This year saw a step-change in online viewing habits and media agency Zenith predicts that streaming services will benefit from a long-term boost to awareness and demand. Consumers flocked to SVOD services but “importantly for advertisers, who are locked out of SVOD platforms, demand for ad-funded Video on Demand (AVOD) has been even stronger, especially on connected TV sets.”
In its year-end assessment published this month, Zenith points to AVOD household reach growth of 9% between January and April versus 5% for SVOD, using connected TV access and the U.S. market for its example (quoting figures from Comscore’s ‘State of OTT’ report, June 2020). That meant 48% of homes were watching an AVOD streaming service via connected TV once the pandemic and lockdown dust had settled.
Zenith views all of this as good news for advertisers. “AVOD combines the premium viewing environment of television with the data-fuelled targeting capabilities of digital advertising. It offers high ad recall, and high reach among young audiences that are hard to find on traditional TV. As it continues to grow over the next few years, it will counterbalance the loss of audiences to SVOD and help fuel an average of 8.4% annual growth in online video adspend between 2020 and 2023,” the company says.
Christian Lee, Global Managing Director at Zenith, adds: “Now that it offers mass reach in key markets, it is the right time for brands to invest in connected TV. Brands should use connected TV for both branding and performance, exploiting its high ad recall and full targeting and tracking capabilities to drive awareness and sales conversions at the same time.”