The Rise of Connected TV: 2021’s Fastest Growing Digital Ad Channel Boomed So Quietly, You Probably Didn’t Even Hear It.

What’s Going On?

Our agency is asked daily: What channels should I be running on?

Although we pride ourselves on a tailored experience for our clients, we can’t turn a blind eye to overall industry trends. During the past year, Connected TV – shows you may watch on Hulu, Peacock, Roku, or any app via an internet-connected device – has grown by 59% and stolen the crown as having the most rapid growth in any single vertical. Even more impressively, the channel is expected to see 82% growth by 2023.

This may be surprising to some. What about Instagram? Or Youtube? These platforms, however, only saw 7% and 20% user increases, respectively. And although COVID certainly has played a role in increased digital media consumption, CTV popularity has proven itself to be relatively independent of stay-at-home orders. Cord-cutters – those that have made the switch from linear television to connected apps, pose a massive risk to traditional media. Just how massive? A whopping estimated 44% of all populations will be cutting cords this year. 

And, this makes sense– as digital solutions are developed, the question is posed: why would anyone pay $75/month for 250 channels they don’t watch when they could pay $30/month for all of the shows they actually care about?

With this said, CTV poses a lucrative opportunity for advertisers. On average, linear TV viewers endure 16 minutes of poorly-targeted commercials per (typically passive) hour while CTV viewers may enjoy 6 minutes or less of highly-relevant ad intermissions between shows they’ve sat down specifically to watch.

Guess who sticks around through commercial breaks? Yep – CTV viewers.

Getting Involved

Now, as a brand or advertiser, you may be asking yourself: How can I buy CTV ads? Although self-serve options are possible, we highly recommend utilizing an agency for your buys. Not only will your agency be more experienced in running the campaigns themselves, but they’re likely to save you money. Most agencies buy CTV impressions in bulk at a discount and have personal relationships with publishers, meaning they can pass savings on to your team (if you’re curious about how much you could save, reach out to our friendly team here).

But, in addition to reducing buying costs, a reputable agency will be able to increase efficiencies for you as well by helping you make the switch. Unlike traditional TV ads, your CTV ads can be targeted using first party audiences, channel or show, age/gender demos, and can even be non-skippable if you prefer.

If you’re looking to add CTV to your digital media plan (hint: you should be!), adaptation isn’t terribly difficult. From our team to yours – here are our best tips:

The Bottom Line

When all is said and done, a solid media plan will always straddle the line of tried-and-true tactics that are specific to your brand, and new tests pulled from industry trends that will likely be relevant to you. We absolutely recommend testing CTV if you believe it’s relevant for your brand, but as with any new tactic, please be sure to conduct a smaller, controlled test before scaling your spend.

Happy Connected TV buying!

Article knowledge and expertise provided by our very own Andrew Mullins


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