retail media networks

Target CTV Research: Why Shoppers Love Streaming


Roundel, Target’s retail media network, is more bullish than ever on connected TV. New research on its shoppers reveals a 40% increase in time spent streaming last year, when linear TV viewing fell below 50%.

With 91% of Target shoppers subscribing to at least one streaming service, and 57% using a service that is ad-supported, the Minneapolis-based company says CTV has an especially strong appeal for CPG advertisers. In addition to being one of the few ways to reach cord-cutters, it enables CPG advertisers to gauge reach and household frequency more effectively. And it also offers more freedom regarding content type, such as QR codes.

Roundel’s research comes as the competition among retail ad networks intensifies, with Amazon and Walmart still dominating the market. With hundreds of retailers clamoring for ad dollars, each network is trying to claw out meaningful differentiation for the relatively new medium.



Target says it commissioned this research last year to “keep a pulse on changing behaviors,” says Justin Haynes, senior director of product at Roundel, in an email to Marketing Daily. “We are particularly interested in learning how to bring the best possible shopping experiences to consumers outside of traditional shopping channels and moments,” especially how they engage with streaming TV.

The study, conducted by Innovid, a software platform for the measurement and optimization of ads for CTV, linear TV, and digital, includes data from nearly 3,000 Target shoppers and an analysis of billions of CPG video ad impressions in 2023.

Among the most significant changes are a growing enthusiasm for interactive CTV campaigns, which grew 33% from 2022 to 2023. “We see continued opportunity for advertisers in this space,” Haynes, says. “Consumers are starting to express preferences for shoppable experiences and shifting their mindset to new ways of engaging via TV. We think it's important for brands to meet these consumer preferences.”

Elements like “Scan to Shop” or “Scan to Add to Cart” seem to create a sense of urgency, the research finds, and by maximizing QR codes’ time on screen and shortening the number of clicks required, advertisers can boost a campaign’s success.

Half of Target guests say they are apt to search for a product after seeing it on TV, and 33% say they will scan a QR code on their TV if they know it will take them to a familiar site.

But brands still have much to learn about creating high-impact CTV ads. “CTV is not 'TV,' so what worked there, including a one-and-done creative, isn't taking advantage of the best of the channel,” says Dan Mouradian, a senior vice president from Innovid, in an email to Marketing Daily. “And it is also not pure digital. You don't have a browser or a mouse. CTV is the best of both linear and digital, with interactivity, personalization and large format reach.”

He says that besides QR codes, more companies are exploring new formats, like pause ads and dynamic ads, personalized to different audiences.

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