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Video: Is CTV Siphoning Off Dollars from Linear? It’s Complicated. (Part 9 of Learning Series)

Posted by Ashley J. Swartz on Jun 25, 2020 1:00:00 PM

This video explores the rise of CTV and whether it’s growing at the expense of traditional linear television. It’s the ninth in a series of educational videos Furious has produced in collaboration with Beet.TV. Below is a sampling of Part 9.

CTV is a catch-all phrase that encompasses built-in Smart TV interfaces, stand-alone streaming devices (e.g., Roku and Chromecast), connected video game systems and Blu-ray players. 

Forty percent of adults in U.S. TV households are now watching video on a TV set via a connected device daily, compared to only 1% in 2010. Meanwhile, eMarketer estimates that advertising spend for CTV will top $10 billion in 2021, while traditional TV is expected to decline by anywhere from $10 billion to $12 billion during the first half of 2020 due to COVID.

Time spent on traditional TV is clearly shifting to CTV (and this trend has probably accelerated during the pandemic), but what does it mean for advertising? Will every dollar lost in traditional TV ad spend be gained by CTV as the eMarketer data suggests?

It’s not a simple answer, and that’s because a TV dollar isn’t the same as a CTV dollar. CTV distributors’ unwillingness to overload their viewers with commercials is one reason for that.

Several distributors with the largest audiences have gone to market with guarantees of keeping ad loads down. For example, Roku platform GM Scott Rosenberg told AdExchanger that ad load is kept to eight minutes per streaming hour—less than half that of linear television—in the service of a better user experience.

When comparing apples to apples, there are probably fewer :30 ad units for sale in an hour of ad-supported streaming content than in an hour of linear TV as a result.

Because of its powerful targeting capabilities, I believe CTV is most valuable as a reach extension for linear TV in the short run—for national brands and local advertisers that buy cable and local broadcast alike. This is especially true in the COVID era, when advertisers will need to target messages based on how effectively a region has contained the spread of coronavirus and how “open” or “closed” it is as a result.

Looking to learn more? Stay up to date on TV and video terms with our TV Dictionary. 

TV Dictionary

This video was presented by #BeetU. For more videos from the event,  please visit this page.  

The original article was published by Beet.TV on June 10, 2020. The original article can be viewed at