The Ultimate Guide to Streaming TV Advertising in 2024

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Streaming TV Advertising: Top Trends & Benefits in 2024

The Evolution of Streaming TV Advertising

Streaming TV advertising is transforming the digital marketing landscape. With an increasing number of people cutting the cord from traditional cable TV, brands are pivoting to online streaming platforms to engage this new wave of viewers. Here are the key facts about streaming TV advertising:

  • Target Precision: Enables precise audience targeting.
  • Cost-Efficiency: Often more affordable than traditional TV ads.
  • Real-Time Analytics: Provides detailed performance insights.
  • Higher Engagement: Viewers are more involved, leading to better ad recall.

Welcome to the era of streaming TV advertising, where digital marketing meets the future of television. As more people—especially the younger generation—abandon traditional cable for streaming platforms, it’s clear that the way we consume TV is evolving. According to recent data, 74% of 18-34-year-olds in the U.S. have already cut the cord or plan to. This shift has opened new doors for brands to connect with their audiences through smart, targeted advertising.

I’m Mark St. George, Co-Founder and President of Zoplex. With over a decade of experience in digital advertising and brand marketing, I’m excited to guide you through this ultimate guide on streaming TV advertising. In the following sections, we’ll explore how you can leverage this powerful tool to elevate your business.

Streaming TV Advertising 2024: Key Insights - streaming tv advertising infographic pillar-4-steps

What is Streaming TV Advertising?

Streaming TV advertising, also known as connected TV (CTV) advertising, refers to the placement of ads within video content delivered over the internet. This includes commercials you might see on platforms like Hulu, Sling TV, and free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) services such as Amazon Freevee.

Definition and Basics

Streaming TV advertising is distinct from traditional TV ads. Instead of being broadcast over cable or satellite, these ads are embedded in content streamed over the internet. This shift allows for more precise targeting and real-time analytics.

How It Works

Unlike traditional TV ads, streaming TV ads are delivered programmatically. This means they are purchased through automated auctions and are often targeted based on the viewer’s data rather than the content being watched. For example, if you’re watching a cooking show on a streaming service, you might see ads for kitchen appliances, even if you switch to a different genre later.

Streaming TV Advertising - streaming tv advertising

Internet-Connected Devices

Streaming TV ads appear on various internet-connected devices. These include:

  • Smart TVs: Televisions with built-in internet capabilities.
  • Streaming Devices: Gadgets like Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV.
  • Gaming Consoles: Systems such as Xbox and PlayStation.
  • Mobile Devices: Smartphones and tablets.

Ad-Supported Platforms

Streaming services can be categorized into different types based on how they generate revenue:

  • Ad-Supported Video on Demand (AVOD): Services like Tubi and the Roku Channel offer free content supported by ads.
  • Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD): Platforms like Netflix and Disney+ that primarily rely on subscriptions but may offer cheaper, ad-supported tiers.
  • Hybrid Models: Some services combine both subscription and ad revenue. For instance, Hulu offers both ad-supported and ad-free plans.

Detailed Analytics and Viewer Data

One of the biggest advantages of streaming TV advertising is the ability to collect and analyze detailed viewer data. This data allows advertisers to:

  • Target Specific Audiences: Use demographics, interests, and behaviors to reach the right viewers.
  • Measure Performance in Real-Time: Track metrics like ad impressions, click-through rates, and return on ad spend (ROAS).
  • Optimize Campaigns: Make data-driven decisions to improve ad performance and maximize ROI.

For example, a campaign can be adjusted on-the-fly based on how viewers are interacting with the ads, something that’s not possible with traditional TV advertising.

In the next section, we’ll dive into the key terms you need to know to navigate streaming TV advertising.

Key Terms in Streaming TV Advertising

To navigate streaming TV advertising, you need to understand some key terms. Let’s break them down:

OTT (Over-The-Top)

OTT stands for Over-The-Top. It refers to film and TV content delivered via the internet, bypassing traditional cable or satellite providers. Examples include Hulu, Netflix, and Disney+. OTT is all about the content itself.

CTV (Connected TV)

CTV refers to devices that allow you to stream OTT content. This includes Smart TVs, Roku, Apple TV, and Chromecast. While OTT is about the content, CTV is about the device you use to watch that content.

AVOD (Ad-Supported Video-On-Demand)

AVOD services let you watch content for free, but with ads. Think of it like traditional TV but online. Platforms like Freevee and Tubi are examples. AVOD is great for reaching a broad audience without requiring them to pay.

SVOD (Subscription Video-On-Demand)

SVOD services require a subscription fee but usually offer ad-free content. Netflix and Disney+ are popular SVOD platforms. Some services, like Hulu, offer hybrid models where users can pay a lower fee and still see some ads.


Cord-cutting is when people cancel their traditional cable or satellite TV subscriptions in favor of streaming services. In 2020, over six million households cut the cord, and this number is expected to grow. This trend drives the popularity of streaming TV advertising.


Cord-shavers are those who reduce their cable or satellite services but don’t cut them entirely. They might keep a basic cable package while adding streaming services to their media mix. This group is also moving towards streaming but at a slower pace.


Cord-nevers are people who have never subscribed to traditional cable or satellite TV. They go straight to streaming services. This group is especially prevalent among younger audiences, with 74% of 18-34-year-olds in the U.S. fitting this category.

Understanding these terms will help you better navigate the landscape of streaming TV advertising. Now, let’s move on to explore the benefits of this advertising medium.

Benefits of Streaming TV Advertising

Precision Targeting

With streaming TV advertising, you can target your ads with pinpoint accuracy. Traditional TV ads rely on broad factors like time of day and general ratings. Streaming TV, however, uses data-driven variables such as demographics, interests, and even past viewing behavior. This means your ads reach the right people at the right time.

For example, Hulu’s self-service platform allows small-to-medium-sized businesses to easily target specific audiences, making TV advertising more accessible than ever before.


Streaming TV ads are more cost-efficient compared to traditional TV ads. Traditional TV ads charge based on ratings and projections, which can be hit or miss. On the other hand, streaming TV ads use a cost per thousand (CPM) model, meaning you only pay for actual views and impressions. This ensures that every dollar spent is going toward reaching real viewers.

Real-Time Analytics

One of the standout benefits of streaming TV advertising is the ability to measure performance in real-time. Platforms provide detailed analytics, allowing you to track metrics like return on ad spend (ROAS) and site visits. This level of transparency helps you make informed decisions and optimize your campaigns on the fly.

Lower Financial Barrier

Streaming TV advertising lowers the financial barrier for small-to-medium-sized businesses. Traditional TV advertising has been dominated by big brands due to high costs. However, services like Hulu’s self-service platform make it easier for smaller brands to create and deploy TV-ready ads without breaking the bank.

Higher Engagement

Ads on streaming TV often lead to higher engagement rates. Because you can target viewers based on specific interests and behaviors, the ads are more relevant to them. As Eric John from the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Media Center puts it, “People don’t hate advertising. They hate irrelevant advertising.” Relevant ads are more likely to capture attention and drive action.

Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)

Streaming TV advertising often yields a higher ROAS. Because you pay based on actual views and impressions, and can track lower-funnel metrics like site visits and conversions, your ad dollars are spent more efficiently. This makes streaming TV a more effective medium for driving conversions compared to traditional TV advertising.

Next, we’ll dive into how you can get started with streaming TV advertising, from choosing ad-supported networks to setting up your first campaign.

How to Get Started with Streaming TV Advertising

Ready to dive into streaming TV advertising? Here’s a simple breakdown to get you started.

Steps to Launch Your Campaign

  1. Identify Your Goals and Audience
  2. Determine what you want to achieve (brand awareness, lead generation, etc.).
  3. Define your target audience using demographics, interests, and behaviors.

  4. Choose Ad-Supported Networks

  5. Select platforms that align with your audience. Popular options include Hulu, Tubi, and Peacock.
  6. Consider both free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) services and hybrid video on demand (HVOD) options.

  7. Set Up Your Campaign

  8. Use a programmatic advertising platform to automate your ad buys.
  9. Upload your creative assets and set your budget.

  10. Target Your Audience

  11. Utilize precision targeting to reach viewers based on data-driven insights.
  12. Customize your ads for different viewer segments to increase relevance and engagement.

  13. Track Performance

  14. Monitor your campaign using real-time analytics.
  15. Focus on key performance indicators (KPIs) such as return on ad spend (ROAS), site visits, and conversions.

Campaign Setup

Platform Selection: – Choose platforms that support ad placements, like Hulu or Roku Channel. Each platform has its own ad formats and audience reach.

Creative Assets: – Prepare your video ads. Ensure they are engaging and align with your campaign goals.

Budgeting: – Decide on a budget that fits your objectives. Streaming TV ads often use a cost per thousand (CPM) model, so you’ll pay based on impressions.


Demographics and Interests: – Leverage viewer data to target specific age groups, locations, and interests.

Behavioral Data: – Use insights from viewer behavior to refine targeting. For example, if your product appeals to sports fans, target viewers watching live sports events.

Performance Tracking

Real-Time Analytics: – Measure the effectiveness of your ads using real-time data. – Adjust your campaign based on performance metrics to optimize results.

KPIs: – Track important metrics like ROAS, engagement rates, and conversion rates. – Use these insights to improve future campaigns.

By following these steps, you can efficiently launch and manage a successful streaming TV advertising campaign. Up next, we’ll explore the various types of streaming TV advertising and how they differ.

Types of Streaming TV Advertising

Streaming TV advertising has evolved into several models, each with its unique approach to delivering content and ads. Let’s break down the main types: AVOD, SVOD, TVOD, PVOD, hybrid models, and ad-supported tiers.

AVOD (Ad-Based Video On Demand)

Ad-Based Video On Demand (AVOD) allows viewers to access content for free or at a reduced cost in exchange for watching ads. Popular platforms like Freevee use this model.

Example: During the pandemic, AVOD saw a surge as many canceled paid subscriptions and turned to ad-supported services for variety and cost savings. In early 2020, 50% of U.S. adults aged 18-44 signed up for an AVOD service, with 47% planning to add another within the year.

SVOD (Subscription Video On Demand)

Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) requires viewers to pay a monthly or annual fee for unlimited access to a library of content. Services like Amazon Prime Video operate on this model.

Insight: While SVOD channels have proliferated, many viewers are now selective due to high costs, leading to a rise in ad-supported alternatives.

TVOD (Transactional Video On Demand)

Transactional Video On Demand (TVOD) involves a pay-per-view model where viewers purchase or rent content. For instance, viewers can buy or rent movies on Amazon Prime Video Store.

Key Point: This model is ideal for accessing specific content without a subscription, catering to viewers who prefer one-time payments over recurring fees.

PVOD (Premium Video On Demand)

Premium Video On Demand (PVOD) offers high-value content, like new movie releases, at a premium price. This model gained traction when theaters were closed, allowing studios to release films directly to streaming.

Example: PVOD allows viewers to watch movie premieres at home for a higher fee, giving them early access to new releases.

Hybrid Models

Hybrid Models combine elements of AVOD, SVOD, and TVOD, offering flexibility to viewers. For example, a platform might provide a basic ad-supported tier (AVOD) with an option to upgrade to an ad-free experience (SVOD).

Trend: Hybrid models cater to diverse viewer preferences and budgets, providing multiple access points to content.

Ad-Supported Tiers

Ad-Supported Tiers are becoming increasingly popular among major streaming platforms like Netflix and Disney+. These tiers offer lower subscription costs in exchange for ad exposure.

Statistic: The shift towards ad-supported tiers is driven by economic pressures and streaming fatigue, as viewers seek more affordable options without sacrificing content variety.

By understanding these different types of streaming TV advertising, you can choose the best model to reach your target audience effectively. Next, we’ll dive into best practices for optimizing your streaming TV ad campaigns.

Best Practices for Streaming TV Advertising

To make the most out of your streaming TV advertising efforts, it’s crucial to follow key best practices. These ensure your ads are engaging, effective, and reach the right audience. Let’s break down the essentials:


Introduce your brand early: Start your ad with clear branding within the first few seconds. This makes sure viewers know who you are from the get-go. For example, a study showed that ads with early branding had higher recall rates.

Consistent visual and audio cues: Use your brand’s colors, logo, and tagline consistently. This helps create a unified brand image across all ads.

Target Audience

Precision targeting: Streaming TV allows for data-driven targeting. Leverage demographic and interest data to reach specific audiences. For instance, you can target viewers based on their location, age, or even their viewing habits.

First-party data: Use data from your own customers, like form submissions or previous purchases, to target ads more accurately. This ensures your ads are seen by those most likely to be interested.

Call-to-Action (CTA)

Clear and compelling CTAs: Your ad should have a strong call-to-action. Whether it’s “Visit our website,” “Shop now,” or “Sign up today,” make sure it’s clear what you want viewers to do next.

Drive response: Effective CTAs can significantly boost engagement. For example, ads with interactive CTAs saw a 20% higher engagement rate compared to those without.

TV-First Creative Design

Design for the TV screen: Ensure your ad looks great on a big screen. Use high-quality visuals and clear, bold text that’s easy to read from a distance.

Adapt for other devices: While your primary design should be TV-focused, make sure it also works on mobile and desktop. This cross-device compatibility ensures a seamless experience for viewers, no matter how they watch.

Cross-Device Compatibility

Optimize for multiple platforms: Your ads should be compatible across various streaming platforms like Roku, Fire TV, and Apple TV. This broadens your reach and ensures a consistent viewing experience.

Test on different devices: Regularly test your ads on different devices to ensure they display correctly and maintain quality. This helps avoid issues that could disrupt viewer experience.

By following these best practices, you can create streaming TV ads that are not only engaging but also effective in reaching and converting your target audience.

Next, let’s explore the latest trends in streaming TV advertising for 2024.

Trends in Streaming TV Advertising for 2024

Cord-Cutting Statistics

Cord-cutting is accelerating. Today, more households are ditching cable TV. Of those identifying as “cord-cutters,” 74% are ages 18-34, 64% are ages 35-54, and 56% are 55+. This shift means more viewers are turning to streaming services for their entertainment needs.

Viewer Preferences

Consumers now prefer a variety of streaming services. On average, viewers use about four streaming platforms, with heavy users averaging closer to five. This trend highlights the importance of placing ads across multiple services to reach a broader audience.

Ad Tolerance: Interestingly, a majority of viewers are okay with ads if it lowers their subscription costs. In a survey, 58% of respondents said they preferred watching ads over paying extra fees. This is a significant shift, indicating that ad-supported models are becoming more acceptable.

Ad-Supported Content Growth

The future of streaming is ad-supported. Due to economic pressures and streaming fatigue, many consumers are opting for cheaper or free ad-supported options. Services like Tubi and Pluto TV are growing rapidly as they offer a cost-effective alternative to premium subscriptions.

Economic Pressures: Subscription services like Disney+ have faced billions in losses by focusing on growth over profitability. Adding commercials helps reduce churn and increase revenue, making ad-supported models more attractive.

Hybrid Models

Hybrid models are also gaining traction. These models offer both subscription-based and ad-supported tiers, providing flexibility for consumers. For instance, Netflix and Disney+ have introduced ad-supported plans to attract price-sensitive viewers while still offering ad-free options for premium subscribers.

Industry Predictions

Looking ahead, several trends are expected to shape the industry:

  • Increased Data Utilization: Advertisers will leverage more first-party data to target specific audiences, making ads more relevant and engaging.
  • Enhanced Measurement: Real-time analytics will become even more sophisticated, allowing advertisers to track brand reach, lift, and offline impact more accurately.
  • Interactive Ads: Expect more interactive and personalized ads that encourage viewer engagement, such as shoppable TV ads.

These trends indicate that streaming TV advertising is not just a passing phase but a significant shift in how brands connect with audiences. As we move into 2024, staying ahead of these trends will be crucial for effective advertising strategies.

Frequently Asked Questions about Streaming TV Advertising

What is streaming TV advertising?

Streaming TV advertising refers to ads that play during video content delivered over the internet. This can include commercials on platforms like Hulu, Sling TV, or free ad-supported services such as Amazon Freevee. Unlike traditional TV ads, these ads are delivered programmatically, targeting specific audiences based on their viewing habits and preferences.

How much does it cost to stream an ad on TV?

The cost of streaming TV ads can vary widely depending on several factors:

  • Platform: Different platforms have different pricing models. For example, ads on Hulu might cost more than ads on Pluto TV.
  • Targeting: The more specific your targeting, the higher the cost. For instance, targeting a niche audience might be more expensive than a broader one.
  • Ad Format: The type of ad (pre-roll, mid-roll, post-roll) also affects the cost. Mid-roll ads, which play during the content, often cost more due to higher viewer engagement.

On average, costs can range from $10 to $30 per thousand impressions (CPM), but this can go higher for premium content or highly targeted campaigns.

Do you have to watch commercials when streaming?

It depends on the type of streaming service you use. There are several models:

  • Ad-Supported Video on Demand (AVOD): Services like Tubi and Pluto TV are free but require you to watch ads.
  • Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD): Services like Netflix and Disney+ offer ad-free tiers but are more expensive. However, some SVOD services now offer cheaper, ad-supported plans.
  • Hybrid Models: Some platforms offer both ad-supported and ad-free options. For example, Hulu offers a more affordable plan with ads and a premium plan without.

For most users, opting for ad-supported services is a way to save money while still accessing a wide range of content. According to a Forbes report, 62% of viewers prefer free, ad-supported streaming over paid subscriptions.

These FAQs should help clarify some of the common questions around streaming TV advertising. For more detailed information, continue reading the next section.


Streaming TV advertising is transforming the way businesses reach their audiences. With the rise of ad-supported platforms, precision targeting, and real-time analytics, it offers unparalleled opportunities for brands to connect with viewers.


In this guide, we explored the landscape of streaming TV advertising. We discussed its evolution, key terms, benefits, types, and best practices. We also looked at trends for 2024, which show a growing preference for ad-supported content due to economic pressures and content bottlenecks.

Future Outlook

The future of streaming TV advertising is bright. As more consumers cut the cord and opt for streaming services, the demand for ad-supported models will continue to grow. This shift presents a unique opportunity for brands to reach highly targeted audiences in a cost-effective manner.

Zoplex: Your Partner in Success

At Zoplex, we specialize in leveraging AI-driven marketing solutions to help local businesses grow. Our expertise in streaming TV advertising ensures that your campaigns are not only effective but also efficient.

AI-Driven Marketing Solutions

Our AI technology helps capture your audience’s attention, answer their questions, and direct their interest to the right channels. This leads to better customer engagement and increased sales.

Local Business Growth

We understand the challenges local businesses face. Our tailored solutions help you attract more customers and grow your business. From reputation management to SEO and content creation, we offer a comprehensive suite of services designed to elevate your digital presence.

Customer Engagement and Increased Sales

With our expertise, you can expect higher engagement rates and improved return on ad spend (ROAS). Our targeted strategies ensure that your ads reach the right audience at the right time, leading to more meaningful interactions and increased sales.

Ready to take your streaming TV advertising to the next level? Contact Zoplex today to schedule your free consultation and start growing your business!

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