Connected television (CTV) has been considered the new kid on the block since its emergence as a complement to satellite, cable and IPTV. It is a way for audiences to watch streamed video on large screens via an internet connection with increased choice and more flexibility.
Consumers across Europe have continued to join the movement of accessing television through streaming services and CTV has now progressed beyond its status as a complement to traditional services and is now considered a replacement. It is not a fad or short-lived tech trend, and it is not just for digital natives or members of the millennial generation – CTV is for everyone.
Viewership figures support this concept. Multiple sources indicate that the CTV audience size has steadily increased over the past few years and that the proliferation of smart TVs, in particular, has accelerated access to CTV content in homes across Europe.
That is why now, as we enter the connected decade, SpotX has taken a closer look at the state of CTV viewership behaviour across Europe’s five largest markets.
Conducted by research firm Statista, the report reveals the latest data identifying the characteristics of CTV viewers in the big five markets.
The findings, complemented by unique insights from Samsung Ads Europe, aim to help advertisers better understand CTV usage trends across Europe as well as effectively reach the growing number of consumers adopting the technology in specific markets.
10 key takeaways:
- Scale exists and it’s here to stay
In Europe’s biggest markets, approximately 40% of all internet-enabled and TV households now own a smart TV. When we add streaming devices and gaming consoles, we see a 50% reach in CTV viewership – representing 61.5 million households.
- CTV bridges the generational divide
CTV viewership appeals to all ages and lifestyles across all of the Big 5 European markets. We found that contrary to popular belief, Generation X represents the largest generational segment, representing 43% of all CTV viewers (more than Generation Z and millenials, which represent a combined 32%).
- Once audiences watch, they can’t stop
Half of all CTV viewers watch on a daily basis. Almost all watch weekly. CTV viewership is not an occasional activity; it happens regularly and, for many CTV viewers (56%), it is the primary way they watch television.
- Convenience beats cost
Flexibility and variety are the top reasons people watch CTV. Cost, on the other hand, is not a significant consideration, with only 6% of European respondents ranking it as the most important reason that they stream. CTV’s appeal is that it offers more variety and control to the viewer – often through ad-supported content – than traditional forms of television.
- CTV builds a natural home for advertising
CTV offers an abundance of free-to-view content. The majority of CTV viewers (69%) say they watch ad-supported content and more than half (58%) say that they prefer to watch free ad-supported programming versus paying for an ad-free experience.
- When it comes to subscriptions, three’s a crowd
We found that across all the major European markets, households owned an average of one to two subscriptions. CTV viewers are highly unlikely to increase their paid subscriptions despite viewing hours trending upwards. In fact, 3 in 4 respondents say that they do not plan to change the number of subscription services they pay for or how much they spend on subscription services in the next 12 months.
- The more the merrier
CTV viewership is a shared experience. Most streamers watch with a partner (61%) or with children and family members (32%). Only 24% say they usually watch by themselves.
- CTV is in the moment, not just for catching up
CTV viewership in Europe is not just video on demand, as 28% of respondents say that they regularly watch live and simulcast entertainment. Of those that do watch live programming, comedy, news, and sports are the most frequently watched content genres.
- TVs really are getting smarter
Two-thirds of CTV viewers say they use a smart TV to stream content, versus 20% who use streaming devices and 17% who use gaming consoles. Three-quarters say they use a smart TV most frequently, versus 16% who use streaming devices and 9% who use consoles.
- CTV is universally accessible and is a format for everyone
The average annual household income (after-tax) in Europe’s Big 5 markets is approximately €40k. We found that CTV households are representative of the general population, with the average CTV household earning between €30k and €50k.
Download the full report for insights into the big 5 European markets.