Multiscreen TV Strategies to Maximize Reach

From traditional TV and subscription-based streaming platforms to free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) and genre-specific apps, advertisers have ample access to viewers. But in the heavily saturated video landscape, brands need to diversify their advertising approach to find and reach the right audiences.

Multiscreen TV is widely regarded as the most effective way to get in front of the right audiences, but diversifying your approach extends beyond just investing in both traditional TV and streaming. Maximizing audience reach relies on distributing campaign investments across multiple screens and strategies. Effectv analyzed 40,000 multiscreen TV campaigns and found that the 1,000 highest reaching had several strategies in common.1

Common Strategies in Highest Reaching Campaigns

More than 70% of the highest reaching campaigns included the same eight strategies. Consistent advertising, broad dayparts, more endpoints, more networks, FAST, Video On-Demand (VOD), news, and sports should be considered when developing a media plan.

Cable Sports and News

With millions of viewers tuning into sports and billions of hours spent with cable news, both strategies continue to bolster campaigns and engage audiences across platforms.2,3 Between traditional TV and streaming, more than 82% of Comcast households (HHs) watched live sports in 2022 with streaming delivering more than 500 million impressions.2 For its part, cable TV news is efficient in driving high engagement among consumers in a fragmented TV landscape as well as crucial incremental audience reach. According to a 2023 first quarter analysis of TV-only campaigns, a fourth of total HHs reached were unique to news, reaching HHs that may have otherwise been inaccessible.3

Dayparts, Networks, and Consistency

The most notable strategy, included in 98% of the campaigns analyzed, was advertising across a broader set of dayparts.1 With the large majority of TV viewing happening outside of prime time, distributing impressions across dayparts and networks provides more opportunities for brands to engage with different audiences.1 Ninety percent of the top-reach campaigns included more than 20 networks but previous research has found that optimal reach was achieved when ads were distributed across 40-45 networks.1,4

Number of networks and dayparts aside, brands should consider consistent advertising. An always-on multiscreen approach increases brand awareness, trust, and memorability.5 Reaching audiences is vital to brand growth but staying top-of-mind drives results.

FAST, VOD, and More Endpoints

FAST channels, which have grown in popularity with both viewers and advertisers since the platform entered the video landscape, account for 23% of all video ad views in the U.S..6 FAST impressions are 10.6x more likely to be seen in light and no-TV viewing households. Similarly, VOD impressions are 25% more likely to be seen in those HHs. 1

Rounding out the last of the common strategies found in the highest reaching campaigns is the inclusion of more endpoints, unique publisher, and device viewership combinations. As with broad dayparts and networks, brands should consider folding more endpoints into their multiscreen advertising campaigns. As viewers engage with video content on more devices, additional endpoints allow brands more opportunity to capture their attention.

A Healthy Strategy Mix

As the multiscreen TV landscape continues to evolve and viewing habits adapt, a diverse and robust campaign is crucial to video advertising success. Constraining investment to fewer strategies limits access to viewers. And with the overabundance of content viewing options, it is more critical than ever for brands to meet audiences wherever they are watching. Deploying a heathy mix of strategies across traditional TV and streaming amplifies reach and bridges the gap between brands and their intended audiences.

For more insights and recommendations to enhance your multiscreen TV campaigns, read the latest TV Viewership Report.

You can download an infographic, Unravelling the DNA Behind the Highest Reaching Multiscreen, campaigns here.

1. The TV Viewership Report 1H 2023, Effectv, 2023.
2. The Sports Replay: A Campaign Analysis of Sports Advertising, Effectv, 2023.
3. How to Use Cable News to Drive Optimal Advertising Results, Association of National Advertisers, 2023.
4. Ad Campaigns Get Optimal Reach with 40-45 Networks, Broadcasting+Cable, 2022.
5. Benefits of Long-Term Advertising for Brand Building, Effectv, 2023.
6. The FreeWheel Video Marketplace Report 1H 2023, FreeWheel, 2023.