US consumers head to streaming and sharpen cord-cutting desires

A survey from ad tech firm Unruly has revealed more insight into the new normal since the outbreak of Covid-19 with connected TV (CTV) content consumption accelerating rapidly while linear TV viewership is declining, a trend which the video advertising platform says marketers continue to trail behind.
unruly survey 25Aug2020
In the Understanding And Making The Most Of CTV Post-Covid Unruly, surveyed a total of 1,600 US consumers in July 2020 as it investigated how the Covid-19 pandemic has been impacting consumer attitudes and consumption trends around connected TV (CTV). It found that overall 35% of US consumers have tried a new ad-supported streaming service since March 2020 and 42% now plan to cancel cable TV.

Yet despite these clear trends, Unruly says that media plans do not represent this change in consumption and are in danger of miss the opportunity to engage consumers on CTV. And as the pandemic has rapidly accelerated the growth of CTV, Unruly stressed that it was more important than ever before that brands understand and embrace the medium.

The study found that CTV advertising performs better than linear TV. After seeing an ad on TV, compared to linear TV viewers, ad-supported CTV users were 71% more likely to tell a friend about a brand; 53% more likely to search for a brand; 48% more likely to have an improved opinion of the brand; 52% more likely to buy a product; 45% more likely to visit a store or website.

Looking at content consumption preferences, the study found that almost three-quarters (73%) of US consumers say they would prefer to watch their favorite TV show for free with ads rather than pay for an ad-free experience and nearly two-thirds (65%) were actively seeking ways to watch TV programs and films free of charge. A similar percentage of consumers in the US were planning to reduce the amount they pay for TV services. Indeed, 44% plan to do so by reducing paid subscriptions and 42% intended to cancel their cable TV service.

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