IAB: OTT Viewers Notice Ads, Discuss Brands

BY Kathy Crosett
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More consumers are choosing to watch OTT TV these days. It’s only fair to ask if these viewers are noticing marketers’ messages, especially if they’re enjoying a favorite program with friends or family members. The IAB set out to find the answer to this question and published its findings in the  “The OTT Co-​Viewing Experience: 2017” report.

At least 90% of consumers between the ages of 13 and 64 enjoy watching TV with others, whether it’s OTT, DVR, on-​demand or live.  The IAB reports that OTT viewers tend to be younger (aged 18–34.) They are also more like to be Hispanic and watch TV with their kids or spouse. Other than linear (traditional TV) viewing, the OTT crowd is the most likely to watch shows with companions.

OTT viewers also share the following important characteristics:

  • The viewing time spent on ad-​supported programming is twice as high as it is for subscription-​based programming.
  • Over 1/​3 of viewing time is devoted to live TV

These consumers do not watch programming and ads in silence. They discuss the content they’re enjoying with their companions. In fact, over half of these folks talk about specific products and brands. They may be asking each other if they’ve tried a reformulated shampoo or tasted a new cereal. The interest doesn’t stop at conversation, either. These consumers, often two-​screeners, research what they’ve seen online. During TV shows, they're turning to smartphones and tablets to check out details. Once they gather the information they want, they may make an online purchase.

Reps should share the details of this study with their clients and encourage them to invest in TV ads. Consumers may not give ads their undivided attention, but they are noticing the touted products and services. Even better, the people they are watching TV with may provide an additional nudge to turn curious consumers into customers.