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  • Writer's pictureDeJuan Wright

Streaming Viewership Just Reached a Record High — Which is Great For Marketing

Updated: Jan 28

As marketing professionals, we spend a great deal of our time searching to find as many insights pertaining to our industry as possible. Why is that you ask? Because as marketing professionals, the more insights we have—the better we’ll be able to understand where the industry is going. As well as which best practices would give us even the slightest edge on our competitors.

You’d be surprised at the lengths that some in the marketing industry would go to obtain insights. Some of which are absolutely nuts! And fortunately or unfortunately (depending on how you view it), throughout the years—I’ve seen some of those lengths first-hand.

From CMO’s hiring faux Census affiliates to get first-hand consumer data. To marketing managers creating burner social media accounts to go undercover so they could interact with their competitors' customers to get a better understanding of those customers’ commitment to their rival's brand (please don’t ever do this, you’re so much better than that).

But the best insights that marketing professionals receive require no devious tactics at all to obtain. The universe just reveals them as gifts to those of us in this idiosyncratic industry. As was the case when Deadline recently announced that streaming viewership in the U.S. hit an all-time high. Here’s why that’s so insightful to marketing professionals—and great news for the marketing industry.

The significance of streaming to marketing

The reason that streaming reaching an all-time high is such a great thing for the marketing industry is that it serves as a clear indicator of consumer interest. This is very insightful, because for marketing professionals—understanding consumer interest as it pertains to viewership is key to knowing exactly which media platforms would yield the highest returns.

One of the linchpins of marketing is knowing exactly what has the attention of consumers—so that you could present them with a story that would invoke a desired action wherever they are. That’s because in marketing, the most coveted prize besides revenue—is attention.

Which is why the data below is so significant towards understanding which platforms consumers frequent the most in order for marketers to obtain both revenue and consumer attention.

According to Nielsen, the first week of January 2022 “Shattered previous (streaming) records with 197.6 billion viewing minutes.”

Another reason that this is great news for the marketing industry is because it provides rich data that marketing professionals could use as evidence to show their managers or clients exactly why they should allocate more finances towards streaming platforms—since that’s where consumers are focusing their attention.

Platforms leading in viewership

Here’s Nielson’s current total TV and streaming snapshot for viewership:

  1. Cable - 35.6%

  2. Streaming - 28.9%

  3. Broadcast - 26.4%

  4. Other - 9.1%

These are the leading streaming platforms in the order of viewership:

  1. Other streaming - 9.4%

  2. Netflix - 6.6%

  3. YouTube - 5.7%

  4. Hulu - 3.0%

  5. Prime Video - 2.4%

  6. Disney+ - 1.8%

These numbers tell us a few things. The first thing they tell us is that broadcast television is no longer riding shotgun with cable television—it’s now in the backseat next to ‘Other.’ As a marketing professional, this is important to keep in mind when determining which platforms would be best to disperse your marketing budget in order to reach your target audience.

Another thing that those numbers tell is that streaming isn’t falling off a cliff like many of my colleagues predicted it would (I won’t say any names). In fact, it’s only getting bigger by the day.

I’m sure at this point, we all could agree that streaming is definitely here to stay. Which is why those of us in the marketing industry must embrace it and use it to our advantage.

Pivoting towards the pervasiveness of streaming

For over the last eighty years, television advertising has made quite a few pivots. Ever since the day that the very first television advertisement aired in July of 1941—marketing professionals have been adapting to the times on-the-fly by devising ways to position brands, products, and people in a way that would appeal to viewers.

Today, the marketing industry must now pivot towards the pervasiveness of streaming by formulating new tactics to place brands, products, and people in-front of viewers through streaming.

And although the same attention-grabbing tactics that have been utilized for decades in advertising could also be applied towards streaming. There are a few nuances that marketing professionals must adjust to.

Things like campaign tracking, timing your OTT (over the top) advertising, and figuring out which is more effective between pre-roll ads and post-roll ads—are all nuances that marketing professionals will have to assimilate into their marketing arsenal moving forward.

The good thing about entering an unsettled atmosphere is that new opportunities are in abundance. And although you may encounter losses mastering the new terrain—once you do…the rewards are endless.


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