In the UK, as in a growing number of countries worldwide, Connected Television (CTV) is one of the most used digital devices. CTV and Over-the-Top (OTT) content continues to dominate digital video marketing as one of fastest growing marketing sectors.
Year on year growth to 2022 has seen exceptional growth in video ad spend, further increasing 70% to a record £2.2bn. And that's in addition to the increases seen in programmatic CTV ad spend.
According to a recent study by eMarketer, UK ad spend is forecast to see continued growth throughout the current decade, reaching 66% of the entire UK population.
However the growth of CTV viewing is far from new, and is clearly following similar trends in the USA, which continue to lead the way in growth trajectory, as is typical with many advanced technologies.
According to the Real Living study from IAB UK, Connected Television devices are today only second to smart phones as the most used digital devices in British households.
This situation of course offers a massive opportunity for advertisers and indeed any business wanting to get in front not only of mass markets but also those needing to target highly specific niche markets. This is enabled due to the nature of CTV and how it is delivered, together with the innate ability to closely monitor and target viewer demographics – across many digital channels.
A large percentage of the UK population now has access of volumes of free-to-view content through the various connected devices such as Smart TVs, mobile phones and gaming consoles. And the fluidity with which streaming media is increasingly consumed, from desktop to mobile to now being totally cross-device, with many viewing on the largest screen in the household. And its regularly a shared experience, with most streamers watching with a partner, other family member or friend, which will of course significantly augment the real viewer numbers.
With the wealth of connectivity and on-demand services that now surround us, CTV is far from being an occasional activity – for many viewers it is the primary way they watch television. And, importantly for advertisers, studies indicate that regular CTV viewers are also more accepting of ads in exchange for free online services. A fact demonstrated over many years in the UK through the general availability of competing ad-supported programming (ITV) and licence-supported programming (BBC).
Thus, as the shift towards CTV continues ever onwards, and viewers actively seek ad-supported content to access free streaming video, brands large and small would be wise to evaluate and adapt their video strategies to ensure their media plans, and marketing in general, are reflective of today’s consumer viewership.