Crackle Connex, TransUnion Ink Pact to Reach Connected TV Viewers and Redbox Kiosks Users

Redbox corporate parent Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment Sept. 28 announced that its Crackle Connect advertising sales division, has entered into an agreement with TransUnion to mine first-party viewership data and create custom marketing targeting viewers of Connected TV (CTV) toward disc rental kiosks nationwide.

New York-based TransUnion’s technology will enable Crackle and Redbox to generate audience insights from first-party data and improve separate monetization strategies. The aim is to extend the audience reach of Crackle and Redbox kiosks beyond their known customers with advanced modeling capabilities, including identity-based signals, instead of relying on cookies, device IDs or other identifiers.

Philippe Guelton, chief revenue officer of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, the pact would offer “dynamic” data-driven solutions while delivering premium streaming programming and a more connected, engaging experience for U.S. viewers looking for premium video entertainment.

“This partnership enables us to bring advertising solutions to our partners looking to leverage the full-funnel metrics that CTV and [digital out-of-home ads] can offer,” Guelton said in a statement.

Redbox is the largest DVD rental service in the U.S., with approximately 40 million customer loyalty members across 29,000 kiosks in major retail locations nationwide. Crackle Connex was formed in April 2023 to help brands seamlessly integrate campaigns across AVOD, FAST, digital out-of-home kiosks, and through branded content.

“This collaboration demonstrates how our marketing solutions business provides leaders across the media and marketing world the identity-backed audience solutions they need to reach people as simply and effectively as possible across all media, whether programmatic display or CTV, email or streaming audio,” said Julie Clark, SVP of the media & entertainment business at TransUnion.

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Vizio Partners With TransUnion to Better Reach Connected-TV Homes

Vizio has partnered with credit service TransUnion’s TruAudience Data Marketplace to enhance advertiser appeal for its ad-supported streaming Household Connect platform across 19 million internet-connected branded TVs.

“This allows advertisers to leverage our proprietary data along with data from the TransUnion and execute full-funnel marketing campaigns for the Vizio audience,” Oz Lang, VP of product management at Vizio, said in a statement. “After being presented an ad on TV, viewers will see a complementary ad or call-to-action on their computer, tablet, or mobile device shortly thereafter, all powered by the same data.”

Vizio claims that a major cable network leveraged Household Connect to drive a 64% increase in viewership for its flagship season premiere, including significant lifts in both awareness and ad recall rates of 80% and 90%, respectively.

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“By leveraging the TruAudience, Vizio combines their audience viewing data with other first and third-party data across tens of millions of connected homes,” added Matt Spiegel, EVP of media and entertainment at TransUnion. “This partnership provides brands and marketers enhanced advertising and efficacy.”

TransUnion: Streaming Video Use Tops Linear Television

More consumers are streaming now than watching cable and satellite TV, according to a new survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of TransUnion. Seventy percent of Americans who watched TV between mid-November and mid-December 2021 streamed, including 82% of 18- to 54-year-olds.

The survey of more than 1,800 TV viewers found they watch streaming more actively compared to legacy cable/satellite. Further, they prefer streaming for high-engagement viewing occasions, such as watching their favorite show or when they want to ‘lose themselves’ in a program. The survey also found streaming ads resonate more with consumers — especially the younger audiences advertisers covet — than ads viewed on cable or satellite TV.

“It’s clear that streaming television generates more interest among viewers across content and ads, making free, ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) channels critical to advertisers. Streaming viewing time will soon eclipse traditional TV, and with tens of millions of streaming-only households already, advertisers need the right tools to identify and reach audiences through streaming channels,” Matt Spiegel, EVP of media and entertainment vertical at TransUnion, said in a statement.

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According to the study, streaming and cable/satellite viewers prefer streaming for entertainment, relaxation and content discovery, while linear TV is more likely to be used to watch news or when the television is on in the background.

Reason to Watch Streaming Cable/Satellite
Watch favorite programs 52% 25%
Relax/Unwind 51% 21%
To escape and lose myself in a program 52% 20%
Really want to pay attention to program 49% 22%
When I am looking for something new to watch (discovery) 58% 17%
Watch the news 33% 50%

Commercials on Streaming TV Garner More Consumer Attention

Overall, ads viewed on streaming platforms engage consumers more than ads viewed on cable and satellite, especially among 18-54 year-olds:

  • Almost twice as many streaming and cable/satellite viewers ages 18-54 claim to pay more attention to commercials on streaming (43%) versus cable/satellite (23%).
  • 59% say streaming TV commercials are more relevant to them than commercials on cable/satellite TV.
  • 47% say streaming has more engaging/interactive commercials compared to only 28% who say the same about cable/satellite.
  • 69% agree that streaming tends to have shorter ad breaks compared to cable/satellite TV, which likely also contributes to increased ad attention.


Streaming Remains a Fragmented Advertising Market

“For advertisers, streaming still has its challenges. Consumers stream across multiple devices and applications, many of which own a piece of the streaming ad inventory pool. The different pieces use varying technologies and have unique ways of identifying consumers. That can make it difficult for advertisers to execute audience-targeted campaigns across the streaming ecosystem with the precision and scale they desire,” said David Wiesenfeld, lead strategist of media and entertainment vertical at TransUnion.

The survey found 45% of TV viewers have three or more streaming-capable TVs at home, nearly two in five (38%) have more than one brand of smart TV in their home, and over half of streaming viewers (55%) watched more than five streaming channels in the past month.

“Consumers are telling us how they want to watch TV, and that is increasingly on streaming services. It’s now up to our industry to deliver the seamless, engaging TV ad experiences streaming enables. It starts with being able to recognize consumers across platforms and devices. That will require advertisers, media companies and ad tech platforms to evolve toward an identity infrastructure for TV that serves the needs of all constituents,” Wiesenfeld concluded.

Report: Post COVID-19, SVOD Use to Remain Strong

During the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, use of subscription video-on-demand services reached 56% in domestic homes. New data from TransUnion says that percentage should remain around 45% as economies and businesses re-open.

As consumers’ use of paid streaming services such as Amazon Prime, Hulu, Netflix and Apple TV increases, so too has the amount of time spent on the platforms. The report found daily use on platforms increased from upwards of two hours daily prior to the pandemic to an average upwards of four hours through May 18.

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More than 30% of consumers surveyed spent at least five hours daily streaming media. Among 18- to 29-year-olds, daily SVOD use skyrocketed 66%.

“The use of digital platforms has accelerated as younger generations seek more control and flexibility over how they consume content,” Matt Spiegel, EVP and head of the media vertical at TransUnion, said in a statement.

Spiegel said consumption is occurring across multiple channels and devices as consumers shift away from traditional pay-TV cable and broadcast.

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Consumers subscribing to three to five streaming services increased to 48%, up from 37% prior to COVID-19. Another 53% of survey respondents said they use a streaming service in place of a pay-TV bundle.

TransUnion found that Internet-connected televisions are the most popular streaming device with 37% of respondents. The 18–29 age group also preferred mobile devices (25%) for streaming while the 30–44 demographic had a preference for OTT devices (19%).

Older demos (60+) favored Smart TVs (41%), followed by desktop computers. However, streaming as a whole may still be a fairly new concept as 19% indicated they do not stream content at all.

“As more consumers leverage digital channels and look for entertainment options in the comfort of their homes, it’s important to take a pulse check as to how consumer behaviors are changing — and have changed since the onset of the pandemic,” Spiegel said. “These insights will be instrumental to advertisers as they adapt their positioning and targeting in the marketplace to create more relevant experiences.”

Tubi Partners With Viewership Tech Company

With tens of millions of its viewers consuming ad-supported video-on-demand content, Tubi wants a better picture who its users are.

Tubi, which is owned by Fox Corp., is partnering with TransUnion to enhance the way consumers engage and interact with content platforms.

The partnership enables Tubi to deliver curated content and viewer experiences by establishing a more “enriched view” of individuals and households. Tubi hopes the pact will advertisers “seamlessly bridge” the gap between individual and household, and deliver a more personalized ad experience alongside the content.

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“The integration of TransUnion data assets can help companies connect the dots to gain a more comprehensive understanding of today’s consumer and reach them with confidence – especially as they move and consume content in new ways,” Matt Spiegel, EVP of marketing solutions and media vertical at TransUnion, said in a statement.

Spiegel said the decline of third-party cookies combined with changing media consumption habits, alternative identifiers such as home IP address are imperative for building a strong foundation of individual-level identity and reaching consumers on devices like connected TVs.

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Mark Rotblat, chief revenue officer at Tubi, said the partnership will help the platform create more informed audience targeting and media strategies to identify the best types of content and connect that to relevant messaging for viewers.

By creating a linkage from a device ID, Tubi said it can draw  insights around consumer preference and deliver better content personalization and recommendations for users.

“Incorporating this information often results in better performing campaigns and more engaged viewers,” Rotblat said. “Tubi’s strength is in the data surrounding content viewing behavior.”