As a marketing team with an expertise in video, you could make the assertion that we’re pretty obsessed with TV trends. In fact, we’ve been eyeing them since the 80s. So, when trends began to show a decline among cable TV advertising and an uptick in digital streaming, we can’t say we were too surprised. In fact, we got right to work growing our own brands via apps like Roku and Apple TV and evolving the way we premiered our content on traditional broadcast TV.
If there’s one truth in marketing we’re absolutely sure of, it’s that these days, it’s essential to meet your target audience where they are. It’s simply not enough to create the content and make the media buy. Insert: unlimited bingeable, streamable content – served to consumers how they want it and when they want it – via Connected TV.
What is Connected TV?
Connected TV (or CTV) is used to stream video content over the internet thanks to services, apps and devices like Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, or the Amazon Firestick. This industry has continued to evolve and grow as consumers move further away from live TV (hello, cord-cutters!) and move toward enticing content that’s always ready and waiting for them. Remember when Netflix actually mailed DVDs to your home? Well, there is an entire generation of consumers that never actually experienced that. In fact, Gen Z have experienced television almost exclusively through CTV.
Our three internal brands at Discover Mediaworks (Discover Wisconsin, Into the Outdoors, and Boondock Nation) have all seen a steady rise in streaming numbers in recent months. The year 2020 has been one for the history books for reasons beyond the COVID-19 pandemic and as online streaming continues to surge in popularity, we’re happy to be leading the bandwagon.
Discover Wisconsin premiered its most historic season to date in 2020: season 33 featured 25 episodes and the crew explored more of the state than ever before. This season was accompanied by a strong digital push to drive viewers to steam episodes and even allowed them to access content prior to the broadcast premiere date. CTV streaming for Discover Wisconsin has been up an average of 9% month-over-month throughout the summer of 2020. Those watching on Roku, Apple TV, or any other streaming device could view not only the most recent episodes but previous seasons, and tons of additional content from the Discover Wisconsin crew.
We see that starting in March streaming began to climb and continued to rise into the summer months. The COVID-19 lockdown coincided with the part of the premiere season for Discover Wisconsin’s 33rd season. Year-over-year from the summer of 2019 to the summer of 2020 we also saw a significant increase as more consumers flooded to the world of streaming for access to bingeable content.
Into the Outdoors
Into the Outdoors has been able to expand its viewership base throughout the COVID-19 pandemic as children turned to online learning and both parents and teachers were in need of additional resources. Not only was the streamable show accessible 24/7, those looking for supplemental material study guides and other project-based materials were created to aid children’s learning. We can see below that weekday learning peaks on Wednesday and Thursday, indicating a rise in classroom and homeschool usage. As kids headed back to school (virtually), we saw a 22% rise in viewership in the month of August compared to the previous month.
Boondock Nation follows a group of friends and backcountry snowmobilers as they travel the U.S. and Canada to North America’s premier snowmobiling destinations. While the summer months are technically their off season, the brand’s CTV viewership certainly didn’t disappoint. With new videos dropping every week, the Boondock Nation following has access to an arsenal of content. From April 2019 to April 2020, traffic to the Boondock Nation mobile app skyrocketed by 319%, as the team shifted to create content that was less for broadcast and more for streaming, YouTube, and mobile devices. The Boondock Nation audience made it clear that that was the kind of content they were looking for. Roku still holds the top spot for Boondock Nation fans streaming habits but there is undoubtedly growth from other devices as well.