Americans spend up to 20 hours a week streaming video. In fact, the time spent streaming video skyrocketed in the last year, up 74 percent. Now, 25 percent of all time spent watching TV is done through a streaming platform or device, according to the August 2020 Nielsen Total Audience Report.

As video streaming continues to grow in popularity, savvy marketers have taken advantage of connected TV advertising as a way to reach audiences who have shifted from viewing traditional broadcast and cable channels. Connected TV advertising allows businesses to better target viewers and measure their results.

What is Connected TV advertising?

Connected TV or over the top (OTT) TV refers to streaming video delivery via devices with an internet connection. These devices include smart TVs, computers, phones, tablets or other smart devices, such as gaming consoles, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Roku, Chromecast and more.

Brands can reach audiences on streaming devices through connected TV advertising, an invaluable tool when many consumers now stream video to watch TV and online content.

“Connected TV advertising combines the broad reach of TV advertising with the specific targeting and measurability of digital marketing campaigns,” said Travis Ziemke, media director. “We expect a connected TV advertising boom in the next few years.”

Benefits of Connected TV Advertising

As more Americans increase time spent streaming video, marketers are investing in the medium, so much so that the money spent on connected TV advertising is projected to double from nearly $7 billion in 2019 to about $14 billion by the end of 2023. Conversely, advertising on broadcast and cable channels will decrease across the board in 2020, even though more homebound viewers tuned into those platforms than during the previous year.

The ability to precisely target an audience is one of the many benefits that interests marketers. Connected TV campaigns allow you to target viewers by age, gender, interests, streaming device and geography. While more traditional TV advertising allows marketers to reach a geographically targeted audience through cable zones, connected TV advertising allows marketers to narrow their audience to a particular neighborhood.

A decade ago, a business looking to advertise to an audience interested in home improvement, for example, ran commercials during home-related shows on broadcast or cable channels. Now, through digital platforms, brands can target individuals who bought a home in the last five years in specific neighborhoods.

With broadcast and cable TV advertisements, brands knew how many spots they had and roughly how many people were watching it. With connected TV or OTT, you have the same information while having a much better idea of who your audience is.

“With broadcast and cable TV advertisements, brands knew how many spots they had and roughly how many people were watching it,” Travis said. “With connected TV or OTT, you have the same information while having a much better idea of who your audience is.”

Along with precise targeting, connected TV advertising offers more detailed metrics, such as impressions (the number of times an ad is displayed), conversions (the number of times viewers clicked to the brand’s website from the ad) and frequency (the number of times the ad was delivered to one person). Campaigns can be adjusted in real time to maximize your return of investment. If a brand’s target audience is engaging only on certain days or times, the ad buy can be adjusted during the middle of the campaign to run during the optimal time period. And because connected TV combines digital advertising with traditional TV advertising, brands can retarget individuals who interacted with their connected TV ad for related digital campaigns.

It’s typically more affordable than standard television ads when you look at the cost per thousand. Advertisers also get more bang for their buck by being able to optimize the campaign while it’s running.

Another benefit of connected TV advertising: cost. “It’s typically more affordable than standard television ads when you look at the cost per thousand,” Travis said. “Advertisers also get more bang for their buck by being able to optimize the campaign while it’s running.”

Expand Your Strategy

While the many benefits of connected TV advertising may make marketers eager to use the platform, the approach shouldn’t completely replace broadcast and cable advertising … yet!

Connected TV advertising is just one tool in the marketing toolbox. You still can reach robust audience segments on broadcast and cable, especially people 35 and older who don’t stream video as much as younger generations. Additionally, traditional TV viewership increased significantly in 2020 as more people stayed home. By the end of March 2020, major broadcast networks saw an increase in daytime viewership between 18 and 36 percent, according to data from Comscore. Additionally, seven cable news networks received a nearly 75 percent increase in live viewership.

Now is a great time for brands to compare connected TV campaigns with more traditional TV advertising, and they can get started with the same video assets they already have.

Now is a great time to try connected TV advertising as winter approaches and more people are indoors in front of their screens.

“It’s not like you have to reshoot commercials. Brands can simply round out their advertising strategy,” Travis said. “Now is a great time to try connected TV advertising as winter approaches and more people are indoors in front of their screens.”

As Americans’ love affair with video streaming deepens, advertisers need to reach potential customers where they spend the majority of their time. Trilix has the know-how to help your brand advertise through connected TV platforms.