Against the Current: Changing Trends in Consumer Streaming Habits

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Remember when content was king? Well, what’s king now is streaming content. And it’s not just streamed films and television content either. There’s parallel growth in streaming live TV events and live sporting events. CBS recently launched CBS Sports HQ, a live 24-7 streaming channel for all types of sports coverage, sports news and insider analysis. CBS Sports HQ will be available for free online for web users. CBS says the channel will cover will news, sports highlights and updates for basketball, football, baseball, soccer, hockey games and more. It’s an attempt to reach the younger demographic of users who have cut their cable cord, and aren’t watching sports at home.

Our Adtaxi “Super Bowl Viewership and Consumer Streaming Trends Survey” from January showed how younger consumers’ viewing habits are changing around content-streaming and media-viewing, especially around major sporting live events.

Other data found in our research on streaming content in general included:

  • 74% of those surveyed stream half of their TV programming
  • 64% of those surveyed stream content on their mobile devices
  • TV shows are the most popular content streamed by women
  • Movies are tops for streaming content among men

And it’s not only young viewers doing the bulk of streaming. Baby Boomers aged 50-64 are also streaming more media than ever. Older Americans are watching 45% more web-connected TV than live network or cable programming, according to data from Netflix, Rotten Tomatoes and E-Poll Research. Some of these TV shows that are resonating with streaming consumers are Netflix hits like “Dear White People”, “Stranger Things” and “Sense8”, per E-Poll research on popular streaming TV shows.

Streaming with the Second Screen

The second screen impact is also in full swing for streaming viewers. When streaming live sports and live TV events, users are also using a second screen to supplement the main event. Mobile devices in hand, these viewers are watching the event, but are tweeting, taking pictures and sharing reactions on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook Live and other social media.

Advertisers Need Data

Advertisers can reach interested consumers on streaming media in a range of geographical and demographic areas at the same time. They can do this by optimizing targeting strategies and reaching specific age groups or genders on the appropriate platforms.

But the key to it all is the data gained by advertisers. With good data on streaming media, advertisers can figure out which advertising works best on the assorted devices that people use to stream content (phone, desktop, laptop, etc.), and the specific programming apps (Hulu, Showtime, NFL, ESPN, etc.).

New Ad Tech Firms for Streaming Data

Here’s where it gets interesting. New technology companies on the landscape are trying to reconfigure how ads are shown to consumers using streaming media. And it’s all in the data that these companies can gain from you, the home viewer. The Wall Street Journal highlighted three entrants into this growth area:

  • Sorenson Media, which helps advertisers deliver targeted ads to a home’s smart TVs
  • Alphonso, which uses a microphone app to learn about individual’s TV viewing in the home, and then works with advertisers to deliver targeted ads to that location; and
  • Verance, which uses a technology called Aspect to cull data on certain ads that were shown on smart TVs in individual homes.

Figuring out the data equation will be top of mind for many advertisers in 2018 to reach fragmented streaming media audiences.