See how Media.Monks improved CPE by 200% with GenAI targeting

Mastering CTV User Acquisition Strategies

Streamers rely heavily on high-quality content to attract and retain users. Investing in original shows, movies, and documentaries has been an important lever to grow viewership. However, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike is a stark reminder not to rely too heavily on one leg of your business model. 

Production of new shows and episodes has been disrupted causing a ripple effect. Long production timelines have limited the impact on new streaming content, but we may see delays through the end of the year. So, how can streamers win the race to attract and engage more viewers, despite limited new content?

New content takes a backseat

Although viewers are drawn to new content, don’t discount the demand for long-standing popular shows and movies. Viewers can tune into thousands of binge-worthy and niche programs that they have not seen before, that friends have recommended, or want to watch again. Unscripted content like reality shows or documentaries that require less writing and pre-production time can also help to fill the gap.

With the introduction of new content slowing, streamers aim to get more from the content they already have available. Investing in user acquisition (UA) and retention marketing can help maintain a competitive edge. 

A performance marketing mindset

Now is the best time to increase investments in UA marketing to attract new viewers who may not have seen some of your current content portfolios. Adopting a performance marketing outlook can focus your marketing strategy on KPIs that make the most difference. A recent report on CTV that we worked on with AppLovin outlines how CTV has become a performance marketing channel for incremental and profitable growth.

Our report outlines how streamers can adopt the same attribution and measurement model as mobile UA campaigns to improve overall campaign transparency and efficiency. Instead of focusing on impressions, use down-funnel KPIs to better measure the success of campaigns and achieve a higher ROI. Targeting ads individually across CTV, mobile, and desktop can help to keep the right viewers watching your content.

Having a full-funnel mindset is key to understanding the impact of your performance marketing strategy — not only for measurement but also as part of a multi-channel approach. Consistency in measurement is essential across UA efforts spanning every marketing channel, ensuring a holistic understanding of CTV’s role in driving down-funnel actions.

UA marketing is king

SVOD, AVOD, and FAST channels need more engaged eyeballs on their content, but that is where the similarity ends. While SVODs are looking to boost subscriptions for the lowest cost per paid subscriber; AVOD and FAST streaming apps need to grow HOV and hit their Ad ROAS goals.

Key SVOD KPIs for User Acquisition
Cost Per Install (CPI)Cost Per Trial (CPT)Cost Per Purchase (CPP)
Scale your app downloads at a defined cost goalScale your free trials at a defined cost goalScale your subscribers at a defined cost goal
Key AVOD & FAST KPIs for User Acquisition
Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)Hours of Viewing (HOV)Total Return
Drive profitability based on ad revenueGrow engagement to maximize monetization of supplyMaximize revenue generated by the campaign

Targeted SVOD campaigns for new subscribers 

Subscription growth requires unbiased optics on campaign performance and target audiences to acquire new subscribers at the lowest possible cost. It’s important to set a target CPP as an index for lower costs driving greater marketing ROI. 

Proving your UA marketing investment is delivering on your KPIs requires an MMP (mobile measurement partner) for tracking down-funnel campaign performance. This data provides insight into which campaigns are performing best and how to allocate budget to achieve the lowest cost per paid subscriber (CPP).

Successful UA campaigns require multiple layers of testing, tracking, and optimizing to reach the most efficient formulation to maximize your ad spend. It’s always a good idea to test specific ad concepts on each audience, so messages can be tuned and budget reallocated for optimal impact. It’s also a good idea to experiment with new channels and technologies to discover new audiences at lower prices.

Kickstart AVOD and FAST viewership growth 

The rapid growth of CTV advertising is related to the popularity of FAST channels that simplify viewer engagement by not requiring subscription signups. A recent study shows that 87% of viewers are likely to try new FAST services within the next year. Much like their SVOD counterparts, AVOD and FAST channels offer a wide range of content that appeals to different audiences.

Since FAST and AVOD apps monetize through ads, their goal is to acquire an engaged audience watching a lot of hours of TV (and ads). A core KPI is finding viewers who will stay engaged and hit HOV targets. Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) is reflected as a percentage of ad spend where 100% is break-even, and anything more is a positive ROAS. Since it’s tracked by a specific time period you can see how your campaigns are performing over time. 

Maximizing ROAS requires you to reach the right audiences, optimize your ad spend, and track your ROI. For an accurate picture of your campaign ROI (or Ad ROAS), MMP data must be assimilated with monetization data and UA costs, which can be a time-consuming manual process. Effective UA marketing requires access to timely, accurate data that can guide ad spend to connect your content efficiently with highly engaged viewers.

Wurl’s AI-driven performance marketing solution 

As a solution that leverages AI for CTV performance marketing, ContentDiscovery learns the content and automatically targets interested viewers across devices who will likely download your app, tune into your shows, and watch. As this technology learns your shows and the types of users who love them, its efficiency improves, delivering more viewers for your shows for better returns. 

Up to 200%
ROAS on ad-supported streaming apps
$18 CPP
On subscription-based streaming apps

Since all campaigns are 100% measurable – whether viewed and installed on CTV, mobile, or desktop – advertisers can immediately see their ROAS and down-funnel performance, understand which channels and campaigns are most effective, and refine their approach accordingly. 

Data-driven decisions will help you allocate resources where they matter most. When you can prove that marketing is making money for your channel – and not burning through it – marketing becomes a revenue center. 

Remember, user acquisition is an ongoing process, and staying nimble and responsive to user preferences is key to long-term growth and success in this dynamic industry. 

Get news and updates from Wurl