LG: Majority of Connected TV Users Prefer Free, Ad-Supported Streaming Video

Nearly 70% of connected TV users prefer free, ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) content instead of a paid subscription without ads, and more than half (53%) spend two or more hours per week using FAST applications, according to new data from LG Ad Solutions.

The LG study, which is based on an online survey of 1,100 CTV owners in the United States, found that while 56% of U.S. CTV users prefer watching content via streaming applications, it takes viewers almost 12 minutes on average to decide what to watch, up from 6 minutes the prior year. In addition, 38% cite too many content choices as their top challenge when looking for content to watch — with 37% stating they can’t remember what platform content is on.

Another 63% of respondents said they are likely to sign up for a streaming subscription service to watch specific content and then cancel/pause their subscription after watching.

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Forty-two percent of respondents said they prefer ads that have interactive features, with 71% of viewers liking TV ad creatives that include a QR code. In addition, 62% are open to scanning a QR code, and 38% are likely to make a purchase after scanning a QR code on a TV ad.

“As content continues to proliferate across channels and platforms, making content more discoverable through strategies like leveraging the [CTV] home screen will be vital to capture consumer eyeballs,” Tony Marlow, CMO at LG Ad Solutions, said in a statement.

Marlow added that 40% of CTV users currently rely on the TV home screen for content recommendations.

“Consumers are now overwhelmingly open to ad-supported streaming content, signaling a seismic shift in their CTV habits,” he said.  “It is now a place where people engage with the personalized content and where marketers can connect with those audiences through highly relevant messages.”

BBC News Launching on CTV/FAST Platforms

AMC Networks and BBC Studios, the commercial subsidiary of the BBC Group, March 13 announced the launch of BBC News as a 24-hour live news channel on a variety of CTV/FAST platforms. Initial launch partners are Pluto TV, Samsung TV Plus, Xumo Play, Vizio WatchFree+, Sling Freestream and Plex.

The BBC News channel delivers 24-7 coverage of breaking news and moments of global significanc. AMC Networks is the distribution and sales representative for BBC News in the United States through its BBC America joint venture.

As part of the BBC’s expansion in North America, BBC News has grown its news operation out of its Washington, D.C., bureau, expanding its nightly primetime coverage and developing programming focused on national news to better serve audiences in the United States and around the world, according to the news organization. BBC News live 24-hour coverage is anchored out of the United Kingdom, the United States and Singapore. The channel features chief presenters including Sumi Somaskanda and Caitríona Perry in Washington,D.C.; Matthew Amroliwala, Christian Fraser, Lucy Hockings, Maryam Moshiri and Sally Bundock in the United Kingdom; and Steve Lai in Singapore.

“This is a significant milestone for the BBC as this launch will more than double the current reach and availability of the BBC News channel in the U.S. at a time when access to independent news and information is more important than ever,” Tara Maitra, chief commercial officer of global media and streaming for BBC Studios, said in a statement. “We’re proud to launch this channel with the support of so many of the leading CTV/FAST platform partners as we continue to expand the footprint of BBC News and bring the BBC’s journalism to wider audiences in the region.”  

“What a profoundly meaningful addition to the rapidly growing CTV/FAST space, at a time when access to authoritative and impartial news could never be more important,” Kim Kelleher, chief commercial officer of AMC Networks, said in a statement. “The BBC is one of the largest, most-trusted and comprehensive news-gathering organizations in the world. The arrival of BBC News as a live, 24-hour channel on these free platforms is a landmark moment for global news, our partner platforms and the entire FAST distribution ecosystem.”

“This latest addition to our news offering expands our diverse programming lineup and gives us the opportunity to reach an even wider audience via a well-respected and trusted international news source,” Amy Kuessner, EVP of programming for Pluto TV, said in a statement. “In today’s day and age, free round-the-clock access to a strong audience-centric news brand like BBC News is indispensable.”

“Live local and national news has always been a top performing category on Xumo Play, and with the addition of BBC’s 24/7 live coverage, our viewers can now enjoy a fresh, international perspective on major news moments happening across the world,” Stefan Van Engen, VP of programming and partnerships for Xumo, said in a statement.

“Samsung TV Plus is committed to providing a platform for a variety of global, national, and local news sources to share important updates that our consumers rely on,” Sarah Nelson, head of BD and strategic partnerships, Samsung TV Plus, said in a statement. “We’re excited to partner with BBC Studios and AMC Networks to bring this 24-hour live news channel to our viewers, empowering them to stay informed and engaged with the world around them.”

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This additional CTV/FAST distribution of BBC News is complementary to existing wide distribution on pay-TV platforms including DirecTV, Comcast’s Xfinity, Charter’s Spectrum, YouTube TV, Philo, Dish and others. BBC News programming includes popular flagship shows such as “Verified Live,” “BBC News America,” “Newsday,” “Influential with Katty Kay,” and “World Business Report” plus “The Travel Show,” “Click,” and “BBC Documentaries.”

FreeWheel: Ad-Supported Video Content Continues to Impact Half-Year U.S. Streaming Trends

In an era of media companies rejiggering the direct-to-consumer video streaming market, the proliferation of ad-supported content and television screen size size (81% of TV viewing is done on a large-size screen) underscore video trends among consumers in the U.S., according to new data from FreeWheel.

Ad view growth has increased 6% the U.S. (6%) in the first six months of 2023 due to the increased presence of ad-supported VOD and free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) platforms, and marketing, based on audience characteristics (behavioral, demographic), up 80% year-over-year.

Consumer use of connected TVs is up 11% in the first half of 2023 from the first half of 2022. Mobile device use is up 19% from 2022.

Indeed, more than 76% of ad-supported content is consumed via an internet-connected television (CTV), followed by 13% via mobile devices, 6% desktop computers and 5% legacy set-top boxes. Among CTV devices, Roku dominates the market at 44% household penetration, followed by 16% Amazon Fire TV, 12% Smart TVs, 6% Google Chromecast, 3% video game consoles and 19% other devices.

In the U.S., 41% of ad-supported video content is distributed through TV Everywhere (authenticated streaming services accompanying a cable/satellite subscription), followed by FAST (23%), direct-to-consumer (18%), online TV (6%), digital content aggregator (6%), and set-top boxes (6%).

The majority ad-supported video content consumed in the U.S. is live (54%), with 46% derived from video-on-demand, including 70% long-form content, i.e., movies, and 30% short-form, content six minutes in length or less.

Meanwhile, audiences do not drastically adjust their choice of screen size whether they are watching VOD or live content, according to the report. VOD in the is primarily watched on large screens (76%) across CTV and STB combined, while live-streaming is even more likely to be viewed on CTV (87%). Overall, U.S. viewers gravitate toward large screen devices.

At the same time, video marketers are increasingly targeting CTV audience segments by behavioral indicators, rather than demographics.

“The overarching trend toward refining the viewer experience can be seen with this push toward relevancy in the ads served to individual viewers,” read the report.

Study: CTV Advertising Fraud Surged in 2022

CTV advertising fraud surged in 2022 with a 69% increase in bot fraud from 2021 and significant growth in CTV fraud schemes, according to new research from DoubleVerify, a software platform for digital media measurement, data and analytics.

The 2023 Global Insights Report analyzed trends from nearly 5.5 trillion media transactions across more than 1,000 customers in nearly 100 countries. 

Globally, eMarketer estimates that advertisers will spend almost $24 billion on CTV advertising this year, noted DoubleVerify, and as ad investments in CTV grow, so too does the opportunity for fraud. CTV ad fraud involves the use of deceptive tactics to generate revenue from advertisers by falsely inflating video ad impressions. Fraudsters typically employ bots or fake CTV devices to simulate viewership, tricking advertisers into paying for non-existent or unviewed ad placements.

The number of CTV fraud schemes and variants DV detected annually has tripled since 2020, according to the report.

Ad fraud is a significant issue in CTV especially for unprotected advertisers, according to DoubleVerify. To quantify the risk, the report compared protected advertisers’ fraud rates against a campaign where verification was not in place. The unprotected campaign experienced a fraud rate of 11.2%, compared with 0.6 percent for protected campaigns.

“An increase in free, ad-supported streaming is helping to fuel connected TV’s rapid growth,” Mark Zagorski, CEO of DoubleVerify, said in a statement. “But with growth come growing pains. As CTV becomes a top channel for consumers and advertisers alike, it also becomes a target for fraud, making measurement and protection a critical part of validating the efficacy of campaigns.”

In addition to a review of fraud, viewability and brand suitability, this year’s report also looked at attention metrics. Launched in 2021, DV Authentic Attention measurement is an MRC accredited privacy-friendly solution that does not rely on cookies, and provides timely, impression-level insights at scale — from the impact of an ad’s presentation to key dimensions of consumer engagement, according to the company.

Key insights DoubleVerify uncovered include:

  • Campaigns in the most mature market, North America, lag behind in their ability to grab attention (based on DoubleVerify’s Attention Index), representing a real opportunity for improvement. For video, specifically, North America is behind all other regions in both attention and viewability. 
  • Most advertisers run campaigns on sites or apps that have lower attention rates; however, DoubleVerify’s analysis shows there is significant available inventory that could deliver higher attention and performance.

 

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“Qualifying an ad’s impact matters more than ever before and attention is fast becoming a key currency for evaluating performance,” added Zagorski. “Our metrics make attention actionable for brands. They can gain insights beyond whether their ad simply had an opportunity to be seen — they can start to understand if it resonated, while benchmarking across the industry.”

In addition to its findings on CTV fraud and attention, the report features new data on the ROI of verification and the need to ensure consistent quality assurance across all platforms, environments and formats. 

Canadian TV Joins Roku Platform

Roku April 6 announced the launch of Canadian TV (CTV) on its streaming platform, in a continued partnership with Canada’s Bell Media.

Ranked as the No. 1 TV streaming platform in Canada, according to a recent study conducted by the Hypothesis Group, Canadian Roku users will now have access to live and on demand programming from CTV on the streaming player or Roku TV.

Launching on the Roku platform gives users across Canada access to live and on demand programming available through the CTV app, including original shows, series and movies from across CTV Comedy Channel, CTV Drama Channel, CTV Sci-Fi Channel and CTV Life Channel.

“As the No. 1 TV streaming platform in Canada, we are committed to expanding Roku’s Canadian content availability,” Mary-Anne Taylor, head of content distribution, Canada at Roku, said in a statement.

With more than 60 million active accounts globally, Roku remains a must-have gateway to the internet for third-party streaming video platforms.

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