Warner Bros. Discovery launches two new streaming ad formats

Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) unveiled today two new streaming advertising products in partnership with BrightLine, a connected TV ad solutions company. The products, Click-to-Contact and Viewer’s Choice, will be made available on Discovery+ in the fourth quarter of 2022 and offered to clients beginning in the 2022-23 Upfront season.

Click-to-Contact will enable Discovery+’s ad-lite viewers to “click” on an ad and instantly receive a marketing email on behalf of the advertiser. Whereas Viewer’s Choice is a personalized ad approach that gives consumers more flexibility when an ad runs. Viewers can mark their preferences for certain ads and products.

Jim Keller, EVP of digital ad sales and advanced advertising at WBD, said in a statement these two products help “drive brand awareness by offering choices to ad-receptive, engaged consumers.”

WBD has been upping its advanced advertising game. Just before finalizing its merger with Discovery, WarnerMedia began working with Magna to evaluate three companies – Comscore, iSpot.tv and VideoAmp – as alternative measurement currencies.

“Discovery’s launch signifies another leap forward for ad personalization and shoppability on TV,” said Rob Aksman, president of BrightLine, in a statement. “Audiences expect and want personalized experiences and instant gratification, which applies as much to ads as it does content, so this represents another win for the viewer experience.”

BrightLine touts features like dynamic overlay, in-stream scrollable overlay and real-time analytics for connected TVs. Advertising is gaining momentum in the CTV space, Innovid recently found 46% of video ad impressions in 2021 came from CTV devices.

Having more personalized ads makes sense for WBD, as the company enhances its advertising-based streaming approach. CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels noted on the first quarter earnings call that the Discovery+ ad-lite product has very low churn, generating $5-6 in incremental revenue from around 2-4 minutes of advertising.

WBD CEO David Zaslav also mentioned plans to deploy a fully advertising-based approach in some price sensitive international markets.

WBD is far from the only player making movements in advanced advertising. NBCUniversal is leveraging augmented reality for sequential ad storytelling, while fuboTV is creating custom audience segments informed by viewership behavior. Roku unveiled at NewFronts it’s incorporating shoppable ads among other features to enhance customer experience.