Streaming Killed the Cable Box

Saiesha Munuri
Marketing Writer

Similar to the outdated TV sets of the past, traditional TV audiences are most often older and less technologically savvy consumers (Photo courtesy of Nabil Saleh on Unsplash)

A recent survey by the brand Harris Poll has found that advertising on steaming platforms beats advertising on traditional TV in terms of attracting US shoppers’ attention. As teenagers, most of us view commercials due to streaming platforms. Adults and senior citizens know commercials because they are played in between games or news or a show on traditional television. This difference in consumer behavior among age groups has split the way products are marketed. The two types of marketing strategies are traditional which utilizes TV and linear channels, and streaming which utilizes the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, Roku, and more. Each method of advertising has its respective advantages and disadvantages.

Traditional advertising has been in decline as many consumers have found better opportunities to watch on-demand. However, there are a few perks to traditional advertising. The consumer groups that are most likely to watch traditional TV are elders, adults, and senior citizens. While this group of people is watching TV, whether it be a game, news, or a show, the commercial interrupts in between, and as far as commercial strategies go, it appeals to the audience. This consumer segment is generally financially stable and with enough money to spend on an interesting product. Pharma commercials are also highly popular with this age group being that the elderly are prone to contract illnesses, and these commercials will provide viewers with information as to which problem it will solve. These older audiences may find this form of marketing more convenient as it does not require being tech-savvy and is integrated into the tv-watching experience.

Nevertheless, the demerit of traditional advertising is that there are not many zealous consumers in the audience. Some products provoke specific trends among the youth, but if this audience switches to streaming platforms, how can they contribute to the product’s consumption via traditional marketing? Another fault of traditional TV is the money people feel they are wasting for a randomized movie schedule rather than the instantaneous and on-demand options that streaming and online entertainment provides.

Streaming options allow consumers and advertisers to have a more personalized and interconnected experience as technology is integrated into the viewing experience (Photo courtesy of John Schnobrich on Unsplash)

Streaming advertising is growing in popularity and opportunity. The best thing about advertisements on streaming platforms for consumers is that you do not have to move from your place. Advertised products and services can be a simple click away. Due to the efficient way of connecting consumers to a product, streaming platforms are favored by viewers and marketers who have, in total, spent $79 billion on traditional ads. Dallas Lawrence, head of communications for Roku’s platform business, says, “What should really be a wake-up call for marketers—who are still spending, in some cases, 80 to 90% of their TV budgets on traditional pay-TV—is that a third of their audience isn’t there.” The survey reported that 49% of consumers of a specific product were streamers who stopped and checked it out. Lawrence also gave his positive take on the various forms of marketing streaming platforms allow. These techniques that include QR codes, augmented-reality filters and other website links have no parallel offering in traditional TV advertising. The survey also states that consumers plan to spend up to 5% more from last year and 36% of those surveyed plan to spend more this holiday season than last year. These higher projections in consumer spending make for a larger and more important holiday sales season when compared to 2020. Given the advantages of younger audiences and the variety of marketing options, streaming advertising will likely see more advertising dollars this holiday season. Looking forward, as audiences shift to streaming so will advertisers which makes it only a matter of time before traditional TV advertising becomes entirely obsolete.


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