Magnite’s MD on SVOD ad-supported tiers: ‘It’ll bring more users into their ecosystem’

Magnite, a global independent omnichannel sell-side advertising platform, today released a study entitled ‘Live and Kicking: An In-Depth Look At Live Streaming in Australia’ that found sports streamers are more responsive to advertising than traditional TV watchers, with many stating they often remember the ads seen (39%) and discuss the ads with someone (32%) after the fact.

The study also found half of sports streamers have discovered new products due to ads placed around sports content, while 31% have bought the advertised product or service. These results signify the effectiveness of live sports content in driving action and engagement.

In addition, the study showed live sports streamers are likely to watch multiple ad-supported services with an average of 2.6 sports apps.

Magnite managing director of Australia, James Young, told Mumbrella what he’s seen from recent research, ad-supported tiers on SVOD platforms here in Australia will resonate.

“We already have these with Foxtel, Kayo, and Optus Sport. For the likes of Netflix and Disney, they are adding an ad-supported tier and looking at the success Hulu has had in this space and replicating that model,” he said. “It brings more users into their ecosystem and as our research shows, if the ads are relevant to the user, it can be a positive experience for them.”

The study also found sports fans also prefer to watch live over watching on-demand – 71% of live sports programming is watched in real-time.

As well as this, live sports streaming is omnichannel, but viewers prefer a large screen environment when streaming live sports, with 84% opting to watch on CTV, and shoulder content has increased in importance, with 69% watching the pre-game show.

He explained the biggest trend we’ve seen is the rise of various smaller sports garnering more attention.

“International sports are getting more viewership thanks to live streaming and the flexibility it offers,” said Young. “Secondly, we see an increase in device usage. When it comes to sport, the research shows that live streaming users are leaning in with mobile and tablet devices because they can for the first time watch sports through these devices which is opening up a larger audience than ever before.”

Young said the research shows sports streamers are super fans. “They’re more engaged in the sport than the average linear viewer which in turn drives a potential halo effect for the advertiser who puts their message alongside the content.”

Furthermore, 82% of all Australian OTT users can be classified as live streamers according to the study, demonstrating Australia continues to lead the way in streaming.

“Live TV, especially live sports, is unmatched in its ability to engage viewers and we commissioned this study to better understand how people consume and interact with this type of content,” said Young. “One of the study’s key findings shows that engagement with live content extends to the advertising that accompanies it. With more audiences tuning into live TV via streaming than ever before, it’s another indicator that advertisers should be actively exploring this channel to reach high-value audiences.”

Live sports streamers are highly receptive to ads

Sports streamers are passionate about sports, with sports content making up nearly 40% of their weekly total viewing time. While 40% of sports streamers agreed TV ads are an important part of the viewing experience, 46% said they are more attentive to ads in sports than those in other genres. This finding suggests a clear opportunity for advertisers to reach coveted audiences watching their favorite sports matches.
The study also found more sports viewers intend to stream live sports events including the Commonwealth Games, NRL Grand Final, FIFA World Cup, and tennis tournaments, than watch on traditional TV.

“OTT provides a premium viewing experience and offers advertisers the ability to reach highly engaged audiences in addition to the millions watching on traditional TV,” said Nicole Bence, national sales director of digital at Seven West Media.

“Historically, live sports have reached mass audiences on a linear service, but that tide is changing with the vast amount of content available live and on-demand across OTT platforms. As we found with the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, Australians watched more than 4.74 billion minutes on 7plus, making it the biggest digital event in Australian history. Streaming Olympic action on 7Plus was particularly popular with younger viewers, with 18% of people 18 to 39 watching exclusively on 7Plus, delivering an incremental audience reach on broadcast of 32%,” she said.


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