Streaming Advertising Trends: 

What Advertisers Need to Know 

About the Streamer’s 

Path to Purchase

This year has been anything but predictable. As consumers have adapted to different lifestyles, there have been seismic shifts in the way that media is consumed. Recent research from the Harris Poll and Roku has found that most US households (85%) now stream and almost half subscribe to three or more streaming services.  

These findings and more are all featured in Roku's 2020 Holiday Reportwhere we take a deeper look at the season of streaming as we know it, especially when it comes to the new path to purchase for OTT advertising.  

Here’s what we found:


Lean Back vs. Lean Forward Advertising  

For the first time since the Harris Poll has conducted the Consumer Holiday Shopping Survey, more respondents said that they spent their time streaming instead of watching traditional TV. Millennials, in particular, spend twice as much time streaming as they do watch linear television. Streaming hours have increased 19% year-over-year, while traditional TV hours have decreased by 13%.  

When it comes to brands, 43% of respondents said that they had paused streaming content to browse and shop for the product that they saw on an OTT ad. Two-thirds of millennials said the same.  

This is a new way to think about ads on the biggest screen in the house: traditional TV ads are ‘lean back’ advertisements, but streaming ads inspire viewers to lean forward and actively engage with the content if it interests them. That creates an immediate action for the brand and helps build the relationship with the consumer.  

If the streaming ad is interactive and offers coupons, store locators, or reminders, that can also drive viewers further along in the journey. Streamers ready to take those steps, too. In the survey, 31% of viewers said that they would take advantage of a streaming ad offer, while 44% said that they shop online while they’re streamingmost likely on another device like mobile?


Audience targeting in a streaming Ecosystem

Our holiday report highlighted the difficulty of targeting the right audience when you’re running streaming ads: A total of 43% of respondents said that they subscribe to three or more streaming services. That number rises to around 60% for millennials. All of this fragmentation makes it hard to measure results. During this holiday season, advertisers will need to focus on outcomes more than anything else 

That’s when a solution like Roku’s OneView Ad Platform can help with better audience targeting and attributionOneView enables your ad campaigns to reach 4 out of 5 US households across 100 unique segments based on behavioral insights. If you’re looking to target streamers, Roku is the best platform for it – these are proprietary audiences based on our household-specific data about everything from demographics to genre.  

You can run your ad campaign across mobile, desktop, and streaming all at once, too, which means that you can have a comprehensive view into performance metrics with in-flight attribution and instant streaming ad inventory forecasts, in addition to retargeting audiences across devices.

The Streaming Path to Purchase

Marketers need to think about not just getting the ad to the right people, but making sure that there’s a clear next step after that “lean forward” moment.  

With almost half of streamers pausing content to research a product they saw in an ad, that means the browsing experience should be optimized for the next stepWill the ad experience continue on the web or on a user’s mobile device? Will the creative change? 

During the season of streaming, your ad strategy should focus on that pause-button moment. Consumers who lean forward to interact with ads are ready to learn more. It’s up to brands to keep up with them.  

Want to learn more about the state of streaming during the holidays? Download the full Holiday Report 2020 below