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New Research From SpotX Finds Four Out of Five CTV Viewers Watch Ad-Supported Content

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CTV is for Everyone: An In-Depth Look at US CTV Viewership in 2020 report uncovers CTV audience insights, viewing behavior, access points, and sentiment toward advertisements

SpotX, the leading global video advertising platform, announced the release of its first global connected TV (CTV) viewership report titled “CTV is for Everyone.” In partnership with US research firm Mintel, SpotX surveyed 1,500 US consumers to identify the characteristics of CTV viewers and their viewing habits, as well as how receptive they are towards advertisements. The findings aim to help advertisers better understand CTV usage and how to effectively reach the growing number of consumers adopting the technology.

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“Growth in CTV has accelerated in recent years, both in terms of adoption and viewership, driven primarily by consumer demand and the entrance of new streaming services into the market,” said Sean Buckley, Chief Operating Officer at SpotX. “With over three-quarters of US households now accessing CTV, advertisers are increasingly recognizing its power to efficiently and accurately reach target audiences at scale.”

Key findings of the US report include:

  • Scale – CTV viewership has increased with 40% of all US adults now streaming content;
  • Composition – Every type of consumer can be reached by CTV, as the audience is extremely diverse and includes all ages, ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, and family compositions. The median age of US CTV viewers is 45 years old;
  • Frequency – CTV viewers are highly engaged, as over 60% watch every day at an average of three hours, a significant increase from just 46 minutes in 2018 (according to Nielsen);
  • Ad Receptivity – Four out of five streamers watch ad-supported content and 60% would choose to watch free content over a paid ad-free service;
  • Interests – The most popular content genres include drama, comedy, news, and sports;
  • Live Viewership – Seventy five percent of CTV viewers consume some sort of live programming and 48% of those audiences regularly watch sports;
  • Co-Viewing Habits – Only 16% of CTV viewers stream alone. Most audiences regularly consume content with others, usually a partner or kids, and sometimes with friends;
  • Income – CTV viewers mirror the buying power of the American consumers, with 42% of households earning more than $75k;
  • Access – More than half (54%) of audiences watch CTV through a smart TV, followed by a streaming device (37%), with the remainder watching through a gaming console;
  • Price Sensitivity – Flexibility and variety serve as the top reasons why people watch CTV, followed by affordability. Of CTV consumers, 85% own a paid subscription to a streaming service with most spending between $4 and $29 a month; and
  • Relevancy – Personalization of CTV ads is improving with nearly 60% of streamers saying they have seen ads for products that they have an interest in, 17% considering making a purchase because of an ad they viewed, and 12% making a purchase because of an ad they were exposed to.

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SpotX also defines new CTV audience profiles in the report, including streamloaders (young adults that skew female and are less likely to pay for subscriptions), jet streamers (digital savvy millennial professionals most likely to subscription-stack and watch live content), do-it-all streamers (career-minded individuals who are busy balancing work with family and watch a mix of ad-free and ad-supported content), and silver streamers (mainly baby boomers, many of whom switched to CTV after receiving years of poor service from cable companies).

The SpotX-commissioned research was conducted immediately preceding COVID-19,  however, ad calls in June within over-the-top (OTT) inventory across the SpotX platform rose by 84% as compared to the second week of March, an indication that viewership has increased since the pandemic began.

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