How streaming apps tailor their ad strategies to meet core demographics

Anne Freer | September 26, 2023

App Business

Streaming apps are a dynamic bunch. Companies continually refine strategies to stay competitive and new data from Sensor Tower reveals the user demographic trends among major competitors in the space.

As the streaming landscape evolves, Disney+ and others are adjusting digital ad strategies. Disney+, for instance, targets mature, high-spending users by increasing ad spending on platforms favoured by this demographic. On the flip side, Pluto TV hones in on younger users, noticeably boosting investments in platforms popular among the youth. We’ll take a closer look below.

Disney+ targets older audiences

Disney+ has effectively tailored its ad strategy to attract a more mature audience. Initially focused on family-friendly content, Disney+ strategically shifted its approach by increasing ad spending on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and websites commonly frequented by older demographics.

This change, combined with a broadened content selection featuring more mature themes, bolstered Disney+’s appeal and contributed to the growth of users aged 45 and above.

Disney+ ad spend overview

Source: Sensor Tower

The key lesson here for other streaming platforms is clear: comprehending your audience and directing advertising efforts accordingly can significantly impact user demographics and overall growth. The strategic adaptation becomes particularly critical during times of high inflation, as it prioritises reaching customers with greater disposable income.

Growth of older streaming users among select streaming apps

Source: Sensor Tower

Pluto TV channels younger users

Pluto TV increased its ad budget on platforms that resonate with younger audiences, such as Hulu and TikTok. The company is also intensifying its efforts to compete with platforms like Netflix and Disney+. These platforms now offer more affordable, ad-supported subscription options.

Pluto TV ad spending by channel

Source: Sensor Tower

Of particular note is Pluto TV’s amplified investment in TikTok, which ranks among the top five apps where Netflix users in the US spend significant time. This indicates a keen understanding of cross-app usage patterns and could be a good lesson for app publishers and streaming rivals alike: delving into cross-app usage data and adjusting strategies accordingly can be a game-changer in the fiercely competitive streaming industry.

Key takeaways

  • Disney+ boosts appeal with mature themes, reaching users aged 45+, proving tailored ads impact demographics and growth
  • Pluto TV invests in TikTok and Hulu to compete with Netflix and Disney+, adapting to younger audiences
  • Streaming’s future relies on understanding audiences and strategic adjustments, crucial in a competitive, ever-changing landscape
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