People who watch sports on traditional TV are well-acquainted with commercials that share the screen with the programming during lulls in the action, an attempt by networks to keep viewers’ attention during ad breaks.

Now that picture-in-picture format for ads might become more common in streaming video, and beyond sports.

Transmit.Live LLC, an advertising technology company backed by ad veterans, including founder and former chief executive of ad agency Laundry Service Jason Stein, has been working to bring picture-in-picture ads to live streaming video.

Streaming TV has been on the rise, particularly since the pandemic forced people to spend more time at home and in front of their TV sets. Marketers are following the audience. Ad spending on internet-connected sets, where most streaming TV happens, is set to total nearly $11.4 billion this year, up from nearly $8 billion in 2020, according to research firm eMarketer.

But marketers need new options to effectively reach streaming viewers delving beyond movies, TV shows and established sports to programming such as live esports competitions and music concerts, according to Transmit executives…

… Advertisers will want to make sure any new version of picture-in-picture advertising doesn’t bother viewers for the format to be viable, according to Molly Schultz, senior vice president of integrated investment at ad agency UM, part of Interpublic Group of Cos.

“As long as it’s not detracting from the user experience, and seen [by users] as a distraction where the advertiser is associated with something that’s annoying or obstructing their experience, that’s important,” she said.

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