What's The Frequency, Google? How Comscore Proved YouTube's CTV Worth

Google asked Comscore to examine 15 Super Bowl LVII campaigns that ran on YouTube. The company wanted to know how they reached viewers who watched the ads exclusively on connected TV (CTV). Here's what it found.

This is one way for Google to learn how to improve results and increase return on investment.

As advertisers finalize budgets for Super Bowl LVII, they need to take into consideration how the introduction of streaming services such as YouTube TV will fragment or shape how audiences watch the Big Game. 

Brian Pugh, CIO at Comscore, said the campaign focused on reaching certain age groups such as 18 to 39 years of age or 18 to 24 years of age.

TV is still effective in getting a lot of reach on a tentpole event, but you can't optimize the campaign to reach your full target audience unless the brand advertises on a platform like YouTube where people spend their time.

Gen Z is a major part of why YouTube achieved these results, according to Pugh. Based on the average viewing habits, there is a greater likelihood that when Gen Z viewers see an ad, they won’t be seeing it on linear. This Super Bowl campaign analysis proves the trend -- more than 60% of adults ages 18 to 34 who saw an ad on YouTube never saw it on linear TV.



What is linear television? Pugh defined it as live events and scheduled programs, rather than starting the show or content whenever a person wants. He said Comscore is working with the industry to use different inventory, from linear to streaming. The information will provide advice to marketers on how brands can reach certain audiences on specific platforms.

Hours of connected TV viewing increased 21% in May 2023 compared with May 2022, according to Comscore’s State of Streaming report released earlier this year.

During Super Bowl LVII, Comscore measured the reach of the campaign on YouTube CTV and on linear TV. The data shows YouTube reached 88% of adults 18 to 49 with a Super Bowl ad versus 68% on linear TV, according to Comscore. 

"While TV is still effective, it's important to mix the campaign with other media platforms," he said. "Also being able to measure the effectiveness to optimize the campaign to understand the channel mix. Buying on multiple channels is how you will reach your total audience."

Audience viewing habits continue to consolidate across screens, so it’s not only what viewers watch, but also where and how they consume content that matters to a campaign’s success.

Advertising on YouTube CTV can increase a campaign’s reach when used in combination with linear TV. This follows research with Comscore in 2022 that produced similar trends that continue to accelerate adoption. The latest analysis from Comscore shows CTV can generate equal or greater rates of incremental daily reach versus linear TV.

This shift reflects the use of WiFi today in the U.S. The average number of connected devices per household in the U.S. has risen quickly from 10 to 12 between January 2020 and January 2023. During the same time period, the number of households with smart TV devices has increased by 67%.

Comscore has observed a 64% spike in total hours watched on CTV.

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