Streaming TV Advertising: A Guide for Marketers

Jan 23, 2023 / Industry Insights / FOTW


Streaming TV’s success in reaching a new generation of TV viewers can be attributed to the fact that it provides advertisers with all the targeting and measurement options of a digital channel.

The world of streaming advertising can seem like a foreign language due to the abundance of acronyms — like ACR, OTT, CTV, AVOD, SVOD. To keep up with the growing number of cord-cutters, advertisers are shifting their focus from traditional linear TV to online video. The transition to advertising on streaming TV doesn’t have to be daunting, though!

The advertising industry is being profoundly affected by the rise of online video streaming. Further, it offers many possibilities for brands to connect with their intended customers. In any case, there are more than 130 streaming services to choose from (and growing), not to mention numerous chances for audience targeting.

The time is right to take advantage of advertising on streaming TV, given its many advantages and rapid expansion. With that said, let’s take a look at all you need to know about streaming TV and advertising on those different platforms.

What Is Streaming TV?

Instead of receiving television signals through a cable laid underground or a satellite dish mounted on the roof, viewers of streaming TV can access their favourite shows directly from their computer or mobile device. Stream content effortlessly on any device — TV, tablet, phone, or computer — so long as you have an internet connection!

While most streaming TV services imitate Netflix’s on-demand approach, some have begun to offer live TV streaming, which is similar to what cable and satellite subscribers enjoy. As a result, you can begin playing a video before it has finished completely loading. You won’t have to unzip or save anything to use it.


In the world of online video streaming, the meaning of Connected TV (CTV) and Over-The-Top (OTT) services is not always clear. Despite their frequent synonymy, these two names refer to distinct elements of the streaming TV ecosystem. To ensure you’re completely comfortable with the terminology, let’s examine the distinctions between the two.

OTT means, in the simplest terms, the streaming of television and movies over the internet rather than through conventional cable or satellite providers. On-demand video services that can be accessed from any internet-connected device include Hulu, Netflix, Disney+, and HBO Max.

However, CTV refers to a certain category of devices that make it possible to watch OTT programming on television. While smart TVs make up the bulk of this category, other devices like Google’s Chromecast, AppleTV, Amazon’s Fire TV and Roku that allow you to stream content to your TV over the internet are also considered OTT devices.

We normally talk about OTT content when we refer to “streaming TV”, whereas connected TV is the actual gadget. The most important thing to remember is that although CTVs are a popular way to watch OTT material, other devices such as laptops, desktops, and mobiles also allow OTT streaming but are not considered CTVs.


Ad-supported VOD (AVOD) and Subscription VOD (SVOD) are another set of TV terms that you need to know. Depending on the business model and audience access provided, these two phrases characterise different types of Streaming TV services.

Subscribers to SVOD services like Netflix pay a monthly or annual fee in exchange for commercial-free access to the service’s library. On the other side, users of an AVOD service can watch videos without paying anything, however, they will be subjected to advertisements.

Bear in mind that some services combine AVOD and SVOD features. To access Hulu’s premium content while simultaneously viewing advertisements, the great majority of users choose a model where they pay a subsidised membership cost.

What Are Streaming TV Ads?

As opposed to traditional linear TV advertising, streaming TV is integrated into the programming itself. These advertisements for streaming services will play before or during commercial breaks on ad-supported TV networks and apps.

Although Netflix is the most well-known ad-free streaming service, the popularity of ad-supported services continues to rise. If the ads are relevant and don’t interfere with the viewing experience, two-thirds of viewers would rather watch them than pay a higher rate for the ad-free subscription tiers.

Since many “cable-cutters” initially did so to save money, those who have made the switch are careful about how many streaming services they join up for, as the costs may soon pile up. 

HBO Max recently offered a new, lower subscription option with commercials to help make the difference, demonstrating the apparent desire for low-cost streaming experiences. In late 2022, Netflix offered a similar low-cost tier, including advertising. There are many streaming TV platforms out there, so many people don’t mind watching a few commercials to get access to premium material for free or at a reduced price.

4 Advantages of Streaming TV Advertising

1. Target Specific Demographics

Streaming TV offers a unique opportunity for targeted advertising because of its digital nature. This form of advertising allows advertisers to target based on a wide range of data-driven criteria, including demographics and interests, as opposed to traditional TV’s reliance on ratings and airtime. This means that advertisers on streaming TV are more likely to receive clicks and views from their intended demographic.

2. More Versatile

Targeting a certain demographic with your streaming TV advertising is a great way to get more mileage out of your marketing dollar. They improve the likelihood that advertisements are only displayed to those who are likely to be interested in a certain brand. Essentially, this marketing method helps businesses avoid wasting resources on customers who would never buy their goods.

3. Offers Customer-Centric Content

A company can have greater say over the tone and specifics of its commercials when they stream them online. Users of OTT services tend to watch ads voluntarily compared to linear TV. It doesn’t matter if there are commercials or not; the spectator is disinterested either way. This is something to remember while deciding on the best approach to reaching your target audience with your message.

Although there are restrictions on how effective a pre-roll ad may be, despite these restrictions, businesses can still see an increase in brand searches and brand memory, which can lead to conversion over time. Content that is created with the customer in mind is more likely to be shared and, consequently, more useful for businesses.

4. Better Reporting Metrics

Advertisers can narrow the focus of their streaming TV ads to highly specific demographics by using data on viewer demographics, viewing behaviours, geographic location, and more. Businesses can use this functionality to ensure their messages reach the right people. As an added bonus, advertisers might pick up useful information about their target demographics and watching patterns. In addition, firms can test out several variations of the same ad to determine what works and doesn’t.

List of Streaming Platforms With Advertising


The term “platform” is used in various contexts where it can also refer to the actual streaming device. Roku, Amazon’s Fire TV, and Apple TV are among the most widely used options. One alternative definition of “platform” is a channel accessible through a streaming media player like Disney+, Pluto TV, or Netflix. These channels are cross-platform in the same way that apps may be used on both iOS and Android devices.

With more and more streaming platforms jumping on the ad-tier in recent years, it’s not too far-fetched to believe that this list might expand in the next six months. Here are some examples of streaming services that offer advertising tiers:

  • Netflix
  • Disney+
  • Pluto TV
  • Hulu
  • Paramount+
  • HBO Max
  • Peacock


Where do these advertisements appear, then? Channel type is the deciding factor. In order to provide its content for free, AVOD networks incorporate commercial breaks into their programming. Here, advertisements for a streaming service are displayed on any device used to view the channel.

4 Best Practices for Streaming TV Ads

Creating a great TV commercial is paramount for its success, regardless of whether you’re advertising your brand on linear TV or through OTT platforms (or both!). With that in mind, here are our four tips that you should keep in mind when planning your next streaming TV ad:

1. Remember to put the audience first

While branding is technically an “upper-funnel” strategy, it can have a significant impact on “lower-funnel” measures. Create ads where your brand is prominent from the very beginning and stays that way until the very end.

2. Utilise the digital capabilities of TV streaming

Streaming TV combines the widespread exposure of traditional TV with the targeting and flexibility of digital advertising. The scale of tailored and segmented information allows marketers to connect with more people. Think about the various ways your content could be adapted for a wider range of viewers. Consider how you can best use your creativity to reach people at various points in the sales process. In order to increase conversions, you may, for instance, use dynamic advertisements.

3. Tell a Story

In order to get people to watch your commercial when they have the option to skip it, you need to tell a compelling tale. Maintain a consistent storyline and a direct call to action (CTA) to ensure your message is received. Ads on streaming TV services should be no longer than 30 seconds especially if viewers cannot avoid them. Make use of the latest in entertainment trends and don’t hesitate to try something new!

4. Have a clear call-to-action

Effective ads have CTAs that entice users to take some sort of action within the context of the ad itself. The CTA should be front and centre for the majority of the advertisement, and the call to action itself should be explained in both voice and text for maximum effectiveness.

Final Thoughts on Streaming TV Advertising

Streaming TV is ushering in a new era of television viewing, much like Broadcast TV did for Cable and Satellite. This is a huge improvement for marketers since it allows for more precise targeting and measurable results, and it lowers the barrier to entry for more companies to advertise on television.

TV on demand can do wonders for a company’s reputation and works in tandem with other media, whether it be broadcast or online. Now is the moment to begin streaming advertising because of its large (and rising) audience and abundance of chances to reach your target demographic. Partnering with an experienced TV advertising agency is definitely the best first step to creating an effective TV marketing campaign.

Keen on seeing what TV advertising can bring to your brand? Get in touch with an experienced advertising agency who’ll be able to help you get the job done!