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


The Season of Seasons: Top Video Ad Insights from Top OTT Companies | US Market

Season of the big TV Premieres is about to start! After going through video ad campaigns data* of the 5 biggest Internet broadcasters**, we are proud to share with you the most interesting ad insights that we found

Breakdown by the most Advertised Genre through Youtube Channels and Other Video Publishers


Most advertised series in Genre of comedy and drama

Across All Video Publishers:

Most Advertised Comedy: HBO, Silicon Valley

Most Advertised Drama: Hulu, The Handmaid’s Tale


Across YouTube Channels:

Most Advertised Comedy: Netflix, Dear White People

Most Advertised Drama: Starz, The White Princess


Across Other Video Publishers:

Most Advertised Comedy: HBO, Silicon Valley

Most Advertised Drama: Hulu, The Handmaid’s Tale


Breakdown of the most Advertised TV Series by Top US Internet Broadcasters

ott april may

*Time-Frame: April 1 – May 21st

**Relates only to campaigns promoting TV series for HBO, Netflix, Starz, HULU, AMC

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

Dashboard of the Month: Video Media Strategy Analysis

AdClarity’s new Dashboard of the Month (DOTM) is focusing on the two main verticals of digital video advertising – publishers with video activity and YouTube. The traffic and quality of YouTube channels and video publishers set the overall cost for media buyers and is often correlated with greater engagement and awareness rates. Since prices differ significantly and are subject to Real-Time Bidding, indications on competitors’ video Ad-spend estimations are largely inaccurate and are prone to overpromising.

However, the most important insights are derived from the “How?” – the video media strategy – rather than the “What?” – the exact ad spent. In other words, the crucial question is “Which publishers and YouTube channels are my competitors choosing, and to what extent?

Google allows access for its top 5% of premium inventory to Advertisers who are paying top dollar to buy upfront with Google Preferred. For media buyers, advertising on top channels costs more but also brings higher engagement and awareness rates. Following this Pay more get more approach, media buyers of mega brands are taking up Google’s proposition in droves for improving their digital performance. Similarly, publishers are selling their premium inventory in private marketplaces, by using fixed prices and auctions with limited, high-profile, bidders.

Designing a high-level dashboard of video activity is quite a challenge since media buyers mostly require a tactical tool which would allow them to view real-time activity as a proxy to bid less/more on video ad placements.

With thousands of scanned YouTube channels and video publishers, and unique granularity abilities, we took into consideration various parameters including the tier, the number of competitors using similar video inventory to deploy their campaigns on, the pre/mid/post-rolls placement and the ad-skip option. With these parameters, we designed our top-down Video Media Strategy Analysis Dashboard on this basis.

Before jumping into the challenges our new dashboard is coping with, if you are already willing to experience our new DOTM, simply click here.

First Challenge | Uncovering the tier breakdown

What do I see?  A “tier” view of publishers and YouTube channels. you can view how many ads were scanned on publishers with video activity across premium, mid-tier, long-tail and local sites. In YouTube, you are provided with an equivalent view unveiling a share of top 1% and top 5% channels.

How could it help me? As publishers and YouTube channels are defined by their traffic, a tier perspective serves as a proxy for ad spend and category choosing. By knowing competitors’ emphasis on categories and tiers, you are able to compare your activity to that of your competitors and estimate their dominance in your active verticals.

Second Challenge | What’s the best way to deliver the message?


What do I see? The video ad length and ad-skip ratio. You can view what was the preferred delivery method for a brand, and the diversity level of short and long ads. In addition, you can view how many ads were detected as pre/mid/post-rolls.

How could it help me? In YouTube, promoting a non-skippable ad means spending more. On the other hand, promoting long ads (that are skippable by nature) indicates the brand has confidence in the content it releases. By viewing competitors’ activity, you can define whether short or long ads would work best for you, and choose whether to focus on a certain format or a mix between short and long creatives. Moreover, with the breakdown of pre/mid/post-rolls ads you can identify the “Where” and the “When” of ad placements.

Third Challenge | Which videos to bid more on?

What do I See? The top 20 most popular YouTube videos and channels for all, predefined, competing brands. You can choose the relevant dates to view a unique list of channels and videos, and find the relevant top 20 channels and videos in each category.

How could it help me? Deciding on the right bid is probably the most crucial pain point in the bidding process, since media buyers are, in most cases, unaware to which channels and videos their competitors are widely using to place their campaigns on. Getting a clear view of YouTube activity helps professionals to decide wisely, based on competitive analysis and almost in real-time, how much to bid on popular ad placements.

On April, we will present our New Campaigns Alert dashboard focusing on identifying new campaigns across channels and countries.

You can easily get “Dashboard of the Month” updates straight to your email by clicking the “Subscribe” button

If you are interested in exploring our dashboard portfolio and find out which dashboards can be relevant for you please Click Here

Top 3 Video Advertising Trends for 2017

It’s 2017 – the undisputed year of the video! Since emerging as a major player in the digital advertising world, video advertising has only risen in popularity among consumers, and as a result, has risen in important among digital advertisers and marketers.

Today, digital ad spending for video is catching up with social advertising and has already exceeded display advertising. As 2017 rolls in, eMarketer predicts that video advertising will narrow the gap with social advertising and continue to withhold market share for display advertising, reaching a total spend of $13.59 billion.

So what can digital advertisers expect to see in 2017 where video is concerned?

More integration with social media

As social advertising increases, video advertising on social media sites will undoubtedly continue to increase. Facebook is already dominating the video sponsored posts and ads, and other social sites such as Pintrest and Twitter have already rolled out or discussed the future roll out of video advertising abilities.

More feelings – less words

Due to the unique nature of video ad consumptions, there is an increased need to relay powerful messages in shorter times than ever with fewer words than ever. Marketing as a whole has always relied on the invoking of emotions to drive results, and the introduction of video advertising only heightens the ability of digital advertisers to invoke emotion to drive action by consumers – all while saying less and showing more.

More mobile campaigns

For years video and animation on mobile devices featured limited functionality and suffered from delays and all around poor customer experience. With innovation in technology and increased use of smartphones, that is no longer an issues. Mobile consumption is on the rise and so it is only natural that video digital advertising on mobile devices will be the next big thing to look out for in 2017!

Top Digital Advertising Trends for 2017

It’s that time of the year again! Xmas and New Year Holidays are over  and new 2017 promises to bring many changes to digital advertising world.

As a leading digital advertising BI solution, our goal is to help our clients stay ahead of the game – and sometimes that means giving you the tips and insights of our top researchers into what they think the top digital advertising trends of 2017 will be:

  1. Video Consumption is slowing down – don’t stop your video campaigns just yet, but reconsider where you publish them instead. While video consumption is expected to go down on desktop, eMarketer reassures us that mobile consumption is still going up.
  1. Social Media is Strengthening for eCommerce – with more and more tools coming from social media sites (think paid Instagram campaigns through the Facebook and new features on Twitter), eCommerce is going to see a big boost in 2017 as campaigns in social are geared towards conversion.
  1. The Pokemon Effect – pushed by the successful immersion of augmented reality thanks to Pokemon Go, 2017 is expected to see an increase in the use of augmented reality, specifically in mobile marketing. With over 500 million downloads and 20 million daily active users, one thing is sure – consumers love augmented reality!
  1. Better Data Visualization – after the rise of info graphics a few years ago, it makes perfect sense that marketers would want more solutions for data visualization to improve digital marketing campaigns. How do we know? We’re speaking from experience! BIScience just launched a brand new Ad-Intelligence visualization solution and its getting great reviews from digital marketers across all sides of the marketing funnel maximizing the tool to understand competitive analysis on a whole new level– want to learn more? Click here!
  1. Live Stream Everything – if the presidential debates were live streamed, digital marketers need to understand that the idea of live video is so immersed in modern society, that brands that do not utilize it as part of their digital advertising strategy risk losing market share and relevance in the eyes of modern consumers.

The AI Wars | From Mobile to our Home

With so many AI Assistants out there, companies focus less on technological superiority and more on product positioning and differentiation.

During the past decade, we have witnessed a massive increase in the development of AI technologies. IBM has managed to excel in its AI technology with Watson, the know it-all computer translating vast amounts of data into insightful information, and it can even beat Jeopardy professionals.

Businesses are also finding AI technologies appealing. The best example is chatbots that allow businesses to provide a better, engaging automated service while maintaining or reducing manpower costs. Facebook’s recent announcement to integrate chatbots into its messaging platform has legitimized start-ups and companies to invest in chatbots’ technologies.

Although most people do not interact on a daily basis with supercomputers or with chatbots, they do have their own digital assistant in their pocket, laptop or home.

When Apple introduced Siri with the launch of iPhone 4s, it presented a whole new way of AI communication. In fact, Apple dictated the characteristics of many AI technologies to come: A feminine assistant that mediates between the device abilities and your digital daily needs. The development of new mobile and connected devices allowed AI assistants to penetrate into new territories.

Post Siri’s launch, various technological leaders developed their own proprietary technology to support their devices and services. Amazon introduced Alexa, and provided its connected device Amazon Echo. Microsoft developed Cortana, a supportive assistant in many Microsoft operating systems including laptop and mobile devices. Google presented Google Assistant as one of the main features on the Google Pixel launch, and incorporated it with Allo messenger app and Google Home. Samsung is also a probable candidate to enter the race, as rumors indicate the forthcoming Galaxy S8 will already be equipped with Samsung’s Assistant.

As we look at the competitive landscape we identify that the digital assistant is becoming a point of parity in connected devices. In this battleground, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Google are investing heavily in advertisements highlighting the benefits of their AI assistants. However, as this market evolves, the real battle between these companies is focused less on technological superiority and more on product positioning and differentiation.

Exploration of creative messaging and digital activity discloses a different marketing message and a similar humoristic tone. Let us go over how these companies present their AI technology.

Apple – An integral part of your life

Although Apple presented Hands-Free Siri feature already in December 2015, it has come up with another humoristic ad focusing on how Siri meets you in your daily activities. By referring to a lovely routine activity such as cooking for Cookie Monster, Apple is emphasizing how Siri is immersed in your daily life. In other words, apple shifts from a focus on Siri’s massive capabilities to Siri’s role in everyday life.


 Amazon #JustAsk – Bringing AI outside mobile

Amazon demonstrates Alexa, the AI Assistant in all Amazon Echo devices, by promoting the #JustAsk campaign. By doing so, Amazon takes a similar position to that of Apple’s, but exports it outside the realm of mobile devices into the connected home territory. Since Alexa was first presented, Amazon promoted it with many short videos demonstrating Alexa’s capabilities: Finding locations, answering questions, playing music and more.


Microsoft – Better technology, better assistant

Microsoft parodies Apple’s What’s a computer? Ad, to illustrate how Surface Pro is better than Apple’s iPad Pro. The alleged dialogue between Cortana and Siri presents Siri and iPad Pro as inferiors to Cortana and Surface Pro technology.

Moreover, by looking at previous introductory videos of Cortana, we can see Microsoft implies its AI technology has a more human connection than other digital assistants out there. By comparing itself to a market leader, Microsoft aims to establish itself as the leading AI service.



Google – A new experience to reach our services

Google is using a new concept to present its pixel iPhone. while parodying Apple on the removal of its 3.5mm headphone jack, Google does not clash with Siri’s technology as Microsoft did.

Google presents Google Assistant as one of Pixel’s main features. Google Assistant is shown as an enabler to Google’s services and as an extension of Google Now. This process is part of Google’s wider strategy to implement Google Assistant into new connected devices.


The AI Battle Moves to Our Home

Looking at the activity from November, we see Amazon and Google are both focusing on promoting new products containing a digital assistant with the new Amazon Dot Echo and Google Home.

As the connected devices market is still in its premature stage, both Amazon and Google are following a similar approach and marketing message. They both introduce many daily situations whereby the digital assistant can partake in the activity.

Amazon is using the same humoristic tone from the Amazon Echo launch, while Google mixes between emotional and humoristic tone ads.

Parameter Google Home Amazon Dot-Echo
# Creatives 5 19
Top Ad Duration 15 10
# youtube Channels 1350+ 1450+
Most Popular youtube Category Music Music
# Publishers 6 +1000

AdClarity US Video Data, Pre-Roll Format | Nov 1 – Nov 22

With the data provided by AdClarity, we can point out the differences in video distribution: Amazon uses much more creatives than Google, and distributes video ads in more than a 1000 different publishers. On Youtube, both companies choose music and entertainment channels as their most popular categories. Also, a long-tail of channels is used to distribute their ads. This indicates that while approaching the same audience with mostly short and unskippable pre-roll ads, Amazon media distribution is much wider in both creatives and publishers’ than Google is.

In summary, it seems like the marketing activity differs depending on the device. While Siri probably dominates consumers’ perceptions on mobile devices, Amazon and Google are positioning themselves as the leading home options, and they strive to offer a product that you interact with almost exclusively via the digital assistant.

Interested to Know More about Your Video, Mobile or Display Advertising CompetitorsGet a Live Demo with Adclarity Team 

Same Product, Different Campaign: How Brands Adapt to Suit Different Mediums

Today’s world is centered around globalization and easy communication which transcends locational boundaries which once seemed out of reach. We are in touch with markets not only in our direct local communities, but nationwide and even worldwide. The biggest factor that allowed for this growth was the advancement of the internet and the technology platforms which support it. We have entered an age where everything is available behind a screen, and there are so many screens to choose from, from mobile to tablet to desktop!

With the sharing of ideas across the world, we’ve also had to reform the way we market to reach both our local and faraway communities. In marketing, the next big thing has therefore become adaptive marketing, an approach which allows marketers to adjust their campaigns and marketing activities to fit the needs and interests of their customers as best as possible. This means adapting not only their products, but also the marketing platforms and channels to adapt to different mediums customers might use to access their products and sales marketing advertisements.

Desktop Campaigns

The desktop is the original internet platform, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t adapt to the times! In order to keep up with marketing trends in desktop campaigns, it is important that your desktop campaigns fit aesthetic trends and keep up with the visuals that pushing boundaries.

Mobile Campaigns

Mobile has taken over. It is not just the future; it is the present! In order to stay relevant for a growing mobile market, it is essential that your brand has a mobile strategy so that it can target mobile audiences. While mobile sites are sufficient, it is highly recommended to turn to a responsive site which can translate between mobile and desktop. Wanna be a top player in the field in terms of accessibility and innovation? Consider designing a mobile app for your brand!

Video Campaigns

Thanks to the incredible increase in accessibility to ways to produce high-quality videos, more and more brands are turning to video content to reach an audience that is already so responsive to visual advertising. Video campaigns can increase ROI and engage audiences in a way that makes them visualize themselves with the product. This will lead to increased loyalty and brand engagement!

Tablet Campaigns

Tablets hold a funny spot in the market – they’re not quite desktop, not quite mobile. But with the increase in interest in tablets from kindles to iPads, it is important that brands include tablet users in their marketing strategies. Consider layouts and aesthetics of your (responsive) sites and ways the larger screen can benefit the mobile platform. Possibilities are endless!

Throw Away Your Advertising Strategy

If you’re deciding between a long 10-year advertising plan or no plan at all, you are better off ‘winging-it.’

The internet has transformed the way information is shared and consumed, and as a result, has changed the way advertisers promote products. Today, digital advertisers have to appeal to their audience on a wide variety of channels in order to establish a brand voice and identity in the pursuit of consumers and loyalty.

So what does this mean for digital advertisers?

For starters, it means that the world is rapidly changing and with it, the meaning of long term has shifted. A long-term strategy 20 years ago spanned decades and was supposed to take into account market changes, social shifts and advancements in technology, however 20 years ago, advertisers couldn’t predict smart phones, social media or instant mobile communication.

Today, with the world changing drastically every quarter, companies cannot adhere to antiquated plans, and many advertising strategies are irrelevant within months rather than decades.

Does this mean companies should throw it all away and wing-it? Probably not. But it does mean that companies need to be flexible and understand that new technologies can be introduced every day that will render their well thought out plans obsolete.

Instead of planning for long term, companies need to focus on their brand identity and message and keep that as the focal point for a long-term advertising strategy.  Instead of trying to predict the future and where technology will take advertisers, advertisers should build a brand (and an advertising and marketing strategy for that brand) that is flexible enough to change and stand the test of time.

Where Digital Advertising and Television Meet

Instead of a material world, it’s time modern advertisers recognized that we are living in a digital world.

Digital advertising has increased exponentially since the introduction of the internet and the accessibility of information thanks to smartphones and other personal devices. The increased reliance on digital sources has forced companies to increase digital ad spending and in 2016, digital spending is on track to surpass TV spending for the first time. That means more companies are spending more money targeting their consumers where they spend most of their days – on their mobile phones and computers.

Despite the fact that digital advertising is on the rise, the rise of video advertising and the effectiveness of video campaigns shows advertisers that while digital killed the TV star, video is still the champion.

There has been a steep spike in reliance on video advertising in recent years (market land reported an increase of 88.6% increase in 2015 with all forecasts predicting that 2016 will exceed that growth rate).  While that has been the trend for several years, the introduction of video to mobile devices has drastically altered the digital advertisement world once again. If several years ago online advertisements were text based, then moved to image based, today we see the rise of video and GIFS replacing ‘traditional’ digital advertising.

Why to digital advertisers like video ads? Because they are more effective. YouTube, the largest video-sharing platform, reported over 20% video completion rate and since the introduction of video ads on Facebook, brands have been able to target more fans than ever (Average video reach is almost 9% for organic whereas status updates get around 5.8% and photo updates below 4% – it may not seem like a lot but it’s a 135% increase!).

So what does this mean for the modern digital advertiser? For starters, don’t throw out everything our advertising forefathers taught us – just make sure you adapt it to the modern consumer; Focus on video, but know your consumer is watching it on a smaller and more mobile screen, and don’t forget – we are living in a rapidly changing digital world.

Everything you need to know about Video Advertising

Video advertisements have been captivating consumers for as long as televisions existed – the visual appeal, the dream they weave – they truly make consumers want for products they sometimes never knew existed. In 2016 consumers still want video, but they want it in the palm of their hand.

It doesn’t take a team of expert analysts to conclude the video advertising, particularly digital video and more so, that mobile video advertising, is on the rise (although it never hurts to have scientific reaffirmation of what every internet user today can guess).  eMarketer, the trusty source for all things digital, recently showcased their predictions for the rise of video marketing in the upcoming years, determining that by 2020 video advertising spend will reach $28.08 billion, a sharp increase from the $9.90 billion predicted in 2016.

So why are companies turning to video?

In an age where information is thrown at consumers, consumers spend less time reaching their own conclusions and rely on advertisers to convey a complete message, preferably using little to no words.

Since digital advertising is hyper-targeted based on consumer’s preferences, many consumers enjoy seeing ads that are targeted to them based on their individual traits rather than bland TV ads that may not appeal to them.  Couple that with the fact that smartphones today are more affordable and mainstream than ever, and what advertisers have is an audience craving emotion-invoking videos that are short, comprehensive, and delivered to them in the palm of their hands.

Where are consumers viewing videos?

Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer to this question – consumers are viewing video everywhere. YouTube, the largest video platform, has over one billion users and reports a yearly increase of 50% in view time. In addition to the published videos, advertisers have the option of pushing in pre-roll spots (placed before desired content is shown) or during longer pieces of content on YouTube. Facebook is responsible for 8 billion daily video views and new sources are integrating more and more video into their written content, often delivering the same information in visual format.

Overall, 26% of people view at least one video per day… so where are consumers viewing videos? Everywhere! And that is what you need to know as an advertiser!