What is incremental reach, and why should you care?

Incremental reach refers to the additional and unique audience that is exposed to an ad campaign via OTT video advertising.

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The term “incremental reach” has become increasingly popular across the advertising industry in recent years, used by brands, agencies, and media publishers alike. But what exactly does it mean, and why is it important? In this post, the first in our "Behind the streams" series, we’ll help you better understand this topic and how Amazon Streaming TV ads can help you extend your reach goals.

1. What is reach in digital marketing?

Reach refers to the size of a specific audience segment or percent of a population an advertising campaign engages. In a hypothetical scenario where a campaign engages 100MM 18-to-49 year-old viewers out of a total population of 138MM, the campaign reach is 100MM or 72%.

2. What is incremental reach?

Incremental reach refers to the unique audience that an OTT (over-the-top) video campaign engages, in addition to the audience reached by a brand’s linear TV campaign. While there are other ways for advertisers to gain incremental reach from their linear TV campaigns, such as using online video, social, or display ads, the focus of this discussion is between linear TV and OTT video.

Let’s go back to our previous example with the campaign that engaged 100MM 18-to-49-year-old viewers. Of those 100MM viewers, 80MM saw the advertiser’s campaign by watching linear TV, and 30MM saw the advertisement by watching OTT video content, also known as streaming TV content. The audience that saw both the linear TV and OTT video advertisements was 10MM. That means the advertiser reached an incremental 20MM viewers with OTT video advertising.

3. Why is incremental reach important for your brand?

Cord cutting is accelerating as more viewers migrate from linear TV to OTT streaming video and video on demand (VOD). According to eMarketer1, U.S. non-pay TV households will exceed 51MM by the end of 2020, and the number of non-pay TV households will surpass the number of pay TV household by 2024.

This behavior results in the continued growth of OTT consumption. Nielsen’s Q2 2020 Total Audience Report shows that video streaming as part of total TV usage increased from 19% in Q4 2019 to 25% in Q2 20202.

With the increasing consumption of OTT streaming video comes a growing audience that advertisers cannot reach through linear TV. Therefore, it’s important for brands to adjust their advertising strategies and leverage OTT video campaigns to engage this incremental audience beyond linear TV.

4. How can Amazon Streaming TV ads help you?

In 2020 alone, Amazon Streaming TV ads' monthly reach increased from 20MM to 50MM viewers. To help assess this reach, we’ve leveraged industry-recognized third-party measurement solutions and found the following:

Amazon Streaming TV ads can help you to reach an incremental audience at scale. On average, Amazon Streaming TV ads delivers 3.4% incremental reach to linear TV. For example, in the Q2 2020 campaign for a sports drink brand, Amazon Streaming TV ads delivered 5.3% of incremental audience beyond those reached by the TV campaign. That means 4MM 18-to-54-year-old viewers were only reached by Amazon Streaming TV ads and not the linear TV campaign.

The majority of Amazon Streaming TV ads' audience is exclusive. On average, 70% of the audience reached during Amazon Streaming TV ad campaigns are not exposed to brands’ linear TV campaigns. That’s why it’s a valuable tool to help advertisers extend their reach to unique audiences.

Amazon Streaming TV ads engage hard-to-reach audience segments. Amazon Streaming TV ads can help advertisers reach younger viewers and light TV viewers. For example, a national pizza chain’s Q2 2020 Amazon Streaming TV ad campaign delivered a higher proportion of 21-to-34-year-old viewers by more than 2X compared to its linear TV campaign. Light TV viewers made up half of the Amazon Streaming TV audience, which was 3X more than what the linear TV campaign delivered. As a result, Amazon Streaming TV ads drove 18% incremental reach of light TV viewers.

5. What’s next?

We are seeing encouraging increases in incremental reach with Amazon Streaming TV ads as we compare measurement results for our advertisers over time. Looking ahead, we will continue working with our advertisers and third-party measurement solutions to prove these reach capabilities and drive more effective campaign results.

Want to know more about Amazon Streaming TV ads? Follow along with our “Behind the streams” blog series, which will explore other topics like the differences between Amazon Streaming TV and linear TV audiences, and how Amazon Streaming TV ads can drive a full funnel impact for brands.

If you have limited experience, contact us to request services managed by Amazon Ads. Budget minimums apply.