Looking ahead at streaming marketing trends in 2022

December 20, 2021 | By Matt Miller, Sr. Copywriter

Whether it’s binging an award-winning TV series, cheering on your favorite sports team (or gamer), or hitting play on the new album or podcast everyone is talking about—streaming has become one of the most popular ways to enjoy all kinds of entertainment. And the streaming industry isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. The global video streaming industry size is expected to reach $223.98 billion by 2028. Meanwhile, music streaming revenue increased by 19.9% worldwide in 2020.

Looking ahead to 2022, many brands may be considering how to better connect with these growing streaming audiences.

"Here at Amazon Ads, we help brands seamlessly build connections with their audiences through a wide range of choices and in different streaming mediums," said Alan Moss, VP of global ad sales at Amazon Ads. "Amazon Streaming TV content and Twitch jointly reach an unduplicated monthly audience of 135 million viewers across the US. To put that in perspective, that’s 1 in 3 people in the United States."1

Let’s take a deeper dive into the ways brands can reach audiences wherever they’re enjoying their favorite entertainment.

Live sports in the streaming playbook

Live sports have seen a noticeable evolution during this rise in streaming. In a recent forecast of digital sports viewership by eMarketer, almost one in four US live sports viewers watched via digital channels in 2020.2 US digital live sports viewership is projected to grow by 14% from 2020 to 2021.3 Amazon is taking part in this shift in live sports viewing on streaming with a historic new deal to be the exclusive national home of Thursday Night Football beginning in 2022. For the next 11 years, the NFL weekend will officially start with Thursday Night Football on Prime Video, with 15 regular games and one preseason game per year.

“With live sports viewing through digital channels growing at an accelerated pace, Thursday Night Football on Prime Video and Twitch gives customers more of the content they want to stream,” said Danielle Carney, Amazon Ads Head of NFL Sales. “At Amazon Ads, we look forward to helping brands connect with these engaged sports viewers at scale through innovative ad experiences that drive measurable business results.”

A slam dunk with sports streaming on Twitch

An average of more than 30 million viewers tune in to Twitch every day to watch creators livestream everything from games to podcasts, sports, concerts, cooking and more.4 And while Twitch established its roots in gaming, the service has become more popular in recent years for a wide variety of other content.

“Whether it’s exercise, cooking, or art, non-gaming content has grown rapidly on Twitch. The reason for this growth is because content creators are inspired to bring their whole, authentic self to Twitch and share their passions, personalities, and stories. And audiences are loving it,” said Sarah Iooss, Twitch’s Head of Sales. “The growth of non-gaming content shows that the streaming environment is vast, and there are a lot of opportunities for brands to connect with content creators in different niches. This diversity in content can help advertisers connect with relevant audiences, and introduce those viewers to products they may want or need.”

Beyond the NFL, organizations like the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League have streamed content on Twitch. Ahead of the 2021 playoffs, the NBA brought its “That’s Game” campaign to Twitch. The NBA partnered with eight Twitch creators who shared their own stories about what “That’s Game” meant to them through sponsored influencer custom streams.

“It really did bring the spirit of the NBA to life, and it told our story in a way that resonated with the Twitch community—straight from their favorite streamers,” said National Basketball Association CMO Kate Jhaveri at unBoxed in October. “And because it’s Twitch, we had to bring out the goods and reward viewers in the form of subs (subscriptions) all throughout the stream, and they absolutely loved it.”

Reaching customers while enhancing their entertainment experiences

Many brands today are exploring ways they can enhance audiences’ experiences as they’re streaming video or audio. A new survey from Amazon Ads and Environics Research shows that an overwhelming majority of consumers (95% US/92% Europe) want to decide when and where they interact with a brand.

"Advertising is continuously evolving. Brands’ interactions with customers extend beyond driving awareness, consideration, or conversion. The relationship doesn’t end when customers purchase a product," said Colleen Aubrey, Senior Vice President of Advertising Products and Technology at Amazon Ads. "Nowadays, customers want to connect with brands in more authentic ways. And modern advertising solutions enable those connections by allowing brands to be part of customers’ everyday experiences. This can help shoppers discover and engage with products that align with their values."

quoteUpThe relationship doesn’t end when customers purchase a product. Nowadays, customers want to connect with brands in more authentic ways. And modern advertising solutions enable those connections by allowing brands to be part of customers’ everyday experiences. This can help shoppers discover and engage with products that align with their values."quoteDown
— Colleen Aubrey, SVP of Advertising Products and Technology at Amazon Ads

Amazon Ads offers Interactive Audio and Video Ads, which can help brands connect with audiences in engaging, immersive ways. Viewers can interact with brands on the IMDb TV app on Fire TV by using their voice or their remote without disrupting their viewing experience. They can take Amazon shopping actions such as "Add to Cart" and "Add to List." Viewers can also use a new shopping action— "Send Me More Info" — during the Interactive Video Ad experience, which allows them to request product details via email or by scanning a QR code on screen to visit a brand’s landing page.

Brands can also engage with audiences more naturally by creating seamless ways to connect through Interactive Audio Ads. After hearing an Interactive Audio Ad while listening to Amazon Music’s ad-supported tier on an Alexa-enabled device, customers can simply ask Alexa to “Remind me,” “Send me more information,” or “Add to cart” —Alexa will know which product is featured in the ad, and add that item to the cart or set the relevant reminder.

These interactive ads help brands engage more actively with audiences, and help audiences by eliminating the need to remember the name of the product or service from the ad.

Learn more about video marketing or see which 2023 marketing trends are expected to create the most impact to advertisers and their brands..

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1 Amazon Internal, 2021
2-3 eMarketer, May 2020
4 Twitch internal, 2021