As more people stay at home, either through choice or official lockdown, audiences increasingly depend on a self-curated mix of entertainment options.
In July 2020, SpotX launched its market study: CTV is for Everyone, with in-depth insights into CTV viewership in 2020. The study found that in Europe’s biggest markets, approximately 40% of all internet-enabled and TV households now own a smart TV. It also revealed that CTV viewership has grown to reach 50% of households in Europe’s five biggest markets and 45% of internet-enabled and TV households watch CTV on a regular basis.
Audiences are watching a mixture of OTT, on-demand, and live-streaming content, and the need for cross-device measurement will become even more critical in the year ahead. We strongly anticipate that products that enables advertisers to understand the incremental reach to linear TV driven by their OTT video activations will become “must have'' tools for advertisers in the new year.
There are indications of a trend towards high investment in OTT first platforms. There have been many research studies looking into the use of video services in Europe, our study being one example of many. Findings from most of these studies illustrate the increase in video consumption - one study uncovered that monthly spending on online streaming services has increased by over £100 million since the first lockdown in March. This compelling proof of CTV maturity into a lucrative market means it has never been more important for advertisers to reach these new audiences who are now on different platforms.
Audiences who have migrated to OTT devices and streaming-only services are becoming impossible to reach unless advertisers spend on OTT formats. Alongside the rise of OTT viewing, also comes the rise in AVOD. Commercial broadcasters are already offering their own AVOD services, such as ITV Hub and All4. However other AVOD platforms, such as Roku TV, Vudu and Pluto TV, are starting to build scale and to roll out internationally, leading some advertisers to believe that the 2020s will be the decade of AVOD services.
Effective campaigns must also include a balance between traditional TV and CTV if advertisers want to maximise their audience reach. As audiences realise the benefits of watching TV in a more flexible, personalised way, manufacturers will have a bigger opportunity to discover new ways to build and influence the viewer experience. Alongside campaigns, device manufacturers such as Samsung and LG will continue to explore ways to make smart TVs affordable and accessible to everyone, therefore bridging the gap between traditional and digital TV.
Traditional TV will continue to play a major role in 2021, but we predict that in the new year, video in all its formats will be everywhere for brands and marketers in 2021.