Phar­ma mar­keters change the ad­ver­tis­ing chan­nel from broad­cast to stream­ing TV, me­dia ex­perts weigh in

Di­rect-to-con­sumer (DTC) phar­ma ad­ver­tis­ing is chang­ing and can be seen more so on tele­vi­sion. Phar­ma com­pa­nies have typ­i­cal­ly and still do spend the bulk of ad dol­lars on live tra­di­tion­al TV pro­gram­ming, but they’re fi­nal­ly mak­ing re­al shifts to ad­ver­tis­ing on con­nect­ed or stream­ing TV plat­forms such as Roku, Hu­lu, Net­flix and YouTube.

Con­sumers are dri­ving the change be­cause most peo­ple to­day don’t think about whether they’re watch­ing live or record­ed or streamed con­tent. They’re just watch­ing TV. And that’s the new re­al­i­ty, said stream­ing plat­form and ad­ver­tis­ing ex­ec­u­tives dur­ing a re­cent Xpec­tives Health we­bi­nar about the fu­ture of DTC ad­ver­tis­ing. The re­al­i­ty isn’t just for phar­ma mar­keters — eMar­keter pre­dicts con­nect­ed TV will ac­count for more than 41% of the to­tal $106 bil­lion in TV ad spend­ing in 2026, up from on­ly 24% last year — but the in­dus­try does have dif­fer­ent chal­lenges in reach­ing pa­tient au­di­ences and us­ing health­care da­ta sets.

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