Media executive explains how brands can leverage OTT and FAST

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Streaming news has caused a stir in recent months – from Netflix’s struggle to retain subscribers to the rapid demise of CNN+ – leaving many wondering what’s next after a five-year period of explosive growth and seemingly limitless potential. . Some point to changing consumer habits as the pandemic subsides; others wonder if the market is too crowded.

But the drop can’t be attributed to just one factor, says Michael Lyons, president and chief investment officer of Juice Media. Entrepreneur. And when asked if there’s just too much content, Lyons replies: “The answer is no. will still see healthy growth in the high single digits.”

This is good news for brands and marketers as media ad real estate expands to include Netflix and more over-the-top (OTT) options. Entrepreneur Media is one of the latest publishers to enter the growing ad-supported free streaming television service (FAST) scene. EntrepreneurTV, launching today on free streaming TV provider Galxy TV, inspires, informs and celebrates the people who make businesses work. The channel will feature original shows, interviews, docu-style segments and, of course, brand integration opportunities throughout.

Streaming ushered in a new era for advertising, and this year’s Upfront Week, which ran May 16-19, confirmed it. In the past, the event was an opportunity for broadcast networks to showcase their new shows and upcoming schedules, but streamers and cable channels have since joined the ranks of the so-called Big Four (NBC, ABC, Fox and CBS), and, according to Lyons, who attended the event, “This is the first year that streaming services have equally shared the stage, if not dominated a bit, when it comes to what comes out and what are the products.”

Related: Netflix Announces Internally When It Will Crack Down on Password Sharing – and Launch Another Unpopular Move

How can brands take advantage of these new channels in terms of advertising?

The rise of OTT and FAST options has opened up more advertising opportunities for brands, and the differences between traditional TV advertising and its streaming counterpart are obvious from the start: the space is much less cluttered and the element of choice involved also plays an important role. . “Brands have an advantage when they go into streaming,” Lyons says. “It’s not as cluttered as an environment. It’s more leaning than leaning back in the sense that when people turn on the traditional linear TV, they often walk out of the room. You click on it and you start doing things.

“The experience is different with streaming,” he continues. “You have to choose what content you want to see before it appears on your screen. So if I go into Hulu, I have to decide – do I want to watch the news? A movie? Some cognitive decisions It’s led to a more engaged viewer It’s associated with fewer ad minutes It’s a bit more of a tabula rasa approach It’s not as distracting and you can lean.

Moreover, this “angled” impact goes beyond users’ selection of content – ​​extending to the very way they consume said content and the additional choices they make along the way. The non-linear border allows savvy brands to take advantage of this built-in engagement by adding an interactive component to their ads. “If you’re watching on a tablet or your cell phone, the technical engagement capabilities are much higher in streaming,” Lyons says. “I’m not talking about clicking – you can actually go to a website to learn more about a product.”

Lyons explains that viewers probably won’t go “full funnel” the first time they see an ad, but if their interest is suitably piqued, they’ll start headed in the right direction – towards buying. For example, if consumers see a nice jacket, they might naturally wonder how much it costs; it’s a question that potentially leads to a follow-up click and a visit to the brand’s site.

“It’s an example of instant gratification,” Lyons says. “And you’re more likely to be a buyer than if you just saw nonlinear and didn’t take that second step.”

Related: 4 Ways Instant Gratification Changed Content Marketing

Traditional TV advertising should not be completely ignored

Streaming may be king, but that doesn’t mean brands should completely ignore traditional TV advertising. While it makes sense to put significant advertising resources behind OTT and FAST in an increasingly non-linear arena, there is still room for a linear component in a robust strategy – and, depending on the target audience of a brand, this could even be the key to success.

Lyons describes an interesting exception to the non-linear rule he learned during Upfront Week. “Of all those presentations I just saw, the only group of publishers that looked more into linear advertising was Univision,” he says. “They claim they’re the only major publishing group to see year-over-year increases in linear viewership. So we’re trying to see if Hispanic audiences look a little differently than the rest of the US”

In Univision’s case, understanding how its audience interacts with content is key – and something brands would do well to keep in mind when considering the potential buyers they want to reach. It’s long been known that personalized advertising results in more clicks and conversions, and finding harvard business review also reveals that ads targeting group behavior have a greater impact than those focused solely on demographics.

Lyons also points out that the high cost barrier of traditional TV advertising has fallen, allowing smaller brands to experience it more for the first time. “One of the things that’s happened with linear is that it’s become more accessible,” he explains. “As ratings have gone down over the last three years, prices have also gone down. So if a place on Ellen was about $90,000 three years ago, this same place is about $60,000. The cost of entry has gone down.

“We’re dealing with advertisers who are new to the space normally, so they’re much more open to testing it because the barrier has fallen,” he continues. “And they say, ‘If we’re successful in streaming, we should just add some more reach points, get the rest of the United States, and see what we can do. Since it’s not as big a jump as it used to be, I think the market should be healthy in the fourth quarter.”

Related: The Death of Traditional Advertising and the Rise of Originality

And what about the metaverse?

With OTT and FAST offering the next exciting step beyond traditional TV advertising, it’s natural to wonder how technology will continue to drive innovation within the industry. Of course, many consider the buzzword that’s on everyone’s mind these days (especially Mark Zuckerberg’s): the metaverse.

“Talking to advertisers, building these virtual marketplaces is definitely part of their roadmap,” Lyons says. “It felt like this fantastic experience that’s almost best left to a movie, but advertisers think about it, and how do they create those markets, and what are the important touchpoints they need to hit in order for those markets to succeed. It’s almost like traditional advertising in a virtual world.”

A return to traditional advertising within a virtual marketplace could be a fascinating shift, but Lyons acknowledges it’s too early to know exactly how the most successful brands will capture the competitive space.

“They’re trying to plan it now,” Lyons says. “It doesn’t seem like it’s just a fantasy; it seems like they’re actually looking tactically at how they can attack this space and what the best practices are – because most people don’t know that.”

Related: Why Your Business Needs to Prepare for the Metaverse

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