Does Connected Television Viewership Cannibalize or Complement Traditional Linear TV?

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Posted on Oct 12, 2017 by Devin Fallon, Director of Media Insights & Analytics at YuMe

With 98 million households subscribing to cable or satellite service as of early 2017, the reality is traditional linear TV certainly isn’t going anywhere in the near term. Slowly but surely, however, I believe, that the way consumers watch TV is becoming more fragmented across screens – mobile, tablet, laptop and the living room. It’s also shifting toward digital, with the advent of streaming, apps and connected, smart TVs. Earlier this year we published a study that found in the first four weeks of CTV device ownership, CTV content consumption accounted for roughly 12.5% of total TV viewership. And rather than building upon traditional TV viewership, we found CTV consumption beginning to erode viewers’ existing time spent on broadcast, cable, and DVR, serving as a replacement rather than an addition.

Many new tech categories benefit from a novelty effect, which means that the heaviest usage tends to occur within the first few weeks of ownership. CTV, however, is no longer a new phenomenon. Thanks to established players and the proliferation of smart TVs, CTV is now a  daily part of consumers’ media lifestyles, accounting for a larger and larger share of viewership time. A June comScore study found that average daily over the top (OTT) consumption comes to an hour and 40 minutes, accounting for nearly a third of total TV viewership. If we reconcile YuMe’s study of early CTV device owners’ viewership with comScore’s daily average CTV consumption, there is an anticipated increase in CTV viewership over time. This increase is likely due to a variety of factors including:

  • Availability of content (entire seasons/series available for binging at the viewers’ fingertips)
  • Heavy promotion of original programming from streaming giants (the recent Emmy award winner’s list is evidence that this category is quickly becoming the “must see TV” of the new age)
  • Normalization of binge viewing in popular culture
  • Lower ad load compared to traditional linear TV

As consumption shifts to more CTV channels, it’s important to remember that while marketers who work in the media industry may draw a clear distinction between traditional linear TV and CTV, the average consumer isn’t necessarily so discerning (it’s all TV to them). Consumers are interested in finding the easiest and most convenient way to access the content they want to watch, when they want to watch it, so they’ll reach for whichever device gives them ready access to content they love.

Because of this, it’s vitally important for brands to utilize every avenue of advertising available to them to make sure they are capturing viewers’ attention wherever and whenever they’re finding content – in the living room, at work and on the go.  It is also equally important to find an ad tech partner that understands the necessity of cross-screen campaigns, and can optimize campaigns for cross-screen audience targeting, sequential messaging, frequency capping and cross-screen attribution and reporting.

Forward-Looking Statements

This posting contains forward-looking statements.  In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by the words “may,” “will,” “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “objective,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “project,” “potential,” “continue” and “ongoing,” or the negative of these terms, or other comparable terminology intended to identify statements about the future.  All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, statements about the adoption of CTV and related advertising; and other market trends.  These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, assumptions and other factors that could cause actual results and the timing of events to differ materially from future results that are expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements.  These risks are discussed under “Risk Factors” in YuMe’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2017 that has been filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), and in our future filings and reports with the SEC.  The forward-looking statements in this post are based on information available to YuMe as of the date hereof, and we assume no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.