Ads on CTV more attention-grabbing than on linear TV and social video

CTV: more attention-grabbing than linear (Getty Images/simpson33)
CTV: more attention-grabbing than linear (Getty Images/simpson33)

Study shows 65% of UK’s connected TV viewers willing to watch ads in return for free SVOD.

Connected TV achieves a significantly higher level of attention than linear TV and social video, with CTV viewers watching advertising for an average 12.2 seconds before looking away, three seconds longer than for linear and five times longer than for YouTube, according to research.

In the study, commissioned by ShowHeroes Group, 80% of European viewers said they preferred CTV over YouTube and linear TV, while that percentage dropped to 72% for UK viewers.

CTV – defined in the study as viewing on smart TVs and streaming devices – achieved an attention rate among European consumers of 82%, compared with linear's 69% and social video's 42%.

The research, conducted by COG, used eye-tracking glasses and "electrodermal response sensors" to measure viewers' attention spans, the results of which were combined with a quantitative survey of 2,100 respondents in seven European markets.

In the UK, more than 50% of viewers watch more CTV than linear, the study found, while, on average, CTV users have two or three SVOD subscriptions. There was good news for Netflix, given its stated plans to introduce ad-funded subscription tiers – 65% of all CTV viewers would be willing to watch content for free in exchange for watching ads.

According to the study, UK consumers considered advertising on CTV was more "more relevant, higher quality and has less advertising overall" than on linear and social video such as YouTube.

Other UK findings included that:

  • 57% of users were interested in seeing a CTV ad with a QR code included
  • 37% already used a QR code that was included in an ad
  • 74% of users preferred ads to be relevant to the content they were watching
  • UK CTV users were open to more creative and interactive ad formats being used by advertisers

From a pan-European perspective, the research found 43% of users had searched for a product, a third had visited an advertiser's website, and a fifth had actively bought a product because of seeing an ad on CTV.

Not surprisingly, 67% of users said they would prefer to watch CTV ads relevant to the content they were viewing.

Sarah Lewis, ShowHeroes Group's global director, CTV, said: "This wide-ranging experiment is the first time we've seen exactly how user experience manifests itself, both as an emotional and attention-based response in front of the CTV screen, and within a wider mass sample of European viewers.

"Because of the high attention that users have in relation to CTV content, paired with high engagement levels, our research shows that connected TV really hits the sweet spot when it comes to delivering a positive ad experience."

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