How many ads is too many ads? That question is plaguing almost every streamer right now as they try to balance the necessary revenue from advertisers with the necessary need for viewers who tune in and stick around.
This kind of question isn’t too difficult for traditional TV as viewers have long grown accustomed to breaks in their shows. But streaming is still new enough that there is no “right” way to do things. From this article:
Major ad-supported streaming services like Discovery’s Discovery+, NBCUniversal’s Peacock and WarnerMedia’s HBO Max have been in a race to seemingly run the lightest ad loads in the market — no more than five minutes of ads per hour for Peacock and no more than four minutes for Discovery+ and HBO Max. Other ad-supported streamers, meanwhile, are assessing their optimal ad loads, including taking into account when the ads air.
It may seem like a small thing, but when you add up all the ads that are or aren’t airing, you are looking at a huge amount of revenue.
So what should these companies do? Use AI.
With something like Resonance AI, streamers would be able to determine which shows are compelling enough to keep people watching even if the commercials are longer. On the flip side, they can figure out which shows viewers are more likely to tune out from, requiring either shorter commercial breaks or a bulk of commercials at the top.
These kinds of strategies, backed by objective metrics and reliable machine learning, might be the only way to make sure that streamers aren't losing advertisers or viewers.