CTV Week: 5 things we learnt

Posted on Friday 29 October 2021 | IAB UK

Want to catch up? Read our round up of key themes from CTV Week

From the crème de la crème of creative to shared best practice principles, CTV Week brought together insight and advice from across the industry, as well as exploring where more progress is needed to encourage advertiser spend. Here’s a round up of what we learnt...


1. CTV isn’t killing linear TV

According to our Real Living research, there is a stark generational divide when it comes to whether people are watching TV live or on demand. 80% of over 55s and 56% of 35-54s are watching live TV every day, while 60% of all under 35s say they are not watching any live TV on a daily basis. This indicates that CTV and live broadcast are anything but adversaries and should be utilised together to maximise advertisers’ reach. This was a point echoed by Audience Project’s Amalie Schjønning who explained that “for our clients it’s about using CTV to build incremental reach on traditional TV audiences” rather than solely tapping into the micro targeting capabilities that CTV allows for. And as Roku, Inc.’s Mike Shaw said, CTV services are bringing a new lease of life to broadcast TV with “the medium now getting more attention, rather than less”. 

2. The pandemic has accelerated CTV trends 

“New viewing behaviours have been accelerated by COVID-19”, explained Samsung Ads’ Fanny Carouge, who shared findings from the company’s research with Ipsos Mori. Focused on five markets - the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy - the study shows that 50% have discovered new CTV services or programmes during the pandemic, while 83% now watch AVOD or SVOD weekly. Meanwhile, Samba TV’s Jay Fowdar shared an example of how contact lens brand Acuvue tapped into CTV during the pandemic - seeing an opportunity to reach new, engaged audiences. It used CTV to retarget audiences exposed to competitor TV creatives, as well as to target audiences of relevant programmes and core genres, i.e. health and fitness. The activity drove a 17% uplift in purchase intent and a 14% uplift in brand awareness. 

3. Don’t retrofit measurement strategies 

Measurement was a key topic of conversation during a debate hosted by Publica’s Paul Gubbins on what is holding back advertiser spend on CTV. As Xandr’s Karan Singh explained, the immersive nature of CTV means that we need to “rethink what measurement means and make sure we don’t make the mistake of treating it like display and using those core metrics”. Magnite’s Helen Keelan added that research shows that CTV is particularly effective at driving lower funnel activity, which should be taken into account when it comes to measurement strategies. As part of the Creative Workshop, The Trade Desk’s Patrick Morrell pinpointed measurement as a key area where more standardisation is needed. While he said that there are viable solutions available at the moment, there is a need for unification across the ecosystem. 

4. Storytelling x targeting is a powerful combo

CTV’s strength lies in its ability to unite the big screen storytelling potential of broadcast TV with sophisticated targeting techniques - allowing advertisers to access harder to reach audiences. There were some great examples of how different types of brands are using CTV advertising in unique ways at our Creative Workshop. For example, a partnership between Vevo and a retail brand allowed the advertiser to harness the escapism of music and align itself with artists such as Ray BLK and Big Zuu. Amongst its target audience of 18-34 year olds, the activity increased uplift in consideration by 12% and purchase intent by 8%. Meanwhile, Finecast’s Joel Wilkinson shared how Nio cocktails ventured into CTV to “build that scale and awareness and tell their story in a way that skippable ads can’t”. 

5. It’s a high attention medium  

Both our Real Living research and Samsung Ads’ cross-market study show how highly engaged CTV viewers are. We found that 69% of regular viewers say that they pay more attention to streamed TV than live, while Samsung Ads research concluded that 74% of CTV viewers really focus on what they are watching and forget about other things (vs 16% for linear TV). The value of this immersive environment was highlighted by Johnson & Johnson’s Rick Oakley, who joined Amazon Ads’ Laura Belchier on The IAB UK Podcast. Citing Peter Field’s media attention theory, Oakley said that Johnson & Johnson advertises alongside live sport such as the Premier League because it delivers guaranteed high levels of attention amongst a relevant audience. In his view, addressable TV “offers the best of both worlds” - high reach and the ability to target precisely. 


CTV Week is sponsored by Xandr. All of the events from CTV Week are available to watch back here

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