Cordless consumers are on track to exceed cable viewers within the next year, according to a survey of 4,000 U.S. adults conducted by YouGov for The Trade Desk’s latest “Future of TV” report.
The report also includes insights on advertisers’ views on streaming versus linear, based on a survey of 150 advertisers conducted by Advertiser Perceptions.
The consumer survey indicates that the shift to CTV is solidifying.
Nearly half (47%) of consumers said they’re already cordless, and 44% of those who currently have cable said they plan to drop or cut back cable service in the coming year.
Fully 60% of those ages 18 to 34, and 53% of those 35 to 54 — the demos most coveted by advertisers — said they don’t have cable.
Half (49%) of all viewers said they’re watching more TV since the pandemic began, and 80% of the 18-to-34 segment stream at least an hour of content through AVODs or vMVPDs per week.
The scarcity of live sports on linear during the pandemic was one key contributor to the shift to streaming, the research confirms.
Just 19% of TV viewers report returning to their pre-pandemic sports viewing habits. Further, among the 57% who watch sports at least once a week, 44% report using primary sources other than linear TV for sports. That increased to 65% among the young-adult sports viewer segment (18 to 34).
One-fifth of TV viewers said they plan to stream part of the upcoming Summer Olympics in Japan, and 25% said they plan to watch NFL games via streaming platforms.
The survey also indicates that cost concerns are making ad-supported streaming options more attractive.
Nearly two-thirds (64%) of TV viewers said they don’t want to spend more than $30 total per month on streaming services, and 44% said they watch streaming content with ads — versus 33% saying they watch such content without ads.
“We’re entering a new TV normal, where new streaming viewing models sit side by side with traditional TV formats,” sums up Tim Sims, chief revenue officer of The Trade Desk. That allows advertisers to achieve incremental reach through CTV while also leveraging data-driven targeting in a way that’s still not possible through linear, he notes.
Advertisers: CTV As Effective As Linear
Meanwhile, 92% of the 150 advertisers surveyed said that CTV is performs as well or better than linear in achieving KPIs, compared to just 8% saying that it’s not as effective.
Three quarters (74%) said that buying CTV ads in conjunction with live sports events can be more cost-effective and impactful than classic sports sponsorships.
In fact, more said they’re combining linear and CTV for major sports events rather than using linear or CTV alone:
Nearly three quarters (71%) said they planned to maintain or reduce their overall upfront TV investments this year, and even among linear TV ad buyers, 40% said they were seeking fewer upfront commitments for their brands.
But in part because of more focus on measurable outcomes (cited by 38%), nearly half (45%) reported that they’re increasing their CTV budgets compared with last year.
In addition, 91% of those who’ve shifted some budget money to CTV said they’ll maintain those shifts, or increase investments in CTV, going forward.
The CTV benefits most cited as driving budget shifts are audience quality (including reach to young consumers and cord cutters); incremental reach to linear; more precise targeting; and CTV measurement tools.
With increased pressure to demonstrate ROI, “advertisers want better cross-channel measurement and the ability to tie that measurement to actual business outcomes,” says Sims.
Even among linear TV ad buyers, 40% said they were seeking fewer upfront commitments for their brands this year, while 38% said they were seeking more of a focus on measurable outcomes.
Half of those surveyed said they’re taking steps to ensure that their teams are fluent in both linear and CTV ad-buying approaches rather than hiring new teams.
YouGov’s consumer online survey, conducted between April 27 and May 5, had a sample of 4,019, weighted to be representative of all U.S. adults (ages 18 and older).
Advertiser Perceptions surveyed 150 TV advertising planning and buying decision-makers with annual TV ad budgets above $5 million between April 22 and May 5.