SpotX Report Declares That ‘CTV Is for Everyone’

(Image credit: SpotX)

Streaming has grown into a mainstream activity, and in a new report, SpotX declares that Connected TV, or CTV, is for everyone.

“CTV has now progressed beyond being a new entrant to the market. It’s not a fad or short-lived tech trend, and it isn’t just for digital natives and millennial hipsters,” SpotX said in the report. “We have seen CTV move from an early adopter technology to the early majority phase of consumer adoption. This year is a coming of age period for CTV.”

CTV households have grown to 70 million homes from 60 million in 2018. At the same time, the number of non-pay TV homes increased to 48.9 million from 32 million, according to the report. About 21 million of the 80.5 million homes with pay TV also are watching CTV.

The findings noted in this report are reflective of the moment in time immediately preceding COVID-19 and so we expect that both the volume and the regularity of these findings have only continued to grow, SpotX notes.

In a survey, SpotX found that among CTV consumers, 85% own a paid subscription to a streaming service. But 80% of them said they did not intend to increase their spending on subscriptions in the next 12 months.

It is typical for CTV consumers to own multiple subscriptions, also known as a “subscription stack.” Most subscribers spend between $4 and $29 a month on their subscriptions, others pay up to $69 a month in total, and very few are spending beyond that threshold.

Most CTV viewers say that the maximum amount of subscriptions they would be interested in owning at any given time is four.

There are typically three viewers for every paid subscription as it is common for family and friends to co-view within the household and to share subscription access with people outside of the home. Only 1 in 4 consumers have a subscription that they do not share with anyone else

Households with kids are significantly more likely than others to have three or more subscriptions. In addition, the higher a consumer’s household income, the more likely they are to have more subscriptions.

The report said the average time spent streaming per day is now three hours – a big increase from 46 minutes two years ago.

“Of consumers we spoke to, 63% stream content daily, 27% stream content at least a few times a week, and only 10% stream less often than that,” the report said. 

The CTV audience is highly engaged, watches regularly, and for long periods of time, as 26% of viewers watch more than 30 hours per week. Saturday and Sunday are the most active streaming days. Live TV commands one-third of streaming consumer attention.

SpotX said that CTV represents an opportunity for advertisers.

"While it is undeniable that most CTV viewers regularly watch Netflix, we found that 4 out of 5 streamers watch ad supported programming and 60% would prefer to watch free content over a paid ad-free service,” the report said.

There are pitfalls for advertisers, with 36% saying their biggest issue is being shown the same ad too many times while 28% find it creepy when ads follow them from one screen to another, including on CTV. The majority--71%--said they are concerned about how their personal information is being used for advertising purposes.

That said, CTV is valuable because every type of consumer can be reached by TV and those viewers are highly engaged, watching three hours of content per day. 

“Our recommendation: Advertisers should follow the audience,” the report said. “Traditional TV remains the number one choice for achieving scale, but with a median viewer age of 58.7 years, it is a graying audience and gradually becoming less reflective of America’s dynamic society. CTV mirrors our national consumer make-up – diverse, digital, and demanding. It has become the ideal way to reach specific audiences effectively at scale.”

“As a neighborhood-based brand, especially as we head into the clutter and chaos of election time, the role of CTV to enable Pearle Vision to engage, educate, and motivate our neighbors to take action has become increasingly more important. We’ve tested CTV and found it to be a strong medium both nationally and, critically, at the local level to ensure we put our brand on the brain of our target consumer efficiently and effectively.” Doug Zarkin VP and CMO of Pearle Vision said in the report.

“CTV has become a larger piece, if not a majority, of the overall video strategy and landscape. Statistics continue to prove the aggressive growth in cord-cutters and cord-nevers, making CTV a lucrative landscape to reach the proper audience in a relevant moment. Coupled with the opportunity to provide incremental reach to linear, and a more sophisticated audience targeting capability, CTV should and will continue to grow as a part of buyer strategy and approach for the next year and beyond,” said Rahil Berani, VP, Precision, Digitas North America.

The SpotX survey was conducted in February by Mintel, which questioned 1,500 people who declared they watched CTV at least once a month.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.