While many categories of advertisers—such as travel and movies—pulled back on placing inventory this year due to the pandemic, streaming services significantly upped their spends, reports ad and promo measurement firm iSpot.TV.
In total, streamers spent an estimated $1 billion on TV ads, compared to $328 million just a year ago. That makes streaming services the largest television advertiser thus far in 2020. That said, this year has seen the launch of several new streamers, including HBO Max, Peacock and Quibi, which is shutting down after less than seven months in business.
Amazon led the pack, spending nearly $170 million on TV ads in the first half of 2020. Media companies such as Disney and NBC who own broadcast and cable networks used billions of ad impressions on those networks to promote such streaming services as Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+ and Peacock. Combined, Hulu and Disney+ spent nearly $280 million on TV advertising in the first half of the year. Adding in ESPN+, which spent $32.4 million, Disney is actually the largest streaming advertiser, topping $300 million across all three of its streaming platforms.
Apple TV+ came in fourth at nearly $105 million, with ViacomCBS-owned CBS All Access far behind in fifth and spending almost half that at about $54 million. Ill-fated Quibi spent nearly $41 million to launch, an effort that ultimately failed.
Interestingly, the largest streamer, Netflix, didn’t even make the top-ten in terms of spending on advertising, and in fact pulled back its TV spending by almost 18% in the first half of 2020 compared to one year ago. Instead, Netflix is trying other tactics to market its wares, including offering some movies and series for free to non-subscribers. Netflix also heavily relies on social-media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube where it had 6.2 billion and 4.7 billion video views, respectively.
Besides TV and social media, streaming services also are advertising on podcasts, according to eMarketer, with Peacock, Quibi and Hulu the biggest spenders on podcast platforms.
READ MORE: EMarketer