Study: Streamed TV continues to surge
February 25, 2022
By Colin Mann
The increased shift of audience attention from linear TV to streaming/CTV holds great potential for both advertisers and broadcasters, according to audience measurement platform AudienceProject.
In a blog post following the publication of the company’s study, Insights 2022 – Linear TV and streaming, which looks at the current state of linear TV and streaming consumption in the US, UK, Germany and Nordics, Martyn Bentley, Commercial Director, UK, notes that linear TV has been declared ‘dead’ many times over the last few years. “That is definitely not the case,” he asserts. “In fact, we see that linear TV viewing slightly increases in the US and Nordics. With that said, the overall trend is that TV content consumption is moving from linear TV to streaming/CTV platforms.”
In the UK and Germany, linear TV viewing drops to a record low level, and in most countries, less than two-thirds of consumers now watch commercial linear TV on a weekly basis. On top of that, and somewhat worryingly, says Bentley, the vast majority of consumers find linear TV ads irrelevant (up to 93 per cent) and their frequency excessive (up to 73 per cent). And to underline the likely continuation of the migration to digital content consumption, in most countries, less than half of the population see themselves watching linear TV at all in five years.
“So whilst the legacy delivery of content is clearly under pressure, the appetite for TV-style content knows no limits, as streaming consumption keeps on increasing,” he advises. “Up to a quarter of the audience are watching less linear TV while streaming more content compared to last year, showing the extent to which consumers are replacing linear TV with streaming.”
“In all countries but Finland, the commercially attractive audience of 15-55-year-olds now prefers streaming over linear TV,” he observes. “And more than a quarter of the US and UK population are now pure streamers and can thus only be reached on streaming platforms. This is a seismic shift affecting how media campaigns need to be planned,” he declares.
“With these now embedded and dramatic changes to the TV landscape, advertisers need to consider their reach-building video media investments very carefully,” he suggests. “Though linear TV remains a crucial channel for building reach, advertisers have the opportunity to extend their audience reach with CTV campaigns on top of their linear TV activity.”
“The increased streaming consumption has intensified the ‘streaming wars’, with more and more platforms fighting for consumers’ attention, which advertisers should benefit from,” he says. “However, the most popular services carry no or very limited ad breaks (e.g. SVoD services like Netflix). But as consumer demand for streaming accelerates, it is no surprise that a wide range of AVoD services is also heavily used, with more appearing over time. And in some cases, the lure of ad revenue is irresistible to the SVoD services, as Amazon Prime Video users will have noticed, with ad breaks appearing in key sporting content.”
According to Bentley, while CTV holds great potential for advertisers, broadcasters have an equally exciting opportunity to profit from the valuable consumer attention they are delivering around their content. “By proving the effectiveness of CTV as a channel to extend audience reach in a quality TV-like environment, broadcasters and CTV platforms can convince advertisers to spend their ad dollars with them and thus help their clients reach desirable consumer groups who are opting out of linear TV,” he advises.
“Well, we would say that, wouldn’t we,” he admits “But so does the marketplace, as we have heard at numerous events in the last year and also seen in surveys by trade bodies like the IAB UK. Measuring audience scale and composition across both linear and CTV unlocks the value for both sides of the transaction (buyers and sellers).”
“With coherent audience measurement across linear TV and CTV, advertisers can generate rich insights into the de-duplicated audience reach and frequency of their campaigns and understand how each channel contributes, and crucially, at what effective media price. In this way, advertisers can understand how to reach their target audiences in the most efficient way across linear TV and CTV and allocate and optimise advertising budgets accordingly,” he says.
“At the same time, by bringing together linear and digitally delivered audiences in a coherent measurement, broadcasters and CTV platforms can document the reach delivered across their linear TV and CTV inventory. In this way, they can demonstrate, in clear terms, how well they can solve advertisers’ biggest current problem, justifying investments in emerging CTV media properties,” he concludes.
The study is based on more than 7,000 individual survey respondents across seven countries: the US, the UK, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland.