Analysis: Sports & Holiday Ads Grab TV 

Streamer Attention

In Q4 2020, Roku users streamed 17 billion hours of content, up 55% from 10.9 billion hours in Q4 2019

We wanted to understand exactly what types of streaming service ads performed best in that time period, so we dove into our data to understand which banners on the Roku home screen got the most engagement. 

Here’s what we found.  

Streamers Cheered for Sports

More fans than ever are streaming their favorite sports. During the NFL season, Antenna saw a 45% increase in sign-up for services such as Fubo TV and Hulu Live1 That increase was likely driven by streamers watching American football. In Q4 of 2020, Roku display ad creative that was football-focused had on average a nearly 500% greater clickthrough rate (CTR) over all other sports-focused creative.  

If you're creating TV ad creative for sports, we found that the most successful ads:   

  • Call out specific athletes, events, teams, dates, and channels 
  • Employ vibrant captive images that resonate with specific teams, athletes, and sports 
  • Utilize “Watch Live” CTA on Game Day to maximize viewership  

In other words, they made use of what we call the 4 Cs of banner ad creative: Content, Cast, Clarity, Call-to-Action. 

Tis the Season to Stream  

Holiday-themed programming during the fall and winter season, not surprisingly, also was very popular among streamers. From Halloween to Christmasprogramming that brought fright and delight were must-watch for TV streamers. 

  • Creative that evokes a sense of nostalgia generated a 220% greater clickthrough rate compared to other forms of creative in the same period 
  • On free ad-supported channels, ads promoting Halloween movies generated a 93% greater CTR than the average for this time period 
  • Christmas movies remain a top search item throughout the holiday season 


Final Steps to Successful Creative: Keep Learning and Evolving 

Now that we’ve discussed the creative that TV streamers find most compelling, here are our recommendations to ensure that your creative performs at peak performance 

  • Frequently monitor top-performing ads and messaging in your developer dashboard to inform creative refreshes, which can help avoid ad fatigue 

  • A/B test on Roku at least 3-4 creatives each month to determine the blend of design and messaging that resonates best with your audiences 

  • If you’re responsible for promoting a streaming channel on Rokuemploy a mix of overall channel promotion by showcasing your service benefits (e.g. watch 250+ free TV channels) and content-specific creative by focusing on one big title (e.g. Emmy winning movie)  

  • Use deep links to drive channel branding messaging on the channel details page or content-specific messaging on your content page    

As trends and streaming habits change, we will continue to keep analyzing what’s working in the world of streaming, so that your content hits your key performance metrics and connects streamers with content they love.  

Want to learn more about how to make ads that are highly effective? Download the full guide “The Secret to Streaming-First Creative.” 

1 Antenna, Sept – Dec 20200