DTC and Digitally-Native Brands Find Bright Spots in Linear TV


Digitally-native brands—diversifying away from performance platforms like Meta and Google—are finding success in a decisively analog, famously brand-building medium: linear television.

Five-year-old direct-to-consumer (DTC) diaper brand Coterie started investing in linear television in fall 2022, said Ankur Goyal, vp of growth at the company. The channel boasts a cost per acquisition (CPA) that is competitive with, if not beating, Facebook, as measured by post-purchase surveys.

“When you shut [linear] off, you feel it the next day,” Goyal said.

While Coterie still spends the majority of its advertising budget on Meta and Google, linear TV is taking a larger share of incremental media spend, and commands significantly more investment than streaming television, as the cost per thousand (CPM) impressions for linear TV can be 70% cheaper than the cost of streaming, Goyal said.

Digitally native, DTC brands thrived in the last decade, in part due to advertising on Meta and Google, where it was cheap to find the right customers. In the past couple of years, this playbook has been scrambled by increased competition and ad prices and critically, Apple’s App Transparency Tracking framework, which made it harder to find the right people to serve ads to.

DTC brands over the past two years have been diversifying ad spend to channels outside of Meta, including connected TV (CTV). While not a digital medium, linear TV offers performance-oriented brands an opportunity to reach audiences that might not be on social platforms, three ad buyers told Adweek, and inventory that can be cheaper. And as brands mature, marketing objectives expand beyond pure performance plays.

Linear viewership has been declining and will fall below 40 million viewers next year, (not to mention a typically older demographic using the medium), while CTV’s viewership is on the rise and will approach 55 million viewers next year, according to Insider Intelligence.

Cheaper inventory, unique reach, less targeting

For Coterie and digital agency Markacy, linear TV drives performance because it’s often cheaper than streaming television, therefore leading to more efficient buying.

Linear remnant CPMs tend to run between $5-$6, compared to $20-$30 on CTV, though there can be more variance in streaming inventory, said Chris Rigas, vp of media at Markacy, whose clients have been spending in linear since 2019.

1 2Next page

Related Articles

Back to top button