• Research: CTV Audiences Reflect U.S. Diversity and Age Profiles

    Connected TV audiences reflect the diversity and age profiles of the U.S. population, making it a better platform for advertisers to achieve their key performance objectives compared to traditional TV (TV consumed though set-top boxes or over the air), according to Magnite’s new “CTV is for Everyone: U.S. 2021” report.

    The percentage of Black viewers (13%) and Hispanic/LatinX viewers (20%) watching CTV match their respective share of the U.S. population. Asian viewers watching CTV slightly over-indexes their share of the U.S. population (8% vs. 7%). White viewers watching CTV slightly under-indexes their share of the U.S. population 59% vs. 60%). Importantly, the research found that traditional TV over-indexes for white viewers (69% vs. 60%) while under-indexing across Black, Hispanic and Asian audiences.

    Magnite believes CTV’s diversity will continue to grow as streaming services serve demand by investing further in more culturally diverse programming. As this plays out, a reinforcing cycle would take hold as more diverse audiences watch more diverse streaming programming, in turn attracting more ad spending from brands targeting these audiences. In other words, Magnite believes, as I do, that programming diversity is not only the right thing to pursue because diversity is America’s strength, but because diverse CTV audiences will be demanded by advertisers.

    Beyond diversity, Magnite also found that CTV’s audience more accurately reflects the age representation among total TV viewers than does traditional TV, which strongly over-indexes for older audiences, 55 years+, while under-indexing against all younger groups. 54% of traditional TV’s viewers are 55+ year olds, while 31% of CTV’s viewers are in this age group, exactly the same percentage as total viewers.

    Traditional TV’s biggest age under-indexing is among younger viewers. Just 5% of 16-24 year olds watch traditional TV, vs. 14% watching CTV (total viewers is 13%, while just 9% of millennials watch traditional TV, vs. 20% watching CTV, exactly the percentage of total viewers). No surprise, Magnite found that CTV reaches 86% of households with children, making it highly likely children’s viewership is now also highly tilted to CTV.

    Beyond the diversity and age insights, the report also includes important findings on the mix of ad-supported and ad-free content consumed via CTVs. The 2021 research found that approximately 90% of CTV viewers watch ad-supported video, up from approximately 80% a year ago. The amount of ad-supported content watched (47%) is now almost equal to the amount of ad-free content watched (53%). Magnite attributes this to the explosion of ad-supported programming via free ad-supported services (FASTs) like Pluto, Tubi, Xumo and others.

    The growth in ad-supported viewing strongly aligns with why Colin and I asserted in last Friday’s podcast that HBO Max’s decision to go direct-to-consumer, and to create 100% content parity between its ad-supported version and ad-free version beginning January 1st, is the right strategy. HBO Max, like many in the industry, understands what I also believe: because of the power of CTV advertising, in the long-term an ad-supported streaming viewer will generate more revenue for the streaming service than will an ad-free viewer, and therefore will be more valuable.

    The new Magnite report is available for complimentary download. Magnite commissioned Statista to conduct an online survey in June, 2021, of 18+ year olds who said they watched TV at least one hour per day.

    Reminder that we’ll be exploring these and other issues in depth at VideoNuze’s Connected TV Advertising Brand Suitability Summit (virtual) on Nov. 16th and 17th. We have an amazing initial lineup of speakers. Many thanks to the Summit’s Presenting Partner Pixability, Gold Partner Mediaocean and Silver Partners FreeWheel, Index Exchange and Roku (more to come shortly), and our initial Agency Partners GroupM, Horizon Media, Publicis Media and UM (also more to come shortly). If you are interesting in sponsorship or partnership opportunities, please contact me.

    All paid attendees will be entered to win a 50-inch Roku TV and Smart Soundbar, both generously provided by Roku.

    Learn more and register now!