Social Ad Snapshot: "Streaming Wars"

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Streaming has rapidly transformed how and what consumers watch. Top streaming ad platforms in this disruptive market are competing in social advertising wars as viewers continue to stray from linear television.

With that in mind, BrandTotal, a leading social competitive intelligence and brand analytics platform, has released new data on how the world’s leading streaming services advertise across top social media channels. 

BrandTotal’s latest report, “Social Intelligence Competitive Snapshot: The Streaming Wars,” analyzed all paid social advertising campaigns from Disney+, HBO Max, Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV Plus, Peacock, and Paramount+, over a 90-day period, from June 23rd to September 20th, 2021. Key findings are as follows.

Disney+ Wins on Paid Share-of-Voice

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Disney+ dominated with nearly one-third (30%) of all impressions. HBO Max was in second with 23%, followed by Hulu at 21%. 

The top-five were rounded out by Peacock 16% and Paramount+ (7%). Netflix (1%) and Apple TV Plus (2%) were the least prolific social media advertisers.

What it Means: Streaming Services rely on social media to promote new content to their viewers. Disney+  is prolific when it comes to paid advertising and social media is no exception.

YouTube & Twitter are Key for Streamers

When averaging the percentage of ad impressions for each channel among the seven streamers, YouTube was the most popular, with 59% of all impressions, followed by Twitter (32%), Facebook (7%), and Instagram (2%).

YouTube was #1 among all streaming advertisers except for Peacock, which relied on Twitter more (49% of all sponsored impressions vs. 43%). Hulu was the most reliant on YouTube, with 94% of its social ad impressions there. Meanwhile, Paramount+ was the top Facebook advertiser (18%) and Netflix was the top Instagram advertiser (4%).

What it Means: Facebook-owned platforms were the least compelling for streamers. Instead, YouTube dominated, which makes sense given the video-first nature of the platform. Twitter was also a leader, which speaks to the surging value of video ads there.

Who’s Targeting Who? Demographic Breakdown

In terms of demographics, most streamers aimed ads at a younger audience, specifically Gen Zs. Hulu, in particular, went after this market, with 68% of its sponsored impressions focused on 18-24-year-olds. Disney+ was the second biggest targeter of this age range, with 58% of its impressions.

What it Means: Younger audiences have migrated to streaming platforms more quickly than older audiences. The targeting is no surprise.

Interested in seeing beyond your brand and understanding what your competitors are doing in paid social? Request a demo today.

About BrandTotal

BrandTotal is a leading social competitive intelligence and brand analytics platform, enabling brand marketers to make decisions based on data, not gut feelings. BrandTotal was founded in 2016 and serves customers in North America, Europe, and Israel. Headquartered in New York, with offices in San Francisco and Israel, BrandTotal's customers range from well-established Fortune 500 brands to the fastest-growing direct-to-consumer challenger brands. The company is funded by world-class VC firms INcapital Ventures, Flint Capital, NHN Investment, One Way Ventures, FJ Labs, Glilot Capital Partners, and Keshet Dick Clark Productions along with early support from Microsoft Accelerator and Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator. Find us at