Do you remember what you were doing two years ago in the summer of 2018? The likelihood is that despite it not being that long ago, life looks quite different now.
Two years ago, I joined SpotX to pursue an interest in advanced TV and streaming video. At that time connected TV (CTV) still felt like an emerging technology and somewhat of an unproven medium – it is amazing how much has changed since then.
In 2018, eMarketer estimated that 32 million households in the US were non-pay-TV or streaming-only households (households that didn’t pay for cable/satellite). That number has grown to 48.9 million in 2020. During that same timeframe, CTV households have grown from 60 million to 70 million (Comscore) – meaning that those streaming-only households now represent over a third of all TV households in America – clearly demonstrating the massive shift away from traditional TV to streaming. We’ve also seen similar growth in Europe where CTV is now watched in 61.5 million households.
How much do we really know about CTV viewers?
There are many examples of how CTV has grown over the past couple of years, but how much do we actually know about CTV viewers?
SpotX recently partnered with leading consumer research firms in the US and Europe for our “CTV Is for Everyone: An in-depth look at connected TV viewership” report, in which we uncover more about the people who choose to watch CTV, including:
- Who are CTV viewers?
- Which services do they subscribe to?
- When are they watching?
- How often do they watch?
- How tolerant of ads are they?
- How do they access content?
- Who do they watch with?
- What do they watch?
The findings tell us that CTV viewership is much more diverse than it is given credit for. As CTV has grown, the composition of the audience has developed. What was initially a medium heavily made up of young, tech-savvy, digital natives has now become more reflective of the national population. Reaching all ages, ethnicities, socioeconomic groups, geographic markets, and household types – CTV is for everyone.
A few things we learned that may surprise you
- The CTV audience is more mature than expected. The median age of CTV viewers in the US is 45, while in Europe it is 43. CTV is typically thought of as a way to reach young audiences but the reality is that all age groups are watching CTV at scale.
- Time spent has increased dramatically. In 2018, average daily viewing in the US was 46 minutes, today CTV viewers are watching three hours of programming per day.
- Most CTV viewers watch ad-supported content. While ad-free services like Netflix and Disney+ are indisputably popular, we found that 4 out of 5 CTV viewers in the US and 7 out 10 in Europe also watch ad-supported content, with most in both regions saying they prefer to watch free-to-view programming versus paying to watch the same content without ads.
CTV audience profiles
Now that such a richly diverse, highly engaged audience watches CTV, we are able to identify distinct viewership segments that will particularly appeal to advertisers. We found that in both the US and Europe there are four clearly defined audience segments.
- Jet streamers
- Do-it-all streamers
- Silver streamers
Each of these audience types has unique attributes, viewing behaviors, and interests that we describe in detail in our report, “CTV Is for Everyone.”
Download the full report to learn more:
Please feel free to reach out to [email protected] with questions or comments.
About the author
Paul Calderbank is the Director of Marketing Insights and Innovation at SpotX, where he leads the development of sales-focused marketing material and is a senior custodian of the SpotX brand. He has an extensive background in media and advertising, including marketing roles at Gannett and Haymarket Media, and leadership roles at several ad agencies. He has served on the management team of a successful startup acquired by Oracle Data Cloud, where he went on to build and manage the Media & Entertainment consultancy team. Originally from Manchester, England, Paul currently lives with his wife and two children in Denver, Colorado.