Data: US OTT ad spend reached $1.3bn in 2021
March 2, 2022
As viewership on streaming platforms continues to grow, advertisers are chasing audiences. MediaRadar measures OTT advertising across a sampling of both standalone streaming platforms and TV Anywhere viewing from top linear networks in the US. Among this sample, which includes Hulu, Peacock and other big players in this space, MediaRadar reports that total ad spend in OTT reached nearly $1.3 billion (€1.1bn) in 2021.
On average, OTT represents only 3 per cent of total digital spend per month in the US — however this market is growing considerably.
“Advertisers are increasingly enhancing their ad buys with OTT,” said Todd Krizelman, CEO & Co-Founder, MediaRadar. “The rise in viewership coupled with limited advertising per show is a great place for brands to get noticed and not be lost among many ad messages.”
Key findings include:
- In Q4 2021, Discovery+, HBO Max, Hulu, Paramount+, and Peacock accounted for 65 per cent of total tracked OTT spend (nearly $438 million).
- In 2021, 5,530 total advertisers ran ads across these five platforms. Across this set of advertisers, there were almost 500,000 ads being placed in the second half of 2021.
- There was an increase of 22 per cent digital spend in Q4 from Q3. Q3 went slightly down to -2 per cent from Q2. Q2 was up 14 per cent from Q1.
Additionally, MediaRadar found that the top 10 categories totaled 81 per cent of the overall quarter spend in Q4 2021.
Key highlights include:
- Retail was the top Q4 category buying OTT ads – representing 16 per cent of the quarter’s market. This was primarily driven by discount retailers, used car retailers, along with online and brick and mortar department stores. Retail saw a 57 per cent increase from Q3.
- Media experienced a 46 per cent increase from Q3. Subscription streaming services, TV dramas, mobile apps and fantasy sports leagues contributed heavily to media holding 14 per cent spend of Q4’s total.
- Insurance, credit cards and banks contributed to finance also being 14 per cent of the quarter’s overall spend, which had a 31 per cent increase from Q3.
Analysing the top industry categories’ advertising on OTT channels, the data revealed that all of the five OTT channels are dependent on these same industry categories: Media & Entertainment, Retail, Technology, Financial & Real Estate and Pharma.
Key highlights include:
- Media advertising is the largest ad segment within OTT on the top five providers. Media includes movies, video games, television, and streaming. In total, it accounts for 19 per cent to 33 per cent of total ads running on any given channel.
- Retail advertising is 22 per cent of Discovery+, which is nearly 2x more than any other channel.
- Financial & Insurance brands represent 19 per cent of HBO Max’s advertising volume. This is 2-3x more than most other leading OTT channels.
- Pharma advertisers are making a push in Paramount+ and Hulu. As CBS has an older audience in TV, they are well suited to pharma products.
- Discovery+ sells 5x more food advertising than other OTT channels followed by Hulu. Food advertising includes CPG products from cereal to soup.
- House ads, which refer to the inventory used to promote programming within the same parent company, represent 16 per cent of total ad spots run. House advertising is highest immediately after a new channel launches, but has been declining over time with OTT channels getting better at selling their inventory.