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Marketing a new Streaming service

Attracting an audience, commercialising consumers

Starting a new streaming service with a ready-made audience and a brand like the Kardashians or Manchester United is markedly different to launching an unknown streaming proposition under a new banner.

So here are a few learnings that over a decade of supporting streaming services has taught us.

Focus on content (not brand)

If you have compelling content, focus on this. Leading with James Bond works better than telling the world you’re Jane’s Video Store; Joseph’s Technicolor Dreamcoat is a bigger draw than yet to be established Joe’s Streaming Player. Whether in editorial product positioning within the service, social media output, campaign banners, or email campaigns, if it’s the show that sells, sell the show.

Push personality/celebrity

If the show doesn’t resonate, look to the celebrity, the actors, comedians, chefs and even politicians. It’s not just that their names are more recognisable than your emerging service brand, it’s also about leveraging their social media following - possibly the most likely route to discovering your service for many potential viewers.

Get a big-name sponsor

Whilst your brand may not yet resonate in the market, Adidas or Asda will, and once again leveraging their client base through social media or product distribution could be transformative. And this is no one-way street; banner ads, pre-roll videos and video stings on a contemporary streaming service can give the sponsoring brand the sort of cool exposure they have long been eyeing.  

Home in on communities

Many new streaming services are thematic or genre-based, specialising in areas outside the mainstream film and TV entertainment sphere that is dominated by the likes of Netflix, Disney, Prime, Apple et al.  From music to medical, it pays to target advertising and market effort on the communities that service the genre. Offering discounts and deals through, say, dance or fishing clubs or associations, for dance or fishing streaming media services, is probably a no-brainer!

Practise periodic thematic engagement (weekly compelling stories)

One very effective technique we’ve seen involves pulling these aspects together into a regular cycle of consumer marketing, creating a rolling vibe of constantly exciting new offerings to the service.  For example, weekly email campaigns that focus on a different show/series or a different celebrity each week, or a different collection of content, e.g. a James Bond collection.

It is also highly effective to marry this approach with editorial changes in the service that focus on similar themes, and to - especially importantly - ensure any celebrity or show sponsors undertake coinciding social media campaigns.  Not all shows and not all celebrities appeal to all consumers, so by rotating the focus to different content or contributors there is a good chance of attracting a new segment of consumers each week.  

Use social media on all fronts (celebrity, content, sponsor, genre, topic/issue)

We often say that social media is the new TV guide (the EPG) for streaming services and there is no doubt that getting any one piece of content virally trending is almost certainly the quickest route to maximum sign-up and use of an emerging streaming service.

If this topic is of interest, Easel TV will be exhibiting at IBC in Amsterdam in December. If IBC’s not your thing we have demonstration facilities in our London office - come along and chat to us.

EaselTV is the streaming service provider behind Sky News, hayu, StagePlayer+, Soho Theatre and other streaming services. You can contact Easel TV by emailing their CEO directly at