Connecting content to commerce: How brands can reach and engage consumers with streaming TV ads

October 11, 2023 | By Phil Christer, Managing Director, Amazon Ads U.K.

Woman smiling

The world of streaming TV advertising is rapidly changing. Faced with accelerating media fragmentation, dwindling viewer numbers, and decreasing audience attention spans, advertisers today need to find new ways to engage relevant audiences.

These challenges offer new opportunities, however, particularly with the continued growth of social media and streaming TV. To help brands better understand the shifting streaming TV advertising landscape, we collaborated with research company Opinium to produce the Amazon Ads Streaming TV Report 2023. Based on responses from 2,000 U.K. adults, our findings provide insight into how brands can connect content to commerce to boost discovery and better engage consumers, by exploring the journey from entertainment to buying products and services, via streaming TV ads.

Here are our four key takeaways from the report.

1. Streaming TV ads helps brands connect with new audiences

More than two-fifths of U.K. adults (42%) said they stream content for more than three hours every day, and nearly half (49%) have discovered a new brand while watching streaming TV in the past year. This figure rises to 74% when looking at adult Gen Z and younger millennial audiences (18 to 34 years old). With so much time spent streaming, streaming TV ads represent an exciting opportunity for brands to connect with new potential customers, where they are already spending their time.

Nearly half (49%) of the U.K. adults we surveyed have discovered a new brand from a streaming TV ad during the last year.

Avg time spent streaming

Average time spent streaming per day

Through streaming TV ads, brands can connect with curated Amazon audiences based on shopping insights, and show up in a range of relevant content from exclusive originals on Amazon Freevee to livestreaming entertainment on Twitch. Also, tools like Amazon Marketing Cloud can help advertisers ensure that relevant audiences see their ads by delivering real-time analysis of campaign reach, frequency, and total impact.

2. Relevance remains key for brands hoping to connect with new customers

It’s become second nature to receive content recommendations based on personal viewing habits when streaming content, and expectations for ads are no different. According to our findings, 89% of U.K. adults are receptive to ads that are interesting, are relevant to them, or help keep streaming TV costs down.

54% never or rarely see relevant ads when streaming TV

However, right now, some advertisers are missing the mark. More than half of respondents (54%) said they never or rarely see ads that are relevant to them when streaming TV, and ads that aren’t interesting, are too long or irrelevant, are causing consumers to skip them.

percentage buy from streaming ads

Reasons for wanting to skip ads

3. Embedding ads into streaming TV content helps to inspire commerce moments

Ad formats that seamlessly weave products into content help enhance the audience’s desire to purchase. One example of this is travel and tourism agency TUI’s brand-funded programming, The World Cook. This series spotlights contestants who compete in country-specific cooking challenges for the chance to win naming rights for one of TUI’s restaurants at the Blue El Dorado Seaside Suites Hotel in Mexico.

Over a quarter (28%) of respondents said they would buy a product directly from an ad after seeing it within content they are already watching, like through product placement or brand-funded programming. Among 18-to-34-year-olds, this increases to 44%. Crucially, streaming TV ads enable brands to embed their products and brand messages directly into content, spotlighting the products being used or worn by characters in the latest shows. Ultimately, consumers are seeking a seamless experience to get what they need, when they need it: Amazon supports ad placements, whether it’s brand-funded programming, online video ads, or streaming TV ads, to help reduce the friction between content and commerce.

Alongside product placement and sponsored streams, brand-funded programming is another example of content that combines entertainment with advertising. Live Italian, a recent series funded and produced by Birra Moretti, is available on Prime Video. The show features high-quality production, with an authentic brand presence that blends content and commerce, authentically entertaining and engaging audiences as presenters bring the brand’s slogan to life in exploring “what it means to enjoy life the Italian way.” As well as engaging new audiences, a recent study we produced in collaboration with MAGNA found that brand-funded entertainment provides a 9% lift in purchase intent and a 21% lift in search intent among potential new customers.

4. Interactive ads can shorten the path to purchase

Streaming TV viewers are being inspired to purchase, but there remains an opportunity for brands to bridge the gap between entertainment and the point of purchase more seamlessly through newer forms of advertising, like interactive ads.

Buy from streaming tv ads

Likelihood to buy from different types of streaming TV ads

Nearly a third of all streamers (30%) said they find it easy to find information about products they were interested in via interactive ads, and 22% would be likely to purchase through them. However, the 18-to-34-year age group are the most receptive to interacting with ads directly, with a third (33%) saying they would search for more information via an interactive function.

Tools like Amazon Ads interactive video ads can help advertisers create a seamless, interactive shopping experience. Advertisers can include voice calls-to-action such as “Add to Basket” and “Send Me More Info” directly within streaming TV ads, and bring customers closer to the products they love.

Streaming TV offers a fresh way for brands to engage new audiences, improving the customer experience through imaginative ad formats. If advertisers use the right tools to make ads relevant and engaging, they can bring audiences closer to commerce moments.