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Sling TV is ramping up ad spending more than its skinny-bundle rivals as it looks to restart growth and gain market share (DISH)

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  • Dish Network's streaming-TV service, Sling TV, is investing more in advertising, and rolling out new ad campaigns to woo people who are spending more time at home, ad-spending data shared with Business Insider shows.
  • Sling spent an estimated 17% more on US advertising in March 2020 than in February, according to ad-analytics firm MediaRadar.
  • From March 30 to April 26, ad-tracking firm iSpot TV estimated that Sling spent $5.5 million on national-TV ads, which was more than live streaming TV peers including YouTube TV.
  • Sling's rise in ad spending comes after the streaming pay-TV company lost subscribers during the fourth quarter of 2019, compared with the third.
  • Sling declined to comment on this story.
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Dish Network's streaming-TV service, Sling TV, has boosted advertising spending in recent weeks, in an apparent attempt to woo viewers who are spending more time at home or becoming more budget conscious. Some of the recent Sling TV ads encouraged people to "quarantine with" or "stay in and Sling."
Sling spent an estimated 17% more on US advertising in March 2020 than in February, according to data from MediaRadar, which estimates ad spending across mobile, web, national TV, print, and social platforms like Snapchat.
The Dish-owned company was the sixth largest ad spender among top streaming services during March, with a spend comparable to Apple TV Plus, MediaRadar said.
But Sling spent more than other internet-based live-TV services, including YouTube TV, AT&T TV Now, and Philo. (Hulu, which sells both a live-TV service as well as on-demand subscriptions, spent the most on advertising of Sling's peers.)
From March 30 to April 26, Sling TV also spent about $5.4 million on national-TV ads, estimated iSpot.tv, an ad-analytics firm that tracks national-TV ads. The sum was higher than most of Sling's peers, except Hulu, which aired an estimated $20.4 million worth of ads during the period.
Sling TV's ad blitz comes as other streaming-video companies, including Hulu and Apple TV Plus, are advertising more to reach the influx in viewers who are home, and looking for things to do, as Business Insider reported.
ISpot.tv estimates that prior to lockdown the streaming-video category aired about $20 million to $25 million worth of TV ads per week. Since late March the category has aired about $35 million to $40 million worth of TV ads per week.

Sling TV's March and April ad blitz comes after the service lost pay-TV subscribers during its fourth quarter

Sling's spring marketing push may be aimed at reviving subscriber growth after a difficult quarter.
Sling, which was growing subscribers quarter over quarter even as competitors including AT&T TV Now posted heavy losses, lost about 94,000 net pay-TV subscribers during the fourth quarter of 2019, compared with the third.
The service closed out 2019 with 2.59 million pay-TV subscribers, 7% more than it had in 2018. But those gains weren't enough to offset losses in Dish Network's satellite business, and the company ended the year with 336,000 fewer pay-TV subscribers overall.
Sling declined to comment on this story.
MediaRadar said that about three-quarters of Sling's March spend went toward TV ad buys. It suggests that Sling is targeting existing pay-TV customers who may becoming more wallet conscious, or don't want to pay high rates for cable when no live sports are airing.
Sling's April "Stay In and Sling" campaign is offering $10 off the first month of its basic Sling Blue bundle that includes about 50 channels, or free TV between 5 p.m. and midnight each day to anyone who registers (even if they don't subscribe to the service), according to company press releases. The company is also pushing classic matchups within its Sports tab in the absence of live games. And, in March, it promoted a 14-day "quarantine" free-trial offer. 
It's not unusual for Sling to ramp up ad spending in the spring, even though its current campaigns speak directly to people in lockdown. The company also ran a big promotion around this time last year, offering new customers 40% off for their first three months.
Sling TV had been the market leader among US streaming-TV bundles, but was recently overtaken by Hulu Live. UBS projected last year that YouTube TV would also overtake Sling TV's market share by 2022.
YouTube TV, for its part, has not been spending much on TV ads in recent weeks, nor has it significantly increased in digital ad spend, based on the MediaRadar, Kantar, and iSpot.tv ad-spending data shared with Business Insider.
AT&T, meanwhile, has been pushing its new internet-based satellite-TV replacement, AT&T TV — which is packaged and sold like a traditional-TV service — over its skinny-bundle alternative with no annual commitment, AT&T TV Now (formerly DirecTV Now).

For more on how streaming-TV services adapting their advertising strategies, see our coverage on BI Prime: 


Ad spending data reveals how streaming TV services like Netflix and Disney are changing their marketing tactics


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Source
https://www.businessinsider.com/sling-tv-ad-spending-tops-streaming-rivals-youtube-tv-lockdown-2020-4?IR=T

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