New IAS Study Shows Shift to YouTube CTV Viewing, Focus on Brand Safety and Suitability

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Integral Ad Science (IAS), a global leader in digital ad verification, released new research showing that U.S. consumers prefer YouTube to all other ad-supported streaming services on CTV, while brand safety and suitability are also top of mind. Surveying over 1,000 U.S. consumers, this new report from IAS explores how CTV users experience YouTube content and ads.

“After a period of rapid growth, CTV is now officially consumers’ preferred streaming device and YouTube tops the list of ad-supported streaming services that people watch on CTV,” said Tony Marlow, CMO, IAS. “This new research makes it clear that YouTube is the place to be for marketers looking to follow consumers’ attention, and they can do so confidently because IAS now offers brand safety and suitability solutions for YouTube CTV.”

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Following the recent acceleration in CTV viewing, IAS uncovered the following:

  • Consumers Choose YouTube on CTV Devices: IAS found that 88% of consumers watch streaming video content on CTV. What’s more, consumers are not only streaming ad-supported content on CTV, but 61% also prefer YouTube above all other options — surpassing Hulu at 43%.
  • High Velocity of Content Creation Drives Need for Brand Safety: 58% of consumers have encountered questionable content on YouTube CTV, according to the study. This matters for advertisers, since 83% of consumers are likely to skip an ad that plays on questionable YouTube content.
  • Consumers Prefer Contextually Relevant Ads Near Premium Content: 44% of consumers are more receptive to YouTube CTV ads near brand suitable, premium content. Meanwhile, consumers are less likely to skip relevant ads; 40% say they are most likely to finish an ad on YouTube if it is relevant to the content of the video they are watching.

According to YouTube, more than 500 hours of content are uploaded every minute and, in December 2020 alone, over 120 million people in the U.S. streamed YouTube or YouTube TV on their TV screens. The new study from IAS demonstrates that YouTube ranks as consumers’ top choice on CTV devices, while indicating new opportunities for digital advertisers to activate brand safety and suitability tools in 2021. The results are based on the responses of U.S. YouTube users on CTV in February 2021.

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