Live sports fans are making the switch to streaming. Advertisers should get in on the action.

August 28, 2023 | By Danielle Carney, head of NFL ad sales

Anchors talking to each other.

Streaming isn’t just a growing trend—it’s now a part of daily life. Nearly three-quarters (71%) of the U.S. population currently use streaming services and that number is projected to grow, according to Insider Intelligence.1 The early years of streaming might have set the stage for prestige dramas and rewatches of old favorite series, but streaming has morphed into a key fixture of home entertainment that is changing the way audiences watch and interact with television. With last year’s first-ever exclusive national broadcast deal to stream Thursday Night Football (TNF) on Prime Video, the viewership results prove the power of connecting with a streaming audience firsthand.

The opportunities are just as rife for advertisers.

The first season of TNF exclusively on Prime Video reported 12% higher viewership among the traditionally hard-to-reach 18-to-34 age group, compared with the 2021 season of TNF on linear broadcast.2 Moreover, younger viewers didn’t just drop in for a quick peek at the game; from pregame to in-game and post-game, TNF led TV viewership in the 18-to-34 demographic all night long.2

Beyond that, TNF audiences engaged with the broadcast for an average of 85 minutes, 12% longer than primetime linear broadcasts.2 TNF provides advertisers the ability to reach an untapped audience. These viewers are unique to TNF and do not watch linear NFL—a double-digit percentage of the P18-34 demographic in particular reported not watching the NFL on any other network.2 And as we head into the 2023-2024 season, cable subscriptions continue to decline, with Nielsen estimating a drop of over 3 million cable subscribers over the past eight months. 3

As fans continue to explore nonlinear TV, creating a viewing experience that feels special to each viewer remains top of mind. The niche nature of the Prime Video TNF streams offers an opportunity to reach audiences in more relevant, thoughtful ways. Some viewers may want to stream TNF alongside commentary from comedy group Dude Perfect. Others may want TNF en Español, or Prime Vision with Next Gen stats included.

Through audience-based creative, Amazon Ads enables national advertisers to leverage its holistic first-party insights to deliver creative to customized, segmented audiences. As a result, advertisers are able to present tailored creative to those audience segments, based on geographic, demographic, and behavioral signals.

For instance, an automotive brand can run a sports-car ad to a young-adult segment, an SUV spot to a sports-and-outdoors segment, and an overarching brand spot to all other TNF viewers—all simultaneously during the same 30-second window. Additionally, after the game, brands can continue to engage these audiences across Amazon channels and thousands of third-party websites through Amazon Ads.

In fall 2023, Amazon Ads will expand its the interactive ad offerings, giving viewers more ways to interact with a brand’s call-to-action without ever leaving the TNF stream. Customers watching the game on Fire TV devices can click a “Add to cart” or “Get email” button with their remote, sending a push notification or an email that links directly to product and Store pages for brands that sell products on the Amazon store and custom landing destinations for those who do not—all without leaving their Thursday Night Football stream.

Through TNF on Prime Video, Amazon’s first-party insights enable brands to learn more about their audiences and better understand the shopping journey—from viewing a commercial all the way to the actual purchase.

Moreover, advertisers can use insights to inform real-time marketing decisions, through Amazon Marketing Cloud, a secure, privacy-safe, and dedicated cloud-based environment in which advertisers can inspect and evaluate campaign reach, frequency and total impact across the marketing funnel, learn about the composition of ad-exposed audiences, and maximize marketing performance.

As live sports continue to migrate to streaming, brands will discover the power of reaching audiences in a manner that is more relevant, creative, and impactful than ever before.

1Insider Intelligence, 2022
2Nielsen, Live+SD. 2022 NFL regular season. Sept 8, 2022-Jan 8, 2023
3Sports Business Journal, “2023 cable numbers show deep subscriber cuts,” July 2023