Reports Media & Marketing

Advertising Marketing in the era of lean through

Report by Hanna Kahlert
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20,000 foot view:  Audiences have shifted, first towards the on-demand content delivery model, and now increasingly towards lean-in and lean-through engagement behaviours as a native part of consumption. Advertising strategy and marketing tactics have also had to adapt accordingly. With the lean-through consumption dynamic growing at the leading edge of audience behaviour, it is increasingly important for advertising partners and marketing departments to accommodate the ad preferences of these consumers in strategic planning now, rather than chasing them farther down the line once these behaviours move into the mainstream. 

Key insights 

  • Consumption habits            increasingly swing from lean back            lean through as consumer-facing platforms            lean-through tools as part of            consumer experience. The leading example            this is TikTok, which is            user-generated-content (UGC) driven and has            active use (WAU) among all            rising to            of high content            (those who spend more than            hours per week creating content)
  • While the            segment is still niche, it            towards younger consumers            of            do            weekly), and emerging markets, like            are skipping lean-back, passive consumption                       do not engage with social            at all, and only            view            engaging) – meaning lean through            set to define the next            of consumption behaviour
  • While passive            viewing has already suffered            of            consumers skip video ads online),            marketing has been able to            this to its advantage, developing            campaigns on social platforms to            engagement with brands. However, as            shift into the lean-through dynamic,            must again adapt 
  • High content            are seven percentage points more            than those who do not            in creative behaviour to skip            ads online, eight percentage points            likely to use ad blockers,            five percentage points more likely            skip audio ads on podcasts 
  • While creative            are more ad resistant in            formats on on-demand services for            audio and video, being prone            skip, there are some early            that they are more receptive            other formats 
  • High creative            prefer relevant ads, at five            higher than lower-volume creators, and,            prefer short polls and quizzes            viewing a larger number of            ads on a service, at            to the            average for low            creators 
  • This creative            is high-spending when it comes            relevant content – specifically, in            of other creators: this segment            for spending on other creators’            with            spending more than            per            compared to the            consumer average
  • To meet            needs of creative consumers, brands            carefully consider relevance, engagement potential,            avoid re-saturating or over-burdening their            spans and wallet shares –            on the verge of a            recession and cost-of-living crisis, which            reduce their tolerance for inconvenience            further

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Google Stadia, OnlyFans, Patreon, TikTok, Twitch, Twitter, Xbox, Xbox Game Pass