The streaming landscape is bustling. Here’s how brands can stand out

November 24, 2021 | By Matt Miller, Sr. Copywriter

Audiences today have more entertainment options than ever before. On average, Americans now subscribe to four streaming services, according to a 2021 report. 78% of consumers in the US have a subscription video-on-demand service, an increase of more than 25% in the past five years, according to an October Statista report. Meanwhile, consumers in the US are streaming an average of eight hours of content each day.

With so much content available across a range of services, “consumers are demanding choice and control over their viewing experiences, and the entertainment providers that can provide that choice are the ones that are seeing the biggest gain from this shift in consumption,” said Jesse Shaw, Twitch’s Head of Sales Partnerships said at Amazon Ads’ unBoxed conference last month.

At unBoxed, Shaw and Senior Branded Entertainment Partner Manager for IMDb TV Originals Edwina Cumberbatch outlined why it’s important for brands to consider finding creative ways to connect with audiences who are already enjoying premium content. For Amazon, this means “always putting customers first and working to deliver exceptional experiences that meet their needs and elevate the streaming experience,” Cumberbatch said.

During their unBoxed session, Shaw and Cumberbatch shared ways IMDb TV and Twitch are working to offer seamless experiences for both customers and brands.

Creating engaging ads alongside the IMDb TV content audiences crave

IMDb TV offers a collection of TV shows and movies, IMDb TV Originals, and linear channels. The service is available as a standalone app on Fire TV and on a number of living room third-party devices like Roku and Xbox, on iOS and Android Mobile devices, and for Prime and non-Prime members through the Prime Video app.

quoteUpWe are creating a modern version of a network, offering the popular, widely appealing content audiences enjoy from broadcast; the inventive, deeply satisfying storytelling they crave from cable; and the on-demand, tailored experience they expect from streaming.quoteDown
– Edwina Cumberbatch, Sr. Branded Entertainment Partner Manager, IMDb TV Originals

As part of this experience, IMDb TV offers brands a number of ways to better connect with audiences beyond just the 30-second commercial spot. With sponsorship opportunities, brands can align with seasonal events such as holidays, awards season, and cultural moments, like Pride Month, or Black History Month. IMDb TV also offers branded integrations that allow brands to integrate with the viewing experience in non-intrusive ways.

“Whether you’re an auto brand that wants our main characters to drive around in your newest launch, or you’re a Food and Beverage company who wants the (main character) to drink a bottle of your beverage while chatting with friends, integration within IMDb TV Originals creates a one-to-one connection with viewers that enhances the experience, while educating and driving awareness for the brand,” Cumberbatch said.

Redefining custom storytelling with Twitch

Twitch is also working to provide engaging experiences for audiences and brands. Worldwide, Twitch has more than 7 million streamers creating content monthly across genres for an audience of more than 30 million viewers on average visiting the site every day.1

quoteUpTwitch is redefining the viewing experience by delivering authentic, relevant content via our streamers and an interactive experience for our viewers.quoteDown
– Jesse Shaw, Head of Sales Partnerships, Twitch

“This creates a unique opportunity for brands to leverage our service to reach these Millennial and adult Gen Z audiences in ways that are authentic and additive to the advertising experience.”

Shaw shared one example in which Pringles brought a character from the zombie game West of Dead into the real world to interact with popular Twitch creators. During a livestream, the character Frank the Zombie crawled out of the screen to hang out with creators and their audiences. He also appeared in a 30-second ad spot that ran for two weeks.

“Pringles understood that, in order to reach our audiences authentically, it had to play by their rules and speak their language,” Shaw said. “By leveraging a mix of custom commercials and custom streams featuring our popular creators, Pringles ensured that they hit the right tone and message in their advertising and were additive to the viewing experience —surprising and delighting our viewers and earning a ton of positive earned media in the process.”

This is the power of providing premium content to viewers while also creating authentic opportunities for brands.

“There are so many ways brands can reach and engage our audiences - from integrations into premium content, to authentic connections with streamers,” Cumberbatch said. “As marketers we know that it’s essential for brands to diversify their media mix to reach audiences where they are and where they prefer to consume content—it’s not enough to invest heavily in one service or medium. Not only this, but messaging needs to be authentic and cater to the audience that’s receiving it.”

1 Twitch internal data, 2020