Connected TV

Connected TV Misconceptions

Written by Tim Edmundson

Connected TV, known as CTV, IPTV, or “OTT” (Over the Top), allows viewers to stream from premium content creators including all major TV networks, as well as many cable and digital content creators like Bravo, Twitch, or Crackle. The ad supported programming is viewed through apps for smart TVs, desktop, mobile, or over-the-top (OTT) devices, including Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, as well as many gaming consoles. This allows cord cutters and streamers to replace or supplement their traditional cable bundle.

Consumers aren’t the only ones who are excited about CTV — advertisers are eager to run their ads on this new digital channel. And while some are ready to take the plunge, other advertisers may be a bit hesitant thanks to all the myths and misconceptions that have built up around CTV.

We aim to clear some things up in the first of our two part series on Connected TV misconceptions. Let’s do some myth busting.

Misconception: It’s Not Big Enough to Matter Now

Connected TV advertising isn’t tomorrow’s opportunity — it’s today’s. Some advertisers may believe that because this is a relatively new medium, it lacks substantial reach. That’s simply not true.

> 168 million Americans used Connected TV devices in the US in 2017 | That’s over half of the population of the United States. And according to eMarketer estimates, that number will continue to surge, with 194 million CTV device owners by the year 2021. With a number that big, every brand is practically guaranteed to have a sizable audience available to them, especially since the fastest growing CTV audience is on ad supported content.

> There were over 22 million Cord Cutters in the US in 2017 | That number went up over 33% compared to the previous year, and is expected to rise to 40 million by 2021 according to eMarketer projections. If you break that number down to monthly, it’s basically like the entire population of Miami cutting the cord every 30 days. These cord cutters are moving to CTV, and if you aren’t advertising there, you’re missing out on an enormous amount of potential customers.

> CTV ad revenue is expected to reach $31.5 billion in 2018 | More brands are getting their ads live on CTV, with ad revenue expected to keep growing. For frame of reference, TV captured roughly $71.3 billion in domestic revenues in 2016, according to eMarketer.  

> Major content providers and networks already have CTV offerings | These include heavy hitters like CBS, Fox Sports, Hulu, Twitch, HGTV, WB, CNN — and more are being added each month.

> There is a premium audience using CTV | 22% of daily ad requests for CTV are during the primetime hours of 8:00-10:00 PM, meaning a large number of viewers are tuning out of traditional TV during hours when premium ads are running.

There’s plenty more data to show that CTV is an opportunity that needs to be seized, but we’ve found that too many stats at once can make people’s eyes glaze over, so we’ll end it here. But trust us, the time is now to get on CTV.

Misconception: It’s Too Complex to Understand

Another common misconception is the idea that Connected TV is complicated and difficult to understand. The truth is, it’s really not. As stated in a SpotX OTT white paper, “It’s actually pretty easy, we just say it’s television, delivered in a different way.”

And while that “different way” can in fact be the cause of confusion, it’s not too difficult a challenge to overcome. Yes, the number of streaming services, content providers, and OTT devices may seem like a lot — but that’s what SteelHouse is for. It can be a complex ecosystem if you try and approach it piecemeal, but you can say the same about any advertising. Imagine going from network to network, provider to provider, and working a deal for ads on their service at scale — it can be a bit overwhelming.

SteelHouse breaks down all that complexity with reach that connects all those apps and networks together, allowing you to serve ads everywhere your audience may be. This allows advertisers to buy their audience instead of buying the programs some of the audience might be watching like with traditional television. That means you pay only for their target audience, and know their reach, engagement and conversions — all from one place. How’s that for complexity?

The Time is Now

Don’t let the misconceptions around Connected TV stop you from considering it as an advertising option. The facts show that it’s an opportunity that really can’t be ignored — it’s where audiences are migrating, and where other brands are seeing a chance to reach hard-to-reach cord cutters.

With our next entry in our CTV Misconceptions series, we look to dispel the notion that it’s too expensive, that the ads are easily skippable, and it doesn’t mix well with digital. Be sure to check it out.

To see how your brand can benefit from running ads on CTV, request a demo here.