Streaming video for the past decade has been dominated by movies or dramatic series for viewers to binge-watch, but that’s changing as more live sports programming migrates to on-demand platforms. This shift creates challenges for advertisers that used to depend on the broad appeal of broadcast sports – especially from the start of the NFL’s regular season all the way to the Super Bowl – to reach a mass audience most efficiently.
“Now you have a streaming-first partner like Amazon taking control of a large chunk of the NFL games,” Steven Sottile, chief revenue officer of ad platform Unruly, a unit of Tremor International, said in reference to the e-commerce giant’s deal to livestream “NFL Thursday Night Football” for 10 seasons.
“This creates a world of fragmentation for consumers who now need to ensure they have access to Amazon Prime to view these games,” he said, “and further fragmentation for advertisers who continued to grapple with the challenges around measurement as it relates to linear to nonlinear and the lack of a universal currency.”
Advertisers face hurdles in the effort to find a currency that helps to set the value of ad transactions. Makers of smart TVs and streaming devices have their own audience data, while streaming media channels that require a login can build detailed profiles of their viewers.
“It’s going to continue to be a challenge for advertisers to truly get a good read on the impact of their investments,” Sottile said. “We’re particularly interested in this space, as a full technology stack.”
Unruly is preparing for the beginning of the FIFA World Cup, a reliable source of global viewership, starting this month in Qatar. The event is especially important after Tremor this year invested in VIDAA, a smart TV operating system and streaming platform that parent company Hisense installs on many TVs, including ones with the Toshiba brand.
“We’re particularly excited about the upcoming World Cup, through our strategic partnership with VIDAA and their relationship with Hisense,” Sottile said. “Hisense is a primary sponsor of the FIFA World Cup, and through that relationship, we’ve gained exclusive access to monetize content.”