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.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

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.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“[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.

Redbox Partners With SpotX on Ad Platform

Advertising platform SpotX Feb. 23 announced a partnership with Redbox to serve as a strategic supply-side platform (SSP) to power the video monetization of Redbox’s free live TV and AVOD content.

“As a company that’s focused on creating the very best ad-supported streaming destination to entertain millions of Redbox customers, we partnered with SpotX to support the launch of Redbox’s Live Free TV and Free on Demand because they have valuable insights and expertise in driving programmatic demand and can help us efficiently maximize our platform’s capabilities,” Terrence Coles, senior director of Redbox Media Network, said in a statement.

Redbox’s free streaming platform delivers thousands of hours of curated movies and TV programming.

Redbox Free Live TV has nearly 100 channels of entertainment and Redbox Free On Demand (AVOD), an ad-supported streaming destination featuring hundreds of titles with more added weekly.

The partnership with SpotX opens up new opportunities for media buyers to place their ad campaigns around Redbox’s Free Live TV and AVOD premium inventory, according to a company release. The SpotX platform will power Redbox’s data-driven sales strategy for programmatic campaigns while SpotX’s global Demand Facilitation Team will work to connect media buyers with premium inventory that runs across the SpotX platform, offering brand-safe supply in both open and private marketplaces as well as access to exclusive video inventory.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Redbox is one of the first customers to utilize Total Connect+, a new capability SpotX has brought to market powered by joint efforts between SpringServe and SpotX. Total Connect+ unifies direct and programmatic demand into a holistic ad decisioning process, helping media owners take more control over their video advertising businesses, according to a company press release.

Follow us on Instagram

“As one of America’s leading destinations for new release movies and entertainment, we’re excited to partner with Redbox as they build out an ad-supported streaming platform,” Ryan Kenney, VP of platform at SpotX, said in a statement. “Advertisers are always looking for ways to reach engaged audiences in premium, brand-safe environments. Redbox’s Live Free TV and Free on Demand Services deliver just that.”

Redbox Free Live TV is available via Redbox.com, Roku, XBox One, iOS and Android devices, as well as Android TV, VIZIO Smart TVs, LG TVs and Chromecast.

Reports: Average Brit Streamed Three TV Series During Virus Lockdown; Prefers AVOD over SVOD

During the coronavirus pandemic shutdown in the United Kingdom — the world’s No. 2 home entertainment market — the average consumer binge-viewed three episodic series. U.K. consumers also opted for ad-supported VOD over subscription streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and BritBox, according to new data from U.K. online entertainment retailer MusicMagpie.

Citing an internal survey, the retailer found that among 16- to 24-year olds, respondents watched four episodes at a time on average, and considered five episodes binging. That quantity dropped off considerably among the 55-and-older demo, which viewed just one episode and consider three back-to-back episodes as binging.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Younger respondents (25 to 34 year olds) on average stream less than two hours watching daily, while 55-and-older stream about 30 minutes. The average respondent has watched three series since lockdown began; more than half of the U.K. (51%) have increased the amount of TV/films they stream; 52% revisited a favorite series.

The most popular series was “Sherlock” with 55% of respondents having seen it.

Rank Series % respondents streamed it
1 Sherlock 55%
2 Peaky Blinders 53%
3 Game of Thrones 51%
4 Line of Duty 51%
5 Killing Eve 48%
6 Breaking Bad 48%
7 The Walking Dead 47%
8 Stranger Things 44%
9 Chernobyl 42%
10 Homeland 40%
11 The Crown 39%
12 Suits 37%
13 Black Mirror 36%
14 Westworld 35%
15 Fleabag 35%
16 The Wire 33%
17 Ozark 28%
18 Top Boy 26%
19 Power 26%
20 Mind Hunter 25%

A separate report from SpotX, citing Statista research, found 64% of British viewers are more likely to choose an ad-supported streaming service over a paid subscription. This data underscores why ViacomCBS and Fox Corp. collectively spent nearly $800 million acquiring AVOD platforms Pluto TV and Tubi, respectively, for global expansion.

Follow us on Instagram

Indeed, 69% of connected TV viewers say they watch ad-supported content and more than half (58%) say that they prefer to watch free ad-supported programming versus paying for an ad-free content.

“With 50% reach in CTV viewership representing 61.5 million households across Europe’s biggest markets, advertisers are increasingly recognizing [AVOD] power to efficiently and accurately reach target audiences at scale,” Léon Siotis, president of EMEA at SpotX, said in a statement.