What is the Difference between HBO and Netflix’s Digital Strategy?

For Content Providers, spring and summer are often considered to be the seasons of new seasons. They are an omen for mega TV productions to emerge or return: AMC’s Better Call Saul and FX’s Fargo have initiated their third season in April. the fifth season of Netflix’s House of Cards was released on the verge of June. HBO’s acclaimed Game of Thrones is scheduled for mid-July and Netflix’s promising Marvel show, Defenders is set to premiere in August.

The emergence of TV shows during these seasons is not Genre-Specific. New comedies, documentaries, and dramas are finding their ways to the screen while each content provider chooses which TV shows and genres to promote massively.

In fact, content providers like HBO, Netflix, Hulu, AMC and Starz have adopted a different approach in terms of number of publishers and YouTube channels, as well as in choosing YouTube as a primary or a secondary medium. Eventually, such emphasis translates into a digital strategy across YouTube and video publishers.

By extracting AdClarity data on the US market during April and May, we are able to point out the competitors’ focus on genres, TV shows, and preferred medium, thus enlightening the competitive landscape in that arena.


Medium Focus | Most activity takes place outside of YouTube


Within the given time frame (May-April 2017) Netflix is the only “Neutral” competitor. The competition benchmark is 21% on YouTube, but when excluding Netflix, the benchmark drops down significantly to a 14% level


Genre Focus | Comedy on YouTube while Drama takes place in Non-YouTube publishers

From a macro view, Drama and Comedy genres are taking the first and second places depending on the platform. YouTube activity is focused on comedy, while Non-YouTube publishers focus is on American Drama shows.

Competitive Analysis | Distribution and Diversity


The leading OTT providers, Hulu and Netflix are promoting their TV shows across the largest number of publishers, while HBO and AMC are using relatively small amount of video publishers. On the other hand, HBO and Netflix promote more TV series than the average.

The top 3 TV Titles | Drama is beating Comedy, but HBO and Netflix are comedy-oriented

From analyzing the top TV titles for each brand, Drama is the leader with 4 out of six players we examined. It is a bit surprising, though, that the two comedy titles belong to Netflix, HBO who scored highest in terms of activity, number of publishers and number of promoted TV shows.


YouTube Competitive Analysis | Netflix, Starz, HBO are using approximately 2000 top channels on average

As YouTube has its own ecosystem, each channel can be considered as a video publisher. Excluding Netflix, we found a correlation between a low number of publishers to a high number of different YouTube channels.[/av_image]


From an audience perspective, Music and Entertainment categories are the most dominant. However, the interesting insights are deriving from the residue. Hulu is focusing on News & Politics, Starz on Science & Technology, and HBO focuses its efforts on Gaming and comedy channels.



The difference between Netflix and HBO’s digital activity is mainly shown in distribution strategy and genre focus. On the one hand, Netflix uses high numbers of publishers and YouTube channels to deploy multiple TV shows across genres. On the other hand, HBO focuses on promoting the comedy show Silicon Valley and addresses its audience by using Gaming and Comedy channels.  

Are you looking for advanced digital insights across different ad channels? Get a 1-on-1 Demo of the AdClarity AD Intelligence tools


Plan your Next Big Vacation with AdClarity’s Big Data Insights

What are the hottest destinations for travelers who live in…
Find out which destinations are massively promoted for travelers across the world.

Based on digital activity analysis for Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Airbnb and Priceline during April-May, 2017.

Are you looking for advanced digital insights across different ad channels? Get a 1-on-1 Demo of the AdClarity AD Intelligence tools

Competitive Analysis: Helping Luxury Brands Emerge From The Digital Darkness

Every marketer understands the importance of competitive analysis. It’s vital to ensuring your brand not only keeps pace with your competitors but also stays one step ahead. This is especially true in the digital world, which is always evolving and moving forward.

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Desktop Isn’t Dead! Reasons Why Desktop Advertising is Still Important in a Mobile-First World

As of late, one of the most noticeable trends in digital marketing is the shift in focus from desktop to mobile. Advertising trends have adapted to an increasingly tech-savvy world by responding to the increase of mobile reliance and the subsequent change in consumer habits. While in the beginning, companies strove to have mobile-friendly platforms, the trend has now shifted from “mobile-friendly” to “mobile first.” But does the rise of mobile necessarily mean the death of the desktop?

It is hard to ignore the importance of mobile marketing today. Mobile usage is higher than ever and it has unprecedented advantages for marketing, from hyper-targeting through consumer data to the instantaneous, universal outreach it allows through the accessibility it invites. However, while this is all true, it is important to recognize that desktop is still important as ever in a well-rounded successful marketing strategy.

Desktop Usage Remains Constant

Mobile usage is certainly on the rise, and it is certainly true that more people today use their mobile device as their go-to medium than ever before. However, an increase in mobile usage did not correlate with a decrease in desktop usage. In fact, despite the increase in mobile usage, desktop usage has remained pretty constant!

Cross-Platform Approaches Are Best

Any company hoping to expand their customer base and better their marketing strategies would do well to take a cross-platform approach. This approach relies on the understanding that consumers often switch between devices in interacting with a company. For example, a user might find a company through mobile hyper-targeting, yet once they do they are likely to visit the company website from both a mobile and desktop platform. When a company takes a marketing approach to ensure seamless transition between platforms, it allows a customer to trust the reliability of the company as a whole. A responsive website, for example, allows companies to use one shared website for both mobile and desktop viewing with this very goal in mind – an ideal situation! All in all, a cohesive experience is key.

Desktop Optimizes Screen Display

Mobile marketing, as savvy and relevant as it is, has a distinct disadvantage of limited screen space for displaying digital marketing. As a whole, the space limitations can be overcome with desktop. This not only allows companies to express their company vision more in-detail on a desktop platform, but it allows for a new aesthetic for mobile versus desktop platforms within one company.

New Users Lean Towards Desktop  Advertising Use

While e-commerce is increasingly adapting to mobile platforms, it is still true that companies are often more approachable for new users through desktop than mobile. For example, customer profile information is easier to complete on desktop than mobile. While mobile is better for discovering new websites and maintaining customer loyalty, desktop remains a better experience for new customers looking to fully explore and understand a new company.

Certain Settings Depend on Desktop

Desktop, while traditional, maintains its’ air of professionalism. Office settings, for example, depend on desktop systems to create a work atmosphere (this would be a little more difficult to attain through a mobile-only platform). As a whole, it seems like desktop is still being used for academic or business oriented use, while desktop is seen as “extra time” or “on the go” internet surfing time.

ROI Thrives with Desktop

Of all the reasons to keep desktop marketing as a top concern, the most important is its’ benefits regarding ROI. When it comes down to it, Return on Investment (ROI) on ads on desktop still wins over that on mobile sites. While mobile ROI is improving, mobile still has a lot of growth to achieve in performance measure in order to reach a similar tipping point in ROI as that achieved on desktop.

Programmatic Advertising and your Marketing Budget

Programmatic advertising is the fastest growing industry in marketing these days, with over two thirds of all display advertising spending being allocated to programmatic advertising technology.  This increased reliance on programmatic advertising is on an upwards climb (in fact, the 2016 spending estimate of $22.10 billion is a 39.7% increase from 2015!) and it doesn’t look like that is going to change anytime soon – so what does this mean for advertisers and marketers looking to plan ahead for 2017?

For starters, it means that companies that do not use programmatic advertising in order to optimize campaigns, improve ROI and hyper target potential customers will have to start using programmatic tools if they want to stay relevant in 2017.  With the world shifting towards programmatic advertising, companies that do not automate media buying will risk being left behind and having ineffective campaigns.

A rise in the use of programmatic advertising also means that even smaller companies without big advertising teams can now compete with the big brands thanks to automated tools – so the competition is going to get harder!

That means that in addition to spending more money on the programmatic ad buys, companies will have to ensure their campaigns are that much more appealing in order to stand out and gain traction. To do that, companies will have to invest even more in copy writing, graphic design and development of high quality converting campaigns.

The main advantage of programmatic advertising is the clear shift in the direction of ROI-focused advertising. If up until now advertising campaigns were focused on awareness, the ability to optimize campaigns and reach a more relevant audience thanks to programmatic tools means that companies will be shifting their focus back to what matters – results and ROI.  Since programmatic advertising includes the ability to monitor ROI accurately, it has altered the way budgets are managed in order to put the focus back on gaining a return on investments.

As programmatic advertising tools improve and technology advances, programmatic advertising will continue to rise in popularity and as a result, bite a bigger chunk of digital advertising budgets in years to come – the good news is that programmatic tools tend to deliver better ‘bang for their buck’ making it money well spent!

Why Big Data is Bullshit

I have a problem. A huge problem. And I can’t seem to get away from this problem because it’s always in my face: “big data this, big data that.” I just don’t get it. What is the big deal about big data?

In 1987, Milan Zeleny introduced the concept of the knowledge hierarchy, still in its infancy. In 1988, Russell Ackoff took this concept and developed it further, introducing a pyramid consisting of three tiers: understanding, knowledge, and wisdom. In later years, others adapted this hierarchy by adding data, creating the DIKW paradigm, which depicted the relationship between data, information, knowledge, and wisdom. Today, I present an addition to the pyramid, or rather, an alternative approach: The Noisy DIK Paradigm.

The idea is that data doesn’t just exist on its own. Data is a derivation of noise. And noise is omnipresent. That is, if you believe in the Big Bang Theory. You know when you turn on the TV and all you see is static? That’s noise. In fact, it’s the most incredible noise there is. About 1% of the static on the screen is the afterglow of the big bang. And this afterglow is the cosmic microwave background that lurks every crevasse of the universe.


The point is that noise is inescapable. It can be disruptive, irrational, scattered, and annoying, yet we, as humans have the ability to manipulate a lot of this noise into something logical.

Let’s take sound for example.

When sound has no structure or direction, it is simply noise. It is chaos which is impossible to understand due to its lack of logic and rationality. Yet, we, as humans, have the capability to take this disordered sound and turn it into something meaningful; something beautiful. Music.

And no matter how complex the musical piece may be, and regardless if it is improvised, it will always be the result, or output, of a combination of a previously established algorithm where the independent variables derive from theory: riffs, scales, sequences, chords and human reasoning and intuition.

So if we can do this with sounds, what is preventing us from doing it with other types of noise?

At its core, all data is noise. In fact, I would argue that the notorious term “Big Data” is misleading. This concept that unstructured and meaningless qualitative and quantitative signals are data is simply untrue. Because that’s the exact definition of noise.

The moment that a signal becomes data is when it is contextualized and assigned a role. In other words, data exists only when it has the potential to become a variable. But even if you’ve managed to extract data from the noise, it is still not enough. Because data doesn’t provide you with any direct value until it has been organized, structured, processed, and interpreted. Only then, does data evolve to information and evolve once more to become knowledge.

So why is Big Data such an endeared word? Why do businesses insist on parading the fact that they really bring nothing to the table? And I ask you, truly and humbly, what actions can you really do with data?

I’m not saying that data is not important. On the contrary, knowledge cannot exist without data. But data is just one step in a process that deciphers noise to knowledge.


I feel like there is a serious misunderstanding in the industry that if addressed, could expedite innovation and new discoveries. And that misunderstanding is the focus on the D and not the link from I to K.



The reason that the hierarchy doesn’t stop at information is because although information is structured and organized data, it still doesn’t provide the end user with any insights or knowledge. And no matter how sophisticated a program or software may be or how visually stimulating it may be with its data visualization techniques, no computer can ever provide knowledge. Because knowledge is a reaction to the information it receives and the brain. And this reaction is always unique as each brain and individual have their own methods of reasoning and their own intuitions. And once this knowledge has been acquired, the only place it can be stored is in the brain. It is the only place that can understand what is being processed and what decisions are to be made based on this knowledge.

Businesses should begin focusing on being knowledge providers so that the end users can actually accomplish what the business set out to do in the first place. Focusing on the link between information and knowledge means providing a toolset for the end users. It means that businesses who pride themselves in their products should shift their approach to priding themselves in the service they provide.

Because at the end of the day, if I don’t understand how to use my data off of your product, your product is worthless.