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.”

Report: 35% of U.S. Consumers Have Tried AVOD During Pandemic

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to alter home entertainment consumer patterns. New data from video advertising platform Unruly found that 42% of survey respondents are watching more Internet-connected television, including 35% consuming ad-supported VOD content.

Unruly, which is part of Tremor International, surveyed nearly 1,800 U.S. consumers online in July 2020 for this study.

AVOD services include Pluto TV, Tubi, IMDb TV, The Roku Channel, Shout! Factory TV, Samsung TV and Redbox TV, among others.

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But as connected TV content consumption continues to accelerate, marketers are trailing behind with their media plans, according to the report. This year, eMarketer reports that 3.4% of U.S. marketers’ total ad spending will go on CTV — and that is only forecasted to grow to 4.7% in 2023.

Regardless, Unruly found that CTV advertising performs better among consumers than linear TV. After seeing an ad on TV, compared to linear TV viewers, ad-supported CTV users are reportedly 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; and 45% more likely to visit a store or website.

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As the pandemic has rapidly accelerated the growth of CTV, 79% of survey respondents said they would continue watching ad-supported streaming services. Despite ongoing growth of SVOD, 73% of survey respondents said they would prefer to watch their favorite TV show for free with ads rather than pay for an ad-free access.

Another 65% said they “actively” seek ways to watch TV programs and films free of charge; 74% of 35-44 year-old respondents said they look for ad-supported TV content, followed by 71% of the 45-54 demo and 63% of the 55+ demo.

Another 64% of respondents said they 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.

“U.S. 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,” Terence Scroope, VP of insights and solutions at Unruly, said in a statement.