2021 Oscars Viewing & Programmatic Marketplace Insights 

While the 2021 Oscars awards saw audience declines on traditional linear TV, the news about the annual award show wasn’t all bad. TV streaming audience for the annual celebration of film grew year over year, and award winners and nominees prompted big changes in how Roku users searched for content and talentIn this way, the 2021 Oscars continued a trend that continued from the 2021 Super Bowl, Golden Globes and Grammys: people are shifting their viewing preferences of big, televised events – what the industry sometimes refers to as “tentpoles” – to TV streaming. 

Here’s a summary of what we observed about TV streaming audiences for this year’s Oscars. All this data is sourced from the Roku platform and OneView, the ad buying platform built for TV streaming.

Roku Reach Increases

From 2020 to 2021 on the Roku platform, reach of streaming channels carrying the Oscars during time of the broadcast increased by 18%. 

Roku Search Insights

Watching content and searching for titles and performers on the TV represents a new consumer behavior that’s unique to TV streaming and is ripe for marketers who want to reach their audiences

The Oscars illustrated this dynamic. User searches provide insights on how marketers can create new engagement opportunities, for example by curating popular titles via Roku’s Brand Experiences. This makes it possible to extend your tentpole activation or begin a new campaign after the show. 

Here are the highlights of Roku search before, during and after this year’s Oscars: 

  • Searches on the Roku platform for Oscar-nominated titles, including Best Picture nominees and winners in other categories, e.g. best short film, increased an average of 264%as measured starting on the Sunday of the awards through Tuesday the week of the awards, compared to the same time period the week prior to the awards. 

  • Searches on the Roku platform for the 2021 “Best Picture” winner Nomadlandincreased by 409% week-over-week (WoW) to take the #2 search spot on Roku. 

  • Streamer searches on the Roku platform for titles nominated for Oscar awards outside of “Best Picture,” including Another Round, Colette, If Anything Happens I Love You, My Octopus Teacher, and Two Distant Strangersaveraged a 390% increase. 

  • Best Actor winners Frances McDormand and Anthony Hopkins saw search increases on the Roku platform of 284% and 129%, respectively. 

  • The Roku platform search that experienced the biggest move in search ranking? Best Director winner Chloe Zhao, who moved up 1,905 spots in Roku’s persons search ranking. 

The Oscars Ad Opportunity 

The key takeaway from Roku’s OneView ad buying platform: advertiser spend grew faster than availability inventory, proving that marketers are buying TV streaming to associate their brands with major tentpoles.  
  • As observed in OneView, total programmatic ad opportunitiesacross all devices increased by 26% compared to this year’s Grammys and 32% compared to the 2021 Golden Globes 

  • On OneView, the Oscars observed an 8% increase in total programmatic ad opportunities compared to the average of the last three Sundays in April

Spending & Streaming 

  • Total spend was 53% higher than the 2021 Grammys and 41% higher than the 2021 Golden Globes. 
  • Ad opportunities on Roku devices increased by 8% compared to the 2021 Golden Globes and 11% compared to this year’s Grammys 
  • The average CPM across the top 5 TV devices showed a 7% increase relative to the 2021 Golden Globes 

Once again, users turned to Roku to watch one of their favorite watercooler TV events. If you’d like to reach this growing audience before, during, and after their favorite programs, contact us to get started.