4 Streaming Trends Shaping the Future of Digital Video Advertising

05.14.2024 Sara Brasfield5 min

The streaming landscape is growing and evolving quickly. As new video platforms, targeting capabilities and consumer viewing behaviors shape the mainstream TV and video landscape, some of the biggest streaming trends and best practices from even a few years ago have fallen behind the times.

This rapid change may force strategic changes for advertisers, but it’s also creating exciting new opportunities to engage your target audience, improve the cost-efficiency of your ad campaigns, and sharpen your strategy when planning media buys. With a little help from a recent VAB report, here are four important streaming trends to account for in your digital video strategy.

1. FAST Audiences and Advertising Continue to Report Rapid Growth

In a period of only 16 months, total viewership for free ad-supported TV (FAST) services has undergone incredible growth: As of March 2024, 73 percent of U.S. adults say they regularly watch TV on an ad-supported platform, according to VAB’s new report, “Advertising, Accelerated: An Update on 15 Streaming Trends That Are Impacting Marketing Plans.”

That’s an increase of 38 percent from November 2022. During this period of increased consumer adoption, the number of FAST services on the market increased by 22 percent. With more consumers tuning in and more platforms delivering the ad-supported content they want, these FAST services are injecting the digital advertising landscape with new high-quality inventories for small businesses to choose from.

2. In 2 Years, Total Time Spent Viewing Ad-Supported Content has More Than Doubled

Ad-supported content has enjoyed growth in daily viewing trends that far outpace other types of content. According to VAB, the average U.S. adult was watching 49 minutes of ad-supported content each day in Q4 of 2021 compared to 84 minutes of subscription-based video on demand.

By Q2 of 2023, those trends had flipped. Ad-supported video consumption had more than doubled, increasing to one hour, forty-one minutes of average daily viewing among U.S. adults. While ad-supported video only accounted for 37 percent of total viewing in late 2021, as of Q2 of 2023 it was receiving 54 percent of all viewing time among consumers.

“The data is clear: ad-supported platforms are blazing the trail for category growth as viewers of all ages embrace new tiers and platforms,” said Danielle DeLauro, EVP, VAB.

3. Marketers are Diversifying Their Campaign Goals for TV and Streaming Campaigns

While TV and streaming ads have long been associated with upper-funnel marketing goals such as building brand awareness, improved audience targeting, measurement, and other campaign tools are helping advertisers prioritize a wider range of metrics.

While 29 percent of advertisers care about achieving brand lift through their converted TV campaigns, a striking 86 percent say they’re also focused on generating online outcomes such as sales, app downloads, account registrations, and other actions.

Fifty-seven percent were prioritizing offline outcomes such as driving in-store sales and brick-and-mortar foot traffic. The key takeaway? TV and streaming campaigns can offer full-funnel value for your business, supporting a wide range of advertising goals.

4. Audience-Based Buying May Become the Norm for TV Campaigns

Traditional TV media buys have been guided by demographics and content-based strategies. While this made sense when targeting capabilities were more limited, new audience-based buying strategies often offer greater precision and value when delivering ads to a relevant audience.

As a result, marketing professionals are switching up their tactics and shifting to a greater emphasis on audience-based buying. Within the next two years, audience-based buying is expected to supplant demographic and content-based buying as the most common tactic, increasing its share of total TV buys from 47 percent to 53 percent, according to VAB.

What do these streaming trends mean for your business?

In a landscape evolving as swiftly as the streaming realm, local businesses must navigate through the shifting currents to ensure their advertising strategies remain relevant and effective. Embracing these trends in streaming can be a game-changer for your digital video strategy, and the right media partner can help you consider how to approach it all, knowing your unique advertising goals and business challenges.

Cox Media can help your business maximize the value of connected TV advertising. Our experts can help you plan and launch an advertising campaign that incorporates the latest streaming best practices and delivers the outcomes you are seeking for your business.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

About the Author

Sara Brasfield

Sara is a Marketing Manager on Cox Media’s corporate team in Atlanta, with a passion for writing and delivering relevant insights for advertisers. With more than nine years of experience in B2B marketing, Sara aims to help Cox Media’s current and future clients connect with their customers find new and unique ways to grow their business. Outside of the office, Sara loves spending time running, reading, and supporting her favorite sports teams (Go Braves & Gamecocks!).

View All of Sara Brasfield's Blog Posts

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