Premium video has become a staple within media planning and buying, and more and more brands and agencies continue to see and appreciate the full scope of what’s possible. But, with nearly 50 million U.S. households identifying as cord-cutters, the challenge for marketers who want to reach these lucrative and elusive audiences can seem daunting.
Even among cord-cutters, there are clear distinctions to be made. The consumer who chooses to eliminate cable services and subscribe to multiple subscription video on demand (SVOD) platforms may be making a conscious effort to avoid advertising in the traditional sense. Then there are those spending upward of $100 a month on non-ad-supported Netflix, Disney+ and Max, as well as another category of cord-cutters who rely on ad-supported services like Pluto or Netflix’s ad-supported tier for more-affordable entertainment.
The challenge for marketers is how to reach each of these varied audiences without concern about frequency, fraud, waste and brand safety issues, while also enjoying true incrementality on top of any existing video strategy.
Enter rideshare video
One compelling answer is reaching them with premium video when they’re using rideshare services like Uber and Lyft for day-to-day transportation needs. Rideshare ads are transmitted via interactive video screens in the vehicles, with 15- and 30-second ads placed in the middle of entertaining, highly engaging games and content for passengers to play while traveling to their destination.
The dominant player in the space is T-Mobile Advertising Solutions. The company’s network of screens encompasses around 200 Nielsen DMAs and growing, offering more than 500 million total impressions every month, as of 2023. Top markets in terms of number of screens include Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston, Las Vegas, Miami and Washington, D.C.
These environments present an opportunity to reach them in a captive, contextual and high-impact environment—in the back seat of an automobile—with the same audio-enabled video that runs on network television, YouTube, connected TV (CTV) and social channels.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of layering advertising inside rideshare vehicles onto premium video buys.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of rideshare advertising with premium video is its ability to unlock incremental audiences. Rideshare advertising precisely captures the high-value individuals who brands are less likely to find in other ad-supported viewing environments.
In fact, rideshare users have an average household income of $131,000, and nearly three-fourths of them are cord-cutters. Furthermore, the nature of rideshare means advertisers have the attention of these viewers at a time when they welcome the distraction. These are captive audiences—but they’re not reluctant ones.
From an inventory standpoint, rideshare screens deliver highly curated, high-quality content, increasingly from the providers and streaming services that viewers love most. Audiences enjoy the content they’re consuming, and that throws a halo around the brands that support it.
Quality and experience benefits
Another benefit of premium video advertising in rideshare environments is the ability to execute similar targeting already running across other channels. That’s because the same audience parameters—geo, demographic, etc.— used to target premium video buys across mobile, CTV, web and more can be brought into rideshare environments.
It’s worth noting that rideshare advertising is entirely brand-safe. Unlike many other video environments, content in rideshare campaigns is tightly controlled. Similarly, the closed environments of rideshare screens mean they’re immune to many of the wasted impressions and fraudulent tactics commonly found in other video environments.
Perhaps most importantly, rideshare media buys are comparatively affordable and efficient compared with other premium video buys.
With premium video in a rideshare environment, advertisers can measure upper-funnel impact on awareness, favorability, consideration, intent and recall, as well as lower-funnel performance, including footfall and sales lift.
For example, T-Mobile Advertising Solutions can track whether an individual actually engaged with its content, whether that engagement was clicking a response to a trivia question or scanning a QR code. UTM links that take the user to a unique landing page are tracked as well.
In addition, the 100% viewability and completion rates seen in rideshare environments can bolster overall video campaign results.
And this all happens within a controlled user experience environment. Unlike other premium video ad environments, in which viewers are still pummeled with repetitive ad exposures, rideshare campaigns offer precise and effective frequency-capping capabilities.
Rideshare advertising represents the next generation of premium video inventory that offers transparency, verification and true incremental expansion of existing video strategies. For brands looking to re-establish connections with viewers who are now opting out of traditional video ad experiences, rideshare advertising is a compelling opportunity.