Streaming services are in part trying to lure people away from linear television — or at least that’s the theory behind cord-cutting and the influx of digital video options (both subscription and ad-supported) that have sprouted up in the last few years. However, this year’s Super Bowl would indicate that any potential war between the two “sides” still forces those services to play the game on linear TV’s turf.
According to iSpot.tv, the real-time TV ad measurement company, five streaming services — Amazon Prime Video, CBS All Access, Hulu, Netflix and YouTube TV) ran eight ads or teasers tied to Super Bowl LIII this year. Together, the services generated 566 million TV ad impressions, and nearly 327 social impressions around the big game. The ads generated 31.2 million online views, with 14.8 million of those on YouTube and iSpot.tv without any sponsor dollars attached.
Given the Super Bowl’s typically enormous audience in the U.S. alone, traditional TV broadcasts are simply too powerful to ignore for the streaming brands, even as they (in many cases) attempt to take market share away from those same networks. While digital video may have a better handle on addressable ads, there’s currently no substitute for the pure size of an audience that TV provides during events like the Super Bowl. With access to 100 million eyeballs at a time, it’s just too effective to ignore.
Of the streaming services to advertise during the game, Hulu led the pack with one spot and one teaser released in lead-up to the Super Bowl, generating almost 2% of the total conversation around Super Bowl ads. Hulu was the leader in terms of earned views, more than doubling its nearest competitor while growing hype around the third season of “The Handmaid’s Tale” (9.9 million earned views). The brand generated over 70.8 million impressions on their big game placement.
That said, second-place finisher Amazon Prime Video managed to generate a TON of digital activity with its only spot, a trailer for “Hanna,” its upcoming series about a young girl with extraordinary skills. Their one ad, which generated 86.7 million TV ad impressions, also generated over 95.2 million social impressions online.
Finally, last year’s surprise winner Netflix went home with its hat in its hand, generating the least noise of any of the streaming services in 2019. With just one trailer placed this year — “Our Planet: One Team” — the “Planet Earth”-style ad seems like it should’ve been a winner. Though maybe the timing just wasn’t right?
Here are the winners of the streaming service SB ad battle, ranked by digital share of voice** (DSOV), online views and social impressions:
Note: data below is based on estimates generated through 11 a.m. EST on Tuesday, Feb 5.
- 1.75% DSOV
- 70.8 Million TV ad impressions
- 10.8 million online views
- 69.9 million social impressions
Amazon Prime Video
- 0.88% DSOV
- 86.7 Million TV ad impressions
- 20.2 million online views
- 95.2 million social impressions
- 0.29% DSOV
- 166.3 million TV ad impressions
- 5K online views
- 78.5 million social impressions
CBS All Access
- 0.26% DSOV
- 159.2 million TV ad impressions
- 10k online views
- 62.2 million social impressions
- 0.21% DSOV
- 82.9 million TV ad impressions
- 164k online views
- 21.1 million social impressions
**Digital SOV= a scoring of all earned views, actions and searches across YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, iSpot and search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo), added up and weighted based on significance of action to a brand (a view or share > “like”).