supported video presents a major growth opportunity. The data clearly shows that consumers are embracing lower-cost, ad-supported streaming options that leverage advanced targeting to deliver maximum value for advertisers”, “As audiences shift to streaming, smart advertisers are optimizing frequency and measuring impact to reach the right consumers efficiently.”

Ashwin Navin, CEO and co-founder, Samba TV

The State of Viewership Report from Samba TV gives a thorough analysis of viewership for movies, television shows, and connected TV (CTV). The Samba TV report provides more insight about trends in television viewership, including:

Traditional linear television’s audience reach is essentially unchanged year over year, but streaming viewing is still growing.

  • During the first half of 2023, linear television’s average daily reach expanded marginally, reaching around 57 million U.S. households daily. The majority of younger Americans spend their time streaming, so even while there have been swings year over year, this pace isn’t anticipated to continue as more and more live athletic events and news programming.
  • Over three quarters (77%) of American adults streamed content during this time, which was seen by 96 million U.S. households.
  • Both OTT and linear consumption peaked in January before declining in February. Live sports, one of linear’s primary drivers, gave it a boost. NFL Playoff games from January made up seven of the top ten most watched shows of the half.

Data reveals a substantial correlation between binge-watching and audience retention six months after streaming providers debuted ad-supported tiers.

  • On average, 47% of households watched the entire season of the top bulk-release episodes within the first five days, while 72% of U.S. consumers who identify as binge-watchers tuned in for the 2023 lineup of bingeable shows.
  • Despite having the lowest reach in the first half of the year, the majority of streamers boosted their audience retention rates, with Netflix and Disney+ ranking as the top two platforms in terms of audience stickiness. With a 19% growth from the previous half, Netflix saw the most increases in households watching several programs across the streamer, followed by Paramount+ at 14%.
  • Netflix and other streaming services are providing a preview of how live entertainment content will perform when streamed. If more live events were available on Netflix and Disney+, 6 out of 10 users would watch them.
  • Drama accounted for more than 50% of the top 50 streaming shows in the first half of the year, although accounting for only 8% of the programming budget for worldwide streamers. Thrillers and comedies, which normally attract the first and third greatest shares of original content investment respectively, rounded out the top three with over a quarter of the most watched episodes apiece. Contrarily, crime and documentary-style programming finished in fourth and fifth, indicating that while these staples of original content continue to draw substantial audiences, investing in dramas may do so in a more significant way.

Growing AVOD and FAST services provide advertisers special and cutting-edge chances.

  • Customers are choosing to watch three or four services rather than just one or two since more AVOD options are being offered by companies like Netflix and Disney+.
  • In 2023, one in four premium SVOD subscriptions would be financed by advertisements.
  • About half of families watched two or less streaming services during the first half of the year, and the majority watched three or fewer. People are unlikely to view more than a few services over the course of a six-month period, despite the fact that there is an infinite amount of content available to consume across platforms.
  • As more FAST and AVOD products hit the market and 90% of streamers watch AVOD, this number is likely to rise over the next months.
  • Younger people who are more difficult to reach are enjoying these new possibilities. While only 32% of millennials use FAST services, 65% of them would consider signing up for a reduced streaming service if it meant having to view advertisements.
  • FAST is becoming more and more appealing to Americans as they attempt to minimize costs and reduce the number of paid services they subscribe to, with 1 in 3 U.S. streamers using FAST services.

Advertisers should use an omniscreen approach to their strategy that embraces new creative like QR codes to interact with multitasking audiences because linear television oversaturates audiences with repeated commercials.

  • The great majority of commercials (92%) are seen by the half of TV viewers who watch the most linear TV, whereas only 8% of ad impressions are seen by the other half of TV viewers. According to this, just half of Americans were reached, whilst the other half were subjected to daily ad exposure of more than 150, resulting in ad weariness among the overexposed.
  • Overexposing viewers puts them at danger because, according to 62% of respondents, it only takes 2–5 viewings of the same advertisement over the course of a month to negatively affect consumers’ perceptions of the company.
  • Nearly all Americans (8 in 10) are using another gadget when seated in front of the home’s largest screen. One in five American adults has bought anything using a QR code they saw in a TV advertisement.

“Streaming industry leaders have reacted to consumer demand for more freedom and choice. Viewers can access appealing material on their own terms thanks to customizable, advertisement-supported tiers. According to our findings, binge-watching and subscriber retention are strongly correlated. Live sports streaming will hasten industry expansion even more. The use of data to provide consumers with reasonably priced options while generating shareholder value is the way of the future.


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