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Not Everyone is Slowing Their Ad Spend — How Hollywood is Adjusting to Social Distancing

Not Everyone is Slowing Their Ad Spend — How Hollywood is Adjusting to Social Distancing

Yes, we know that cruise lines are now spending less on marketing, and that airlines are running ads promoting air quality.  And of course, ads marketing N95 respirator masks are at an all-time high (and often from sources less than reputable). 

But Hollywood and its streaming partners are some of the most influential brands to bolster their ad push. 

The following outlines MediaRadar’s findings and some examples of how companies are moving at lightning-speed to accommodate our new homebound lives.

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Subscription streaming dramatically increased spend as March started. 

Just as the month started, subscription streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu increased their spend.  The first week of March, starting on Monday, March 2, was the highest single week of spend in the past 6 months. This was 155% more than any of the prior three weeks.

  • The primary contributors to this increase are Amazon Prime Video and Hulu. Combined, they’ve spent $29M in advertising to promote their shows during the first two weeks of March.

  • Ad spend during the first two weeks of March 2020 from subscription streaming services was up 34% YoY.

  • Hulu releases new content throughout each month, but unlike Netflix, it’s greatly concentrated at the start of the month.  But Hulu’s concentration has never been so intense as this month.

  • Streaming services have had a surge in downloads from the countries most impacted by Coronavirus (as reported by mobile-insights company Sensor Tower). During the 1st week of quarantine, Amazon Prime Video saw a 2x increase in downloads from the week prior, and Netflix was up 60%. Armed with this knowledge, it’s possible these services will look to up ad spending in the US to capture the attention of viewers stuck at home.
  • As theaters are shutting down, new movie releases are rolling out to streaming services earlier than expected. Frozen 2 was introduced on Disney+ early, the latest installment of Star Wars is available for purchase early, and new movies including the The Invisible Man, The Hunt and Trolls World Tour will go direct to rental, approximately 90 days early.

  • Additionally, new streaming services are launching. Quibi is launching April 6 and running TV ads now. Peacock and HBO max ran campaigns a few months ago, but haven’t since. Will they accelerate the launch given everyone is at home?

MediaRadar will continue to share the latest data on how companies quickly adjust their advertising spending in response to Coronavirus. Subscribe to our blog for the most recent information for publishers.