Made to measure: the rise of ad-supported streaming

As Netflix and Disney+ boost the advertising opportunities in the streaming market, cross platform measurement becomes business critical, writes Antonio Wanderley
26 June 2023

CEO – Latin America, Spain, APAC & Africa

It has been more than six months since Netflix launched its lower-cost ad tier subscription, and according to the streaming giant it has attracted almost 5 million global monthly active users. 
Netflix disclosed the numbers during its 2023 Upfront presentation in May, claiming its ad tier subscribers had more than doubled since the start of the year.
“On average, more than a quarter of our signups now choose the ads plan in countries where it's available,” said co-CEO Greg Peters, anticipating future growth.
Hot on its heels comes Disney+, which launched its own ad-supported tier in the US in December 2022 and expects a European roll-out later this year. Accounting for only a fraction of total subscriptions, it’s a modest start for both platforms, but should be viewed as a significant trend as Amazon Prime also plans to join the party.
Netflix and Disney+ join a growing range of streaming businesses that offer a discounted subscription for showing ads, and as Kantar’s Media Reactions 2022 study shows, there is certainly consumer appetite.
However, such market-wide changes are leading to further fragmentation, shifts in the competitive set, and the evolution of new ad formats. Consequently, cross platform measurement has now become business critical for advertisers and media owners alike. Here’s why.
A holistic view of campaign performance
As more streaming platforms open up to advertising, audiences are becoming increasingly splintered, making it more challenging for advertisers to reach their targets. 
Not only does cross-platform measurement allow advertisers to understand where audiences are, it also allows them to see how their ads are performing across different platforms and formats, helping them optimise their campaigns and maximise their reach.
Streaming platforms also offer advertisers the ability to deliver personalised and targeted ads based on user data. Cross-platform measurement enables advertisers to understand the effectiveness of their targeting strategies and refine them to improve campaign performance.  By providing a more holistic view of campaign performance, it gives advertisers a deeper understanding of their return on investment and leads them to data-informed choices.
Building the right competitive strategies

As Netflix and Disney+ evolve their core models, one of the chief reasons other media owners and platforms should invest in cross platform measurement is to understand the changing dynamics of the market’s competition. It’s a way of peering over the fence, so to speak.
By putting all services in context by using common metrics, media owners can hope to build the right competitive strategies. It helps maintain and build relevancy in a market under new competitive pressures.
Additionally, a key advertiser objective is to be able to plan and evaluate de-duplicated reach and frequency across linear broadcast and online. This suggests a pressing need for currency measurement to demonstrate to advertisers and agencies exactly how linear channels, streaming and VOD work together - what each element contributes and how they complement each other. 
Momentum is building
As I’ve written before, it’s clear the future of streaming will see an end to siloed channel planning as audiences and content owners embrace multiple viewing forms and with it a more holistic approach to measurement.
Those already invested might leverage an advantage by moving quickly, but it’s still not too late for others to act. 
For example, Cross-Platform view tool already delivers de-duplicated, unified audience metrics that enables campaign optimisation across all devices and platforms. Already launched in Brazil, Cross-Platform view now measures audiences on TikTok. Kantar Media’s tool is part of the growing trend towards cross-platform measurement and is helping businesses unlock value every day. 
As Netflix and Disney+ show, the streaming market is undergoing significant changes; but the solutions to help navigate them are already here. Embrace them - because the future always favours those who are best prepared.
Antonio Wanderley is CEO Latin America, Spain, Asia Pacific and Africa at Kantar Media
‘Unlocking Value: an advertiser’s guide to monetising viewers across platforms’ is available to download here. A separate guide helping media owners and platforms is also available for download. 

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