The media and entertainment industry has seen many shifts over the last few years. The streaming wars began during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, and then Disney+ launched in Asia a year later.

The SAG-AFTRA strikes in 2023 has also since put major studios (theatrical and streaming alike) on a long pause while the world watched Netflix’s subscribers dwindle as they got stricter on password-sharing over the last year. 

As we head into 2024, the streaming industry will continue to evolve, presenting a new set challenges and opportunities for marketers and advertisers. In fact, the streaming model is likely to shift from subscriber growth to profitability, according to Deloitte.

Don’t miss: ESPN, Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery to launch new joint sports streaming service 

Media and entertainment companies with streaming video services are considering charging extra for premium content, reintroducing contracts and delivering more ads to viewers, continued Deloitte. Whether consumers want to see ads or not – this only means one thing for marketers and advertisers: more ad-value. 

MARKETING-INTERACTIVE spoke to five leaders in the industry to find out what marketers can expect from the streaming industry in 2024, and their advice on OTT advertising. 

Nizwani Shahar, chief executive officer, Havas Malaysia

Nizwani said that the streaming industry is shifting towards hyper-personalisation and interactive content.

This evolution, according to Nizwani, goes beyond conventional narratives and embraces immersive experiences that foster deep engagement. 

In 2024, Shahar anticipates a significant rise in AI-driven recommendations and real-time content integration.

This is especially since streaming platforms are likely to increasingly leverage artificial intelligence to understand viewer preferences. This in turn allows them to offer tailored suggestions and enhance the overall user journey. 

This means marketers venturing into streaming on platforms need to prioritise authentic storytelling.

Align your messaging with the platform’s ethos, ensuring that your campaigns reflect authenticity.

Nizwani added that marketers need to leverage data analytics to decode evolving viewer preferences and optimise campaigns for maximum resonance.

“Success in streaming advertising lies in delivering not just content but memorable experiences that captivate and convert,” said Nizwani.

Laura Quigley, senior vice president of APAC at Integral Ad Science

In 2024, Quigley expects a feast of diverse local content catering to regional tastes, with short-form experiences and interactive features keeping viewers engaged.

Consolidation among players and direct-to-consumer models by studios will likely intensify competition, driving up the demand for top talent too, added Quigley. 

Tech-wise, the senior vice president of APAC at Integral Ad Science said marketers can expect personalisation powered by AI to become the norm. In tandem, the industry can expect to see the potential impact of 5G, cloud gaming and virtual reality.

“The region itself will see mobile viewership soar, with local players such as Viu and Hotstar,” said Quigley. 

“Navigating censorship will be a key challenge, but overall, APAC is poised to be a major driver of innovation and growth in the streaming industry.” 

Quigley added that 2024 will see storylines being shaped into interactive shows, the ability to buy directly within cooking demonstrations, and even attending concerts virtually. 

Cloud gaming could possibly level the playing field for casual gamers, while VR might transport viewers to documentaries or front-row seats. 

One thing’s certain: the streaming industry is poised to push boundaries, blurring lines between viewing and participation.

As a piece of advice, Quigley said advertisers need to go beyond interruptive ads and embrace engagement. This can come in the form of crafting experiences, sponsoring live events or integrating seamlessly with content. 

She adds that brands need to “think local, act global”, “embrace data and personalisation”, “prioritise brand safety and user privacy” and “measure attention, not just impressions.” 

Don Anderson, CEO, Kaddadle

Currently, the streaming industry is seeing the introduction of new business models, primarily around advertising supported offerings, said Anderson. 

The fundamental shift in the industry, he added, is the economics of the platforms and consumer behaviours’ shifting to digital content consumption.

In 2024, Anderson said that he would expect to see experimentation around content formats within the user interface of streaming services, citing Netflix’s introduction of Netflix Games. For the uninitiated, Netflix Games is a currently a free extension of the popular streaming service that allows users to download and play games on mobile devices using a Netflix account. 

Anderson also expects to see free ad-supported streaming television, otherwise known as FAST, saying that it has become the “most talked about category” of streaming television services. 

The CEO of Kaddadle said that as US and European services expand their footprint overseas, marketers can expect to see more FAST channels launching in local APAC markets across 2024. 

This is the ‘new TV’, and it will be as much a part of a marketing plan as cable has been, if not more so.

To get ahead of the curve, marketers should get educated now and start learning the language, as well as filtering through the data to determine if and when brands should consider leveraging these spaces for consumer campaigns. 

Basil Chua, managing partner, Multiverse Partners

Chua opined that 2024 will see the exploration of different business model combinations such as a subscription-funded model, to an ad-funded model and even a hybrid model to remain competitive in the industry. 

Over the past few months, Chua added that many subscription-only players have been experimenting and moving towards a hybrid model. This comes at a time where key players in the sector are grappling with rising costs in content production and marketing. 

Two emerging trends marketers can expect is advertising transparency and the use of social media. As advertising budgets increase on video streaming platforms, so is the growing demand for increased transparency, said Chua.

This can come in the form of disclosures on subscriber base, viewership of shows, audience profiles, and measurable insights into campaign effectiveness.

“This demand is pushing streaming services towards offering more disclosures on data and insights, enabling advertisers to gauge their return on investment (ROI) more accurately,” said Chua.

“Unlike linear TV, there is no independent party to measure and verify these disclosures.” 

Plus, social media has long been recognised as a vital complement to content marketing and community engagement, added Chua.

Sophisticated advertisers would like to see what fans of particular shows and their favourite celebrities are saying on social media, and then find ways to enhance engagement to further their brand building.

Chua advises marketers and advertisers to negotiate for platforms that provide data and insights into their subscriber base and audience demographics and to use social platforms to extend the conversation and engagement beyond just advertising on streaming services. 

Carefully assess the shows and content genres where your ads will appear.

Unlike linear TV advertising regulated in most countries, Chua added that advertisers should explore various innovative ad formats to improve campaign effectiveness. 

Emily Yri, Vice president of international marketing, PubMatic

More and more streaming services are embracing advertising, said Yri. Adding that platforms such as Netflix and Disney+ have introduced supported tiers and that traditional linear broadcasters are adding ad-supported digital offerings. 

Pure Play OTTT streaming is also gaining traction, said Yri. However, this has not been at the expense of subscriptions. 

“It’s an expansion of the market to provide options that suit every consumer,” she continued. 

Similar to Anderson, Yri has noticed a proliferation of FAST channels across APAC that expands from the model’s success in the US.

This is especially since big players such Paramount are becoming available in the region and are bringing a wealth of new inventory. 

Marketers wishing to tap into this growing market must embrace programmatic marketing.

Programmatic marketing, continued Yri, could offer a level of agility and addressability otherwise impossible and provide real-time reactivity that allows advertisers to experiment with smaller budgets and pivot quickly.

Join us this coming 24 – 25 April for #Content360, a two-day extravaganza centered around four core thematic pillars: Explore with AI; Insight-powered strategies; Content as an experience; and Embrace the future. Immerse yourself in learning to curate content with creativity, critical thinking, and confidence with us at Content360!

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