AVOD Ups Targeted Ad Game

NEWS ANALYSIS — On the heels of ad-supported streaming service Crackle Plus, a joint venture of Sony Pictures Television and Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, inking a deal with online ad supplier SpotX, the erstwhile AVOD market (or free ad-supported streaming TV, or FAST) is ratcheting up efforts to deliver targeted viewers to marketers.

Roku is set to acquire Nielsen’s Advanced Video Advertising business, which includes video automatic content recognition and “dynamic” ad insertion technologies. The acquisition will help accelerate the streaming media device manufacturer’s attempt to offer TV advertisers to select consumers online and linear.

Traditional broadcast audiences have fallen, as SVOD services such as Netflix, HBO Max and Amazon Prime Video are ad-free. As a result a market has emerged for FAST services, resulting in new ways to reach audiences and drive revenue for content holders and advertisers alike.

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FAST platforms such as ViacomCBS-owned Pluto TV, Comcast-owned Xumo, Fox Corp.-owned Tubi, Amazon-owned IMDb TV, Rakuten TV, and The Roku Channel have developed a new form of streaming TV with upwards of 40 million active monthly viewers streaming curated linear channels supported by VOD programming.

Futuresource Consulting estimates that more than 40% of U.S. online households now regularly use one of the new generation of FAST services, up from around 33% a year ago. NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service has adopted a hybrid SVOD/FAST approach, along with other international broadcasters.

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“[FAST] is particularly appealing to advertisers because it offers little overlap with traditional broadcasters, thus providing incremental reach against the increasing audience of cord cutters,” Mike Laband, SVP of platform at SpotX, said in a statement.

Indeed, the company recently inked a deal with Redbox’s Free Live TV to connect media buyers with content that runs across the SpotX platform, offering supply content in both open and private marketplaces as well as access to exclusive video inventory.

“[SpotX has] valuable insights and expertise in driving programmatic demand and can help us efficiently maximize our platform’s capabilities,” said Terrence Coles, senior director of Redbox Media Network.

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