Streamers and retailers rise in prominence in 2024

At CES 2024, TV giants beefed up their commerce capabilities to grow streaming’s share of media budgets as linear spend continues to collapse.

Streaming services and retailers had a much more prominent presence at the Consumer Electronics Show 2024 than in years past — a sign that these companies will continue to be important growth drivers for the advertising industry in the year ahead.

Organizers this year selected two retail giants as keynote presenters, L’Oréal and Walmart, while streaming was a core theme of nearly a dozen presentations at the Aria hotel where the ad industry congregates.

“[Streaming and retail are] the growth areas that the analog linear models are trying to develop,” Martin Sorrell, executive chairman of S4 Capital, said in an interview with Campaign US.

“In the case of the linear TV stations last year, if they didn’t have live sports, their ad revenues [would be] down by 10% to 14%. Talking to one or two of the leaders of those companies, they think this year might be similarly difficult. The answer may not be to consolidate linear networks — it is really to expand the streaming presence. Or if you’re a retailer to compete with Amazon, what you have to do is to use your first party data in an effective way to create your own walled garden, which is what they’re doing,” he added.

The two trends were not only prominent in isolation — streamers and retailers struck deeper connections to grow their businesses together. 

“Shopping and streaming are so synergistic, because it’s so proven the brand building and the scale that’s possible with sight, sound and motion. And nothing does that better than television and nothing does that better than streaming right now. To combine that with retail media networks and what they know about how people like to shop — that can be useful in the planning of advertising, the conversion of advertising,” said Josh Mattison, SVP of revenue management and operations at Disney.

Disney unveiled a shoppable ad format during its annual tech and data showcase at CES called Gateway Shop, through which advertisers can send consumers personalized prompts for products, via a QR code, a mobile push notification or an email. 

Disney was not the only streamer flaunting its commerce capabilities at CES. “We’re starting to see a [higher] percentage of impressions across our platform — as well as streaming overall — be interactive, engageable and shoppable,” said Kristina Shepard, VP of global advertising sales and partnerships at Roku.

“I look at the word commerce and I rarely see it not modified by the word content — content driving commerce,” said Michael Kassan, chairman and CEO of MediaLink.

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