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Amazon.com Inc. and Hulu led a surge in TV ads for streaming services in the first half of 2020, taking advantage of the absence of live sports during the Covid-19 shutdown to build their brands.

The value of streaming ads on TV more than tripled to an estimated $1 billion in the first half of the year, according to a study released Wednesday by ISpot.tv Inc. The two most-seen ads were for “Hunters" from Amazon and “Mrs. America" on Hulu, which is owned by

Several new services have hit the market recently, including Disney+, Quibi, Peacock from NBCUniversal, and HBO Max from AT&T Inc. Within two weeks of sports cancellations and stay-at-home orders, streaming service impressions ticked up considerably, the research company said. New services accounted for nearly 10% of so-called ad impressions.

The shows getting the most ads included NFL football programming and SportsCenter on ESPN, ISpot.tv said. Major media companies invested heavily in ads on their own channels. Hulu and Disney+ had billions of impressions on Disney-owned ABC, FX and ESPN, and Fox Nation ads appeared frequently on Fox News.

ISpot.tv estimated the worth of the ads because media companies aren’t paid for traditional spending that comes from their own services.

Netflix Inc., the largest paid streaming service, doesn’t rely much on TV commercials to promote itself. The company still added 10.1 million new paid customers in the second quarter.


This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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