CTV more effective than linear in driving consumer behaviors

Tuesday, August 25th, 2020
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Unruly Data Uncovers Consumer Attitudes Toward Connected TV (CTV) During COVID-19, Including Consumption Behaviors and Ad Preferences

  • Research Finds That CTV Is More Effective Than Linear TV in Driving Consumer Behaviors
  • 35% of US Consumers Have Tried a New Ad-Supported Streaming Service Since Outbreak of COVID-19
  • 42% Now Plan to Cancel Cable TV

NEW YORK, NY — Video advertising platform Unruly today released a study that investigates consumer attitudes and consumption habits around connected TV (CTV) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unruly, which is part of Tremor International, surveyed nearly 1,800 US consumers in July 2020 for this study.

Previous research by Unruly showed that 42% of US consumers are spending ‘a lot more time’ watching CTV content since the start of the pandemic. But as CTV content consumption continues to accelerate, marketers are trailing behind with their media plans. In 2020, 3.4% of US marketers’ total ad spending will go on CTV — and that is only forecasted to grow to 4.7% in 2023.

Unruly’s study, created in conjunction with sister brand Tremor Video, looks closer at the CTV landscape five months after the global outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of the biggest takeaways from the research is that CTV advertising performs better than linear TV across key indicators. After seeing an ad on TV, compared to linear TV viewers, ad-supported CTV users are:

  • 71% more likely to tell a friend about a brand
  • 53% more likely to search for a brand
  • 48% more likely to have an improved opinion of the brand
  • 52% more likely to buy a product
  • 45% more likely to visit a store or website

As the pandemic has rapidly accelerated the growth of CTV, it’s more important than ever before that brands understand and embrace the medium. More than one third (35%) of US consumers have tried a new ad-supported streaming service since COVID-19 began and 79% will continue to do so.

Additional key findings include:

  • 73% of US consumers say they would prefer to watch their favorite TV show for free with ads rather than pay for an ad-free experience
  • 65% actively seek ways to watch TV programs and films free of charge
  • 74% of 35-44 year olds actively seek free ad-supported TV content, followed by 71% of those ages 45-54 and 63% for those 55+ — these groups were actually more likely to seek free ad-supported TV content than younger generations 25-34 year olds (62%) and 18-24 year olds (57%)
  • 64% of consumers in the US plan to reduce the amount they pay for TV services — 44% plan to do so by reducing paid subscriptions and 42% plan to cancel cable TV

“US consumers’ pivot to CTV is an opportunity for brands to reach audiences at scale in a highly targeted, personalized way that has, until now, not been possible,” said Terence Scroope, VP of Insights and Solutions at Unruly. “Following our acquisition by Tremor International, Unruly has shifted from an outstream video specialist to become one of the biggest video platforms in the world. From this unique position, we are able to help advertisers seize on the opportunities CTV presents like never before. Together, Unruly and sister brand Tremor Video, offer advertisers the most cutting-edge CTV advertising solutions.”