The more things change, the more they stay the same. After a few years of significant growth in advertising-free OTT (Over the Top) streaming services such as Netflix, Paramount+, Max (formerly HBO Max), and Hulu, many streaming services are pushing advertising models again. Just three years ago, Netflix insisted the streaming service would never have ads on its service. After an influx of competition and two costly strikes with the writers and actors, Netflix is now pushing an advertising model as its standard plan. It’s not just Netflix. Other OTT services are also pushing for advertising-based services, now that they have discovered the ad-driven TV model kept broadcast networks profitable and in the black. That’s good news for our customers, who can benefit from the increase in ad buys with Media Link Software®.
We wrote about trends in OTT advertising a few years ago, and followed up about a year ago on the latest trends in the OTT ad space. A lot has changed in the last 15 months, so we’re taking another look at these trends. The news is good for agencies and ad buyers. Ad-free streaming was seen as a boon for consumers. For a mere $15 per month, you could subscribe to Netflix and have access to tons of old and new television programs and movies. Add Hulu, available with or without ads, and consumers could have access to most broadcast and cable programming for a fraction of the cost of a cable subscription. It was a great time for consumers, but it was too good to be true.
It didn’t take long for companies to pull shows and movies from Netflix to put them on their own new streaming services. Before long, consumers had to subscribe to a half dozen services to see all their favorite shows. It’s almost as if cable prices had returned. With consumers cutting services, streamers began running ad-driven services at a lower cost to stop the hemorrhaging of subscriber losses. Television is also expensive to produce, and many streaming shows cost more than they made back in subscriber revenue.
The inevitable return of TV advertising is great news for advertisers. Agencies can take the opportunity to pick up more work, and to have more options for ad buys. Take advantage of the TV/Radio Toolkit in Media Link Software® to customize your ad buys. The software is powerful and highly-customizable. If you’re new to Media Link Software® or are considering making the switch, get in touch for a free private demo to see what we can do for you.