2024 Summer Olympics: Record-Breaking Ad Spend on Streaming TV

On July 26th, the Olympic torch will arrive in Paris, igniting the cauldron and marking the commencement of the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. With more than one billion viewers anticipated worldwide, the event will not only be watched on traditional linear TV but also increasingly on various streaming platforms. Consequently, streamers are poised to shatter records in digital ad spending.
The key facts are staggering:
  • NBCUniversal has secured over $1.2 billion in ad commitments for the Games.
  • $350 million of this spend will be contributed by first-time advertisers.
  • Live sports, which had largely evaded the streaming realm, is now undergoing a transformative shift.

A shifting landscape

What are the factors driving spending from linear to streaming platforms? Primarily, it’s evolving viewing habits, especially among younger demographics. Today’s youth are veering away from television sets and communal sports gatherings toward individualised, small-screen viewing experiences. Faced with an abundance of media choices, viewers have become more selective, leading to a fragmented audience. Cord-cutting continues to rise, paralleled by the proliferation of streaming services.

In essence, the advertising spend surrounding the 2024 Olympics mirrors a broader trend in the dynamic between linear and streaming TV, consumer behaviour, and advertising strategies. Brands advertising on NBCU Peacock during the Games can now purchase ad slots using automated technology rather than relying on salespeople. This move towards self-serve advertising signals a shift towards more agile and efficient ad operations.

Peo Persson, CCO & Co-founder, comments: “It was inevitable that the benefits of speed and scale offered by automated advertising would catch up to live sports. By combining first-party audience data and precise targeting, streamers that embrace self-serve are positioned for massive gains in live sports and similar global media events.” 

Unlocking new opportunities

By breaking down the Games into smaller, more tailored pieces of content, streaming platforms like Peacock have unlocked opportunities for targeted advertising, moving away from one-size-fits-all approaches. This shift towards more focused advertising can translate to reduced costs and increased accessibility for smaller and more diverse advertisers.

Steve Ellis, COO of Paramount Advertising, recently commented that “premium video is the one space left in media with scale that SMBs (small-and medium-size businesses) have not really had an optimised experience for… It’s streaming and ad-supported streaming and that scale that allows us to even investigate that opportunity.”

Streaming loves sports

Further evidence of streaming’s growing attraction to live sports is Netflix’s recent announcement of a $5 billion partnership with WWE, adding wrestling to their expanding sports content library. Netflix has also ventured into hosting their own sporting events, including a golf cup in 2023 and a tennis slam in 2024.

Expanding the discussion on the rise of streaming TV and its impact on advertising, it’s evident that this shift is reshaping the landscape of media consumption and marketing strategies. As streaming continues to dominate, advertisers will need to adapt to this evolving landscape to effectively reach their target audiences.

More advertising insights and resources from DanAds:

How the rise of streaming TV is changing advertising

Small business advertisers: an untapped opportunity

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