Research suggests CTV ads more effective than linear

Wednesday, April 14th, 2021
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New Research Finds That 72% of US Digital Advertisers Believe CTV Reaches Audiences More Effectively Than Linear TV

  • Tremor Video study uncovers advertisers’ attitudes and perceptions about CTV’s expanding role in brand marketing strategies

NEW YORK — Tremor Video, a leading programmatic video platform, and leading ad platform Unruly, in partnership with MTM Global, today announced the findings from a study focusing on how connected TV (CTV) is used by advertisers and key areas for development. The research reveals that nearly three-quarters (72%) of US digital advertising professionals believe that CTV reaches target audiences more effectively than linear TV, with 85% making CTV a key part of their video strategy. The research, conducted in December 2020, included surveys and in-depth interviews with brand marketers and media agency professionals.

“As a result of consumers increasingly engaging with CTV content and at notably higher rates since the COVID-19 outbreak last year, we are seeing more and more advertisers making CTV a prominent fixture in their strategic planning,” said Justin Chadwick, VP Marketing, Tremor Video. “We believe this growth trend is likely to continue, as our research suggests that advertisers perceive CTV not only as an essential component of their media mix, but also as an effective one in terms of fulfilling their key business objectives.”

Tremor Video and Unruly conducted this research to learn more about how advertisers are currently thinking about the opportunities, challenges and effectiveness of the fast-emerging CTV medium, within the broader context of their marketing mix. It also offers brands and media agencies actionable insights into how best to leverage CTV. Key findings include:

  • 85% of those surveyed say CTV is a key part of their video advertising strategy (90% of media agencies and 75% of brand advertisers)
  • 90% of respondents plan to increase their 2021 CTV budgets, with an average increase of 53%
  • 56% of media agency respondents and 37% of brand advertiser respondents predict that more than half of their video budgets will be spent on CTV in 2021
  • 75% of respondents believe that CTV has been more important to their business’ marketing success during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • 94% of respondents believe that CTV campaigns successfully meet their marketing objectives

Since the pandemic’s onset, Tremor Video has observed an acceleration in the shift from linear TV to CTV, as more viewers have turned to Ad-Supported Video on Demand (AVOD) in particular for their dynamic streaming content. According to Nielsen, roughly three times as many Americans are now embracing AVOD as compared to before the pandemic.

Moreover, Tremor’s research suggests that CTV is more effective in driving consumer actions than linear TV. According to a recent Tremor study, consumers exposed to CTV advertising are 71% more likely to advocate and tell a friend about a brand than consumers exposed to linear TV, with 52% more likely to buy a product and 45% more likely to visit a store or product website.

“With CTV penetration growing in such rapid ways, with 4 out of 5 households streaming their content on large TV devices, we believe CTV is one of the most important channels in our media mix,” said Shana Kohen, SVP, Group Account Director, Carat. “More time spent from viewers on CTV means more inventory. This coupled with the technological improvements such as more targeting and identity options, ability to bring data in, cross-device measurement—all of this helps ad spend flow to CTV.”

CTV is a significant growth engine for Tremor International, with Tremor Video and Unruly’s parent company recently reporting 127% revenue growth in the CTV space in Q4 2020 compared to Q4 2019. The company has also reported that its performance during the first quarter of 2021 is significantly ahead of the same period in 2020 and it expects trading for the year to be ahead of management expectations. This positive momentum is underpinned by the successful execution of Tremor’s strategy, which focuses on video and data, with the company’s core solutions of CTV, private marketplaces (PMPs), and its self-service platform.

Scheduled to launch in late May 2021, Tremor Video’s new TV Intelligence offering will leverage its proven experience in CTV and addressable TV retargeting to allow advertisers to reach the most relevant consumers with precision, using a wide breadth and depth of audience data assets.


Tremor Video, Unruly, and MTM Global surveyed around 200 US and UK ad professionals for the study. All respondents who took part in the study work for either a brand, media agency, DSP or trading desk and have experience planning or buying TV or online digital advertising over the last 12 months. The survey was conducted in December 2020 alongside in-depth interviews with digital media professionals.