Roku-Magna Study Finds New Streaming Ad Formats Superior To :30 TV Spots

(Image credit: Roku)

NEW YORK—There are more effective ways to advertise on television than the traditional :30 spot when it comes to key performance indicators (KPIs) such as creating a desire to purchase or learn more about a product as well as actually watching an ad rather than turning away.

Those are among the key takeaways of a new study released today from Magna Media Trials and Roku. Study findings, presented in the “Beyond the :30 on Streaming TV” report, are based on a panel of more than 1,000 streaming television viewers.

Respondents were asked to react to three new video ad formats: a 30-second thematic animated tagged vignette in which a brand celebrates streaming; a 30-second ad in which a brand makes reference to a Roku Original show being streamed; and Watch Alongs, an ad break in which a brand sponsors discussion of the show or movie being streamed.

The three new ad formats outperformed traditional TV ads for top of mind brand recall, an increase of 57% vs 43%; brand favorability, 8% vs 3%; and intent to search, 16% vs. 9%. Intent to purchase also outperformed traditional TV ads. For instance as related to tagged vignettes sponsoring original content, intent to purchase saw a 233% lift compared to traditional ads, the report said.

Roku original tagged vignettes had the greatest impact on brand KPIs when sponsored content naturally aligned with the viewership of the target audience. Regular viewers of a sponsor show saw a 266% lift compared to non-regular show viewers with regard to connecting with the advertised brand; a 100% lift in terms of brand preference; and a 180% lift in intent to purchase, it said.

The study found Watch Alongs to be nearly twice as effective at breaking though with viewers, an increase of 66% in top-of-mind ad recall vs. 39%. They also registered a 40% lift over traditional TV ads when it came to purchase intent, it said.

“In the current advertising environment, it is important to recognize that viewers can easily skip over advertising, but our study found they are less likely to do so if the ads are as entertaining as the programming and present a more enjoyable experience,” said Kara Manatt, executive vice president and managing director of intelligence solutions at Magna. “One of the most memorable formats for viewers is Watch Alongs, likely because the advertiser is offering the viewer added value to the show they are watching.”

A total of 1,316 viewers were divided into randomized exposed and control groups. The research involved multiple brands, including T-Mobile and Subaru, representing different verticals. Respondents watched content of their choice interspersed with streaming-specific and traditional TV advertising. They were then asked to assess the impact of the ads on brand KPIs.

The report is available online (opens in new tab)

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.