Amazon Prime Video overtakes Netflix as top OTT ad spender in first two quarters of 2019: Study

MUMBAI: MediaRadar, an advertising intelligence, and sales enablement platform, has released its analysis of the top OTT platform spenders on advertising, comparing Q1 and Q2 of 2018 against Q1 and Q2 of 2019.

The study found Netflix to be the biggest spender in the first half of 2018 (Q1 & Q2), followed by Amazon Prime Video in second place, and Hulu in third. During the same time period of 2019 (Q1 & Q2), the study revealed that Amazon Prime Video had surpassed Netflix for first place, with Netflix coming in second and Hulu remaining in third.

”While spend amongst these top OTT providers can be volatile based around content releases, it is telling to see Amazon continue to invest in the platform and its original content, further enticing viewers to stay in, or even enter, the ‘Amazon Ecosystem’,” said Mediaradar CEO Todd Krizelman.

MediaRadar’s analysis found that Amazon Prime Video launched 13 new campaigns for its original content in the first half of 2019 (Q1 & Q2). Its largest campaign by spend was for its original show, ‘Hanna’, which included a full 60-second spot during the 2019 Super Bowl.

“Our recent OTT analysis showed that Amazon Prime Video has shifted to become the biggest OTT spender in the first half of 2019. It also highlighted that Amazon Prime Video’s jump to number one can in part be attributed to the heavy promotion of its new original content, including increased investment in native advertising. In fact, its native advertising spends rose 5X, year-over-year, when comparing 2018 and 2019” shared Krizelman.

MediaRadar compared Amazon Prime Video’s spend in Q1 and Q2 of 2018 to its spend during that same time period in 2019, and discovered that it was the only OTT platform out of the three to increase TV spend year-over-year (+28%), with both Hulu and Netflix cutting back by more than -40%. The platform also increased digital spend by over +300% year-over-year, with large digital campaigns, featuring high CPM buys, behind its original shows, such as “Good Omens,” “The Boys,” and, “Hanna.”

MediaRadar’s deep dive discovered that in the first half of 2019 (Q1 & Q2), Netflix launched 67 new campaigns for its original content. The largest of those campaigns being for its original series, ?”Our Planet?,” which saw a 30-second spot during the 2019 Super Bowl.

“Although Netflix’s spend on traditional advertising is down year-over-year Netflix’s latest shareholder letter showed that its spend for overall marketing remains fairly steady, as it experiments with new promotional initiatives, such as a “Stranger Things” game (mobile & console), and brand partnerships with companies such as Coke, Nike, Burger King, Baskin Robbins, and Fortnite” said Krizelman.

When comparing Q1 and Q2 of 2018 against Q1 and Q2 of 2019, MediaRadar’s analysis showed that Netflix reduced spend across TV, print and digital, fairly evenly. It also found Netflix to be the only OTT platform to decrease digital spend year-over-year (2018 – 2019).

According to MediaRadar’s study, Hulu launched six new campaigns for its original content in the first half of 2019 (Q1 & Q2), with its largest campaign by spend, during that time period, being for ‘The Act’.

When comparing the first half of 2018 to the first half of 2019 (Q1 & Q2, respectively), it was also discovered that Hulu had the largest decrease in TV spend out of the three OTT platforms (-61%), but that it was also the only platform to increase print spend (+57%).

“Last year Hulu heavily promoted both ‘Castle Rock’ and ‘The Looming Tower’ on TV. But, with ‘The Looming Tower’ over and ‘Castle Rock’ season 2 not yet ready, neither programme received promotion in Q2 of 2019” shared Krizelman.