It’s undeniable that connected TV (CTV) viewership has skyrocketed, and it’s quickly evolved into a can’t-miss component of your media plan. In fact, over one-third of all US TV households can only be reached by CTV.
The fourth quarter of 2020 will be competitive with high demand for holiday shopping campaigns and the potential for political preemption. Now is the time to review your media planning process to ensure it addresses the unique nuances of the CTV market. I spoke more about this during our SpotX Connect virtual experience, which you can watch below.
Finding your audience on CTV
Who exactly is watching CTV? First, let’s start with some of the misconceptions we often hear about CTV. It’s not exclusively digital natives and millennials who are watching. CTV reaches all age groups, ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, and family compositions.
Our latest research report, CTV is for Everyone, shows that 40% of US adults are CTV consumers. They’re watching for an average of three hours per day, which is nearly four times longer than the average viewer in 2018. We also see engagement across a diverse range of content genres and subscription types, with 4 out of 5 viewers watching ad-supported content.
We identified four distinct CTV audience profiles to help advertisers understand and reach viewers:
- Streamloaders, who are between 18 and 24 years old, choose to stream because they can watch for free by borrowing a subscription or watching free ad-supported content.
- Jet streamers are millennial professionals who are likely to subscription-stack, own multiple large screens, and use CTV as the primary way to access televised content.
- Do-it-all streamers, busy balancing work and family life, are also likely to own multiple paid subscriptions, watch a mix of ad-free and ad-supported content, and stream to multiple screens at once.
- Silver streamers, aged 55+, enjoy the freedom of on-demand content and are the most likely to watch with a partner and during the daytime.
So, we can say with certainty that your grandma is streaming CTV, as are the grandchildren and everyone in between.
Sharpening your approach to CTV planning
So now that we know a bit more about who is watching, let’s review four key considerations to help you sharpen your oversight of CTV planning and make your next campaign a success.
- Consider seasonality. Ensure you understand the forecasted supply and demand trends that are influencing the market at any given time. The 2020 election cycle, upcoming holiday shopping season, and other marquee events influence demand for specific audiences and inventory. Don’t underestimate the competitiveness of the market and constraints on supply. Take the time to adjust your bid strategy accordingly so you don’t get shut out. We’ve seen effective CPM (eCPM) rates bounce back from the beginning of the pandemic this spring and begin to grow again, which will also affect your bid strategy.
- Understand marketplace dynamics. Analyze the current clearing rates, evaluate inventory that is in high demand, and identify potential look-alike inventory to ensure that planned campaigns are aligned to marketplace conditions so they deliver in full. Also be sure that you’re thinking through cross-screen campaign supplementation to ensure you’re reaching your target audience at scale.
- Enhance control of your buy. Optimize your campaign reach and frequency while tapping into key performance metrics, such as video completion rate, conversions on your call to action, and other attribution factors. This wealth of insights available with CTV campaigns — including granular reporting at the network, show, and episode level — will empower you to continually optimize and improve your oversight of audience engagement.
- Leverage the latest opportunities with audience management. CTV also gives unparalleled opportunity to manage the frequency that your ad is served to any given consumer. You may layer on first- and third-party data for precise targeting, giving you the confidence that your ad is reaching your ideal audiences throughout your campaign flight.
As viewers and viewing time continue to grow rapidly, it’s time to follow the audience and make sure CTV has a prominent spot in your media plan. Navigating this evolving medium can be challenging, so understanding who is watching, their behaviors, and the steps necessary to successfully reach these viewers will help you to refine your oversight of audience planning on CTV.
Cassidy Diamond is the VP of Brand Partnerships at SpotX, leading the Demand Facilitation team that supports Fortune 500 advertisers. Cassidy joined SpotX in 2014 to help brands navigate programmatic supply partnerships, while transitioning media operations in-house. During her time at SpotX, she has been instrumental in evolving brand relationships through a variety of initiatives, most notably establishing preferred supply-side partnerships and launching the SpotX Brand Advisory Board.