Consumers Embracing OTT Video, But Confusion Remains

Consumers — including linear pay-TV subscribers — are embracing streaming over-the-top video services, but there is still confusion around the content available on OTT, among other issues.

That was a key takeaway from a new study released by the video advertising platform Telaria and Adobe Advertising Cloud. The study, “Inside The Minds of Cord-Cutters and Cable-Keepers,” examines the viewing habits of consumers that still pay for linear TV, as well as those of cord-cutters.

For starters, almost 80% of “cable-keepers,” as Adobe and Telaria call them, also use a streaming video service. Nearly 25% of their time is spent watching streaming video. That data suggests widespread adoption of streaming, including from households that may not have turned to Internet-delivered video in the past.

The data also revealed confusion among those same consumers, particularly as it relates to what content is available outside of the traditional linear video bundle and where.

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Some 42% of respondents believed that to watch live sports, a cable bundle was required. (In fact, streaming bundles like FuboTV and YouTube TV have live sports through the same channels that are available on cable.)

Also, 20% of cable-keepers said they didn’t know how to access live TV without a pay-TV subscription, while 55% said that they find cord-cutting options to be confusing.

That confusion is particularly problematic for streaming services; many view traditional pay-TV subscribers as prime targets to switch to their services.

“Connected TV has become synonymous with TV watching for many viewers, but our research reveals there is still consumer confusion when it comes to all the services and options for viewing live streamed content,” Karen Ring, head of research at Telaria, tells Digital News Daily. “That being said, consumers are embracing linear OTT services and advertisers would be wise to keep apace with this shift in viewing behavior.” 

A bright spot for streaming: 30% of cable-keepers said they would cut the cord if they knew they could stream their favorite sports, live events and news programming online.

The current video landscape appears to be in a transition phase, with streaming video growing rapidly. Linear video is slow to decline. 

For advertisers, that transition presents new opportunities, particularly as it relates to incremental reach. Consumers that may not have been reliable TV viewers are increasingly using streaming services, allowing for targeted ad campaigns that can reach a wider array of demographics.

“As both traditional TV viewing and streaming via connected TVs grow and content options proliferate, many consumers are rightly viewing this as the golden age of television,” Hosana Thomas, product manager, Adobe Advertising Cloud, tells Digital News Daily. “To advertisers, this new fragmented era necessitates a new way of doing business — and many are embracing automating targeted buys across both linear and OTT to achieve the desired incremental reach and frequency.”

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