23 OCT 2020


The services streaming services spent an estimated USD 1 billion worth of TV advertising during H1 2020. , with Amazon as the lead spender, investing USD 169.8 million on TV ads for Amazon Prime Video.

23 OCT 2020

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According to a research report conducted by TV measurement company iSpot.tv. and released by Emarketer, streaming services have recently been spending more than ever on marketing strategies despite the spending hesitations on behalf of countless advertisers. In H1 2020, streaming services ran an estimated USD 1 billion worth of TV advertising. The comparison between the current figures and that of H1 2019, streaming services ran USD 328 million on TV ads. Between January and August 2020, video streaming services increased their TV ad spending more than any other category tracked in the report.

Amazon was the largest ad spender, investing USD 169.8 million on TV ads for Amazon Prime Video during H1 2020. Other streaming services relied on TV house ads to promote themselves. Disney-owned networks like ABC, FX, and ESPN used billions of ad impressions to promote Disney+ and Hulu. And NBC used the same tactic for Peacock. Netflix cut back on its TV spending by 17.6% in H1 2020, compared with the same time frame a year ago. The streaming giant didn't make the top 10 streaming services in terms of TV ad spending as it is using other maketing tactics.

Top 10 US Streaming Video Services, Ranked by National TV Ad Spending*, H1 2020 (millions)


One of the strategies the service is using is providing about a dozen of its titles for free to non-subscribers in August. While movies were available as a whole, series were limited to a few episodes. Netflix is trying to use free content to hook in people who aren’t already paying for the service. Netflix is also using digital outlets like Facebook and YouTube to market itself. In H1 2020, Netflix gathered approximately 6.2 billion video content views on YouTube and 4.7 billion on Facebook, a 50% and 54% year over year increase.

Amazon Prime Video had the second-most video views on YouTube in H1, at 1.4 billion, and Hulu came in second for Facebook, garnering 476 million views. Streaming services are also using podcasts for marketing. In July, NBCUniversal was the largest podcast advertiser in the US, according to data from podcast analytics company Magellan AI cited by trade publication Inside Radio. Most of NBCU’s podcast ad spending was used to promote its streaming service, Peacock. Other streamers increased their spendings on podcast ads included Quibi and Hulu, which were the sixth- and 12th-largest podcast ad spenders.