The streaming video industry has seen rapid growth over the last year in terms of both the number of consumers “cutting the cord” and the addition of new service providers to cater to them. AdGooroo recently assessed paid search advertising in the category, analyzing U.S. Google desktop text ad activity on 43 non-branded video streaming keywords during the first six months of 2017, including terms such as ‘streaming television’, ‘streamed tv’, ‘streaming movies’ and ‘watch television online’.
In total, we found 741 advertisers spent $4.1 million sponsoring the 43 non-branded video streaming keywords from January through June at an average cost per click of $2.37.
Top Advertisers By Clicks
Launched at the end of November last year, AT&T’s DIRECTV Now led all advertisers in clicks on the non-branded keyword group in the first half of 2017, garnering a 14.9% click share during the period while promoting live streaming “your favorite channels” with no annual contract . Dish Network’s Sling TV ranked second with a 12.3% click share, with Sony’s Crackle (7.7%), Hulu (7.4%) and Amazon (4.3%) rounding out the top five.
Sony’s PlayStation Vue ranked sixth with a 3.6% click share, followed closely by OwnTitle.com (3.4% click share), a China-based affiliate site that promotes free trials of streaming services such as Amazon Channels.
Additional streaming video services that generated a click share above 1% on the non-branded keywords include:
- FilmStruck (2% click share)
- FOX NOW (2% click share)
- Walmart’s Vudu (1.8% click share)
- Fubo.tv (1.6% click share)
- HBO Now (1.6% click share)
In addition to DIRECTV Now, the main DIRECTV site (directv.com) and the AT&T site ATT.com gained a 2.1% click share and 1.2% click share, respectively, with ads promoting the ability for DIRECTV satellite TV subscribers to stream live channels on various devices.
Noticeably absent among the competitors on the streaming video keyword group is Netflix, which is generally acknowledged to be the leader in pay services for streaming TV and movies, with some 50 million subscribers. AdGooroo data shows Netflix did not sponsor any of the 43 non-branded keywords in first half of 2017.
Further, AdGooroo data suggests paid search advertising is not a particular focus for Netflix in general. For instance, we found limited desktop text ad activity by the company over the last 12 months, with campaigns running only in October and December 2016 and January 2017.
While we don’t have insight into why Netflix has not been using paid search advertising to a greater extent in the last year, we can speculate that they may not feel they need it to drive site traffic and subscriptions given the strength of their organic search program. Analyzing U.S. Google desktop search activity for Netflix.com, we found the site generated around 750,000 paid search clicks in January 2017 on 48 keywords such as ‘netflix’ and ‘disney junior’ compared to 15 million organic search clicks during the month on those same keywords.
Organic-driven site traffic is particularly valued by companies because it does not cost money. For some additional perspective on organic search’s value, AdGooroo estimates Netflix’s organic clicks in January had an equivalent paid search advertising value of $18.3 million.