Report: U.K. Media Buyers Prefer Connected Televisions

Media buyers (advertisers) in the U.K. are taking to connected-television (CTV) advertising in a major way. New data from Unruly suggests that more than two-thirds (67%) of U.K. advertising professionals think CTV is a more-effective (i.e. less-expensive) ad channel than linear TV. The report found that 100% of media agencies and 77% of brands plan to invest more in online targeted marketing over the next 12 months.

CTV advertising, which is targeted toward viewers of streamed content via Internet-connected TVs, mobile devices, smartphone apps, tablets and other over-the-top video platforms, has become popular since it is less expensive than traditional TV marketing.

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Unruly found that 68% of media buyers across the U.K. ad industry believe CTV ads provide better value for money compared to linear TV, and 68% said it was more effective at reaching their target audiences.

CTV consumption has risen sharply over the past 12 months, with previous research by Unruly showing that 54% of consumers are spending more time watching CTV content since the start of the pandemic. With a plethora of new CTV channels and devices entering the market, the competition for CTV audiences’ attention is rising rapidly.

“With the number of U.K. consumers cutting the cord and switching over to free, ad-supported CTV devices and services accelerating since the start of the pandemic, our study shows just how much CTV has become a key channel for brands and agencies,” Alex Khan, Unruly’s international managing director, said in a statement.

The report found that 67% of survey respondents said CTV is more effective than linear TV, providing better value for money (68%) and better targeting (68%). However, the findings suggest more education and insights around CTV are key to driving further growth, with around half of brands (45%) and agencies (50%) wanting a clearer understanding of how CTV fits into their campaigns and more information about measurement and attribution.

Brands are much more likely to want training on the benefits of CTV (48%) and audience-specific insights (48%) compared to traditional ad agencies (23% and 31% respectively).

“With a possible return to normal following the COVID-19 pandemic on the horizon, we believe our research highlights CTV’s ability to deliver across a multitude of goals throughout the purchase funnel,” Khan said.

Rebecca Waring, global VP of insights and solutions at Unruly, said the report underscores that there is no single driver behind the growth of CTV, as buyers are attracted by a broad range of benefits.

“Likewise, in our experience, CTV campaigns are being judged on a variety of KPIs [key performance indicators] that spanned viewability, incremental reach and brand lift. It sounds like a challenge for one platform to satisfy so many different motivations and performance criteria, but according to our research, it appears CTV is rising to that challenge so far, with 98% of buyers happy with the outcomes of their CTV campaigns.”

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