How to make the most of free, ad-free streaming content
- by admin
Advertisers are increasingly using the free-to-air space to their advantage, as their brands seek out new ways to target their ad revenue.
And, for the first time, the online video platform Netflix, Hulu and Amazon have all announced plans to provide ad-blocking technology for their streaming platforms.
In a press release Monday, Netflix says it’s “launching the AdBlock Plus program” to help customers opt out of ads, and Hulu is making its own push to offer the same ad-blocker-friendly experience for its streaming service.
The moves come after a year-long effort by Netflix, Facebook, Apple and Google to introduce ad-friendly streaming videos, a strategy that began with its first ad-supported streaming service, Netflix Prime, in April 2015.
As of Friday, Hulu had 4 million subscribers, including more than 300,000 in the U.S. and Canada, with another 80,000 across the U to follow.
Netflix has said that its goal is to make its service “more ad-savvy” and “more accessible for consumers.”
In an email, a Netflix spokesperson said the ad-banning feature was “a significant addition to Netflix Prime that will help us make it even more useful for consumers, as well as make it easier for users to access the Netflix app and Netflix-branded content.”
Google and Apple also have launched their own ad-blocking efforts.
Both companies have said they want to offer users more options when it comes to their online viewing habits, and both have also indicated they will add ad-filtering tools to their streaming services.
But they’ve been coy on when that feature will launch.
With Hulu launching its own ad blocking program, there’s no indication that Google and the other two players will be offering the same option anytime soon.
Netflix, Google and Amazon declined to comment on specific plans for their ad-based streaming services, or what ads they would block in the future.
With the growing number of streaming platforms offering ad-only streaming services as part of their streaming service offerings, many are looking to make their online experience easier.
But some advertisers say the way in which those services are being used to target ads is changing the way they think about how they engage with their customers.
While the ad market is dominated by cable providers, the advertising industry has increasingly moved away from the cable model and toward the ad network model.
The cable-only model, which relies on the traditional TV networks and advertisers to create a single brand that can then reach an audience, has been a lucrative business model for many.
But that model has also created a whole new class of online platforms that rely on their own audiences to target ad impressions, or show a user how to view an ad, to target them with advertising.
“Ad networks have a very distinct understanding of the content they want people to watch,” said Brian Giamatti, vice president of digital marketing at Datalogix, an advertising and marketing analytics company.
“They’re going to try to create those things and try to get the best of both worlds.”
But as streaming services grow, they’re also becoming more dependent on ad networks to deliver that content.
With YouTube and Facebook’s new streaming services opening up the streaming space to new audiences, ad networks are increasingly finding themselves the sole advertisers on those platforms.
“We’re seeing an explosion in the number of online streaming platforms that have ad networks, but they’re trying to do it in a very different way,” said Michael Shain, a senior vice president at AdExchanger, a digital ad and technology agency.
“What’s happened is that ad networks have found their own content, and they’ve found that they have a lot of eyeballs on the platforms, and there’s a lot more room for them to do their own thing.”
The ad networks that now control the streaming platforms are not the only ones who are trying to find new ways of reaching an audience.
For some advertisers, the way streaming services are designed and marketed means they have to target people based on their interests.
And many of the new streaming platforms will have to do this even if they don’t offer the ad option.
Hulu and YouTube are the two most prominent streaming platforms in the streaming ad market, but there are also others, such as Amazon Prime Video, Hulu Plus and Vudu, that offer ad-banned streaming video.
“There are a lot people who have been watching these things for a while and haven’t really seen it, and it’s just starting to hit the mainstream,” said Chris Toth, a former vice president and chief executive of Hulu, now at NextVR, a marketing firm.
“I think there’s going to be a lot to explore in terms of how we can make it more accessible for people, and make it a lot easier to get their content.”
In the past, many advertisers
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