How to Fix Streaming Advertising Problems that Consumers Complain About

BY Denise Gibson
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Streaming TV media reps, it’s not the ads that are hurting the viewing experience. It’s how the ads are being presented to the audience. Here’s how to do your part to make your clients’ streaming advertising efforts more lucrative.

How to Fix Streaming Advertising Problems that Consumers Complain About

Limit Latency

According to a study by StreamTV Insider, the main element negatively impacting the streaming experience is ad latency. 78% of streaming TV viewers say that latency, or slow or buffering ads, bothers them at least moderately.

Streaming advertising latency during live events in particular is a huge problem. Unfortunately, it’s also more likely to happen during live events. The complexity in the ad decisioning process can cause major delays in ad load times.

To avoid ad latency, StreamTV recommends using ad servers located close to end users. They advise, “buying directly to reduce the number of hops needed in the media supply chain…ensuring partners have unified ad decisioning capabilities across all demand.”

Time Commercial Breaks Well

Another factor that consumers hate almost as much as ad latency is poorly timed commercial breaks. Ad breaks need to feel natural, not plopped in the middle of a scene in the movie or TV show. If a commercial break is poorly timed, viewers consider the ad(s) intrusive.

According to StreamTV:

  • Disruptive or unnatural streaming advertising breaks feel 16% more intrusive to viewers
  • Poorly timed ads make viewers 14% less likely to recall those ads later on

The streaming services facing the most backlash from these kinds of ads are ones with newly introduced ad tiers. When this happens “breaks are inserted into programming originally designed to be ad-​free.” This is problematic because that programming doesn’t “have natural pauses or placements for commercials built in.”

So, service providers need to have plans in place to ensure natural ad breaks for every ad tier. If they don’t, not only will ads fail, viewers may not use that service if the poor ad placement continues.

Ensure Ad Diversity

Another study by StreamTV Insider highlights another CTV/​FAST TV streaming advertising problem: repeated ads. This tends to happen a lot when the service provider takes hypertargeting too far.

One of the biggest appeals of CTV is that it provides precise audience targeting. This plays a big part in assuring ad relevance. However, if the audience is too narrowed, there might be a lack of ads for that particular audience segment.

Ad relevancy is obviously critical to ad success. But those efforts fall short when they mean that viewers are seeing the same few ads on repeat. Widen the ad targeting to diversify the ads viewers see to make them more effective.

Limit Accepted Ad Length

Streaming services can’t determine how long a brand’s ads are. But they can set limits on the length of ads they’ll let air on their services.

The shorter the streaming advertising, the better. According to a previous SalesFuel blog:

  • 66% of consumers will finish videos that are less than one minute long
  • 56% will watch a full video that’s between one and two minutes long

If ads get above that length of time, viewers finishing the ads will fall to half or less. So, three minutes is the absolute longest the ads streaming services air should be.


Don’t take any of this to mean that consumers don’t like ad-​supported streaming services. (Just check out your client’s target audience’s profile on AudienceSCAN on AdMall by SalesFuel to see otherwise.) But their positive perception of those ads depends entirely on ensuring their disruption to audience viewing is minimal.

Following these four tips can help minimize streaming ad disruptions, making them more effective. If media reps can promise their clients that their format won’t have these problems, you’ll land more streaming advertising deals.

Photo by: Kevin Woblick