“What are you watching?”
With the rise of streaming services, and a pandemic that has turned all our leisure time into screen time, this question has become almost as common as “How are you?” Asking what someone is watching is a way to get to know someone, learn about their current obsessions, and connect over shared fascinations and new explorations.
As ViacomCBS rolls out EyeQ, the integrated product suite of video streaming and creative ad solutions for brands, the Velocity Creative Strategy & Cultural Intelligence team set out to uncover the emerging audience behaviors surrounding streaming content, and provide insights for planners seeking competitive gains.
In the evolving streaming landscape, we found that content is all about personal control. Asynchronous viewing patterns allow people to stream what they want, when they want it—and this has only accelerated during the pandemic year, when 30% of American adults we surveyed watched TV while they were supposed to be working from home.
We also found that content inspires relationships. It brings together fan communities via IRL activations and deep Reddit subthreads. Today’s audiences build out narrative worlds in collaborative feats of imagination. They are ready to go to great lengths to access the content they love. These passionate fans are very tuned-in to both their favorite shows and the advertisers seeking their attention.
Advertisers have the opportunity to connect with content lovers in unexpected ways, and even turn them into brand fans, by adopting what we propose as three new rules of media planning.