Connected TV Is The New, Now Frontier for TV Buyers

By John Cobb, CEO of VuePlanner

The future is now for advanced TV advertising as video viewership shifts to digital first.

While connected TV (CTV) emerges from an advertising standpoint, already there is the opportunity to target more than 200 million people every month. And, it can be done leveraging strategies traditional, linear TV hasn’t been able to deliver to date.

That challenge begins with understanding where and what content brands’ audiences are watching. The good news is that 80 percent of CTV viewers regularly watch ad supported content.

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Where is Ad Supported CTV?

Of course, the largest platform, Netflix, doesn’t offer advertising opportunities, and others, such as Hulu, are increasing ad-free subscriptions. Yes, a challenge, but if history is any indication, ad-supported television models are the not the exception they are the norm. And that isn’t expected to change anytime soon.

That being said, 64 percent of all streaming time is spent on three apps and two of the three – Netflix and Prime Video (Amazon) – are advertising-free. The third, which is the second largest, might surprise you.

CTV and YouTube: Maybe You’ve Heard of Them?

Advanced TV and investment teams are more than familiar with YouTube, of course. Yet, when it comes to the emergence of CTV, it could come as a surprise that 34 percent of all YouTube views occur on a connected TV.

Already an entertainment destination 41 million households enjoy across devices, CTV on the platform is rapidly growing – and its already the single biggest source of non-subscription supply in U.S. CTV advertising.

Who’s Watching YouTube on CTV?

YouTube reaches more adults 18-49 than all linear TV networks combined and over 12 million more unique households than Hulu and Roku combined.

Of its vast reach and incredibly more than a quarter of that viewership (26 percent) occurs with multiple people in the room. As compared to linear TV co-viewership of 22 percent – an 18 percent increase in reach.

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CTV Buying Isn’t Without Its Challenges

While CTV provides a new, now frontier for TV advertising, the medium isn’t without its challenges. For example, CTV viewers are unhappy with ad frequency within ad pods. For YouTube, which has more ad inventory, the platform ensures that viewers will rarely see ads outside of traditional frequency caps, which leads to a better ad viewing experience and does not result in brand fatigue.

Additionally, YouTube’s TrueView ad units, which digital buyers are well familiar with, are skippable. The good news for advanced TV teams and the brands they work with, you only pay when their ads are watched.

Traditional CTV advertisers complain about ambiguity in targeting and a lack of granular reporting. YouTube allows for targeting down to the video and channel level, giving advertisers more insights for future optimizations. Additionally, because 88 percent of YouTube CTV viewers use a 2nd digital device while watching TV, YouTube is an ideal platform for a comprehensive, cross-device marketing strategy that includes companion tactics on tablets and mobile devices.


According to a new forecast, there are nearly 4 billion connected TV buying opportunities in the next 30 days and they’re not on obvious ad supported streaming services.

Where are they? The answer is: YouTube. The 4 billion monthly forecast spans 27 traditional pre-vetted, custom curated TV genres from network prime time, to late night, to drama, and two dozen others.

Notably, the genres represent $188 million in new CTV inventory and is equal to more than 3.5 percent increase in the total annual TV spend.

Before You Hit “Play” on CTV

If you’re buying CTV, you really need to incorporate YouTube into your overall plan.  Many marketers are missing out because they don’t realize the amount of YouTube that occurs on larger screens, or the benefits in ad experience.

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