The Battle for Streaming Supremacy

By Vaughan Young (AdOps Executive)

It’s not just the year drawing to a close; it’s the decade. And as the new decade dawns, it’s inevitable that challenges aplenty will appear on the horizon for the media and advertising industries. But, so too will new opportunities arise.

The streaming services that really took off this decade, cementing themselves as commonplace fixtures in our daily lives, could present the perfect opportunity for advertisers and brands in the next few years.

We’re seeing the introduction of these new services on an increasingly regular basis, each battling for audiences in an ever more complex SVOD landscape. The likes of TVNZ, MediaWorks and YouTube have become go-to platforms for local brands looking embrace video content, but the opportunity to advertise across bigger (currently gated) publishers such as Netflix may be in the not-too-distant future.

During an interview with Variety, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said, “While we’ve been competing with many people in the last decade, it’s a whole new world starting”, in reference to Disney+ and Apple TV+ recently launching.

That competition is real, with Disney+ registering more than 10 million new subscriptions in a single day. This number is still minute compared to Netflix’s 150 million subscribers, but evidence enough they’ll soon be a major player.

Not to mention other major streaming services, including HBO Max, Mixer, Twitch, Amazon Prime, Apple TV+, and to a lesser extent, New Zealand’s own Lightbox.

While these services can lean on large parent companies to help fund their endeavours, Netflix doesn’t have that luxury, which means they need to get creative with their funding model and how they decide to compete.

The subscription-based revenue model Netflix has flourished under since the platform’s inception is increasingly under threat, and the creativity and content that helped Netflix stand out are needed more than ever to ensure they continue to succeed.

The increased competition has analysts predicting that streaming services, especially Netflix, will need to introduce advertising to their services in a bid to remain relevant and secure new sources of revenue. In this lies the opportunity for advertisers to further the awareness and impact of their advertising in the online video marketplace.

Netflix and advertisers alike could look to partner in an effort to benefit one another, whether that be through paid advert breaks (not dissimilar to that of linear television), or through the subtlety of product placements.

Only time will tell how these partnerships play out, but the fact that both advertising and streaming services are here to stay means there are likely to be many opportunities ahead.

Date: December 18, 2019