VAB: Sports, Choice & Flexibility Are Key to Streaming Success

The Video Advertising Bureau (VAB) has highlighted key strategies for streamers amid a competitive environment in a new report, stressing the role of live sports and the importance of offering consumers flexible options and a wide array of content.

The report, Recipe for Success: Six Key Ingredients For Stirring Growth in Streaming, explores episodic versus binge releases, password sharing, preferred ad formats and more following a year-long study.

“Streaming is like a recipe that’s constantly being refined by a chef,” said Danielle DeLauro, executive VP of VAB. “With new and expanded tiers, offerings and services, consumers are ordering choice, flexibility and engagement—all of which have become table stakes today,. The platforms achieving the greatest success in this landscape are those leaning into live events, interactive ads and more diverse programming, which are the elements paving the way for growth and attracting marketers looking to drive business at scale.”

For VAB, the essential factors for a successful streaming strategy are offering high-quality and diversified content, driving engagement and discovery, promoting loyalty and engagement and delivering innovative ad experiences.

Consumers are eager for value, the survey found, with 58 percent of viewers saying that accessing exclusive content impacts their likelihood of subscribing to a streaming service. Discounts, free trials, older content and ability to share passwords are also key factors for more than half of respondents. Consumers also want choice, appreciating the ability to either access all episodes on their own time or follow a weekly release ritual. Per VAB, 73 percent like the all-at-once strategy while 52 percent are partial to a weekly drop. The report also indicates that diverse audiences are more likely to enjoy weekly episode releases as it creates more of a social event. Diverse audiences are also much more likely to discover streaming shows through social video or influencers.

Sports, especially women’s sports, are growth opportunities. The study found that 55 percent of all viewers have streamed live sports, while 42 percent of females streamed sports in the last 12 months.

Viewers are also taking to nontraditional ad units such as pause ads; 51% of viewers have taken some sort of action after seeing a pause ad.