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CTV Viewership and Trends

October 28, 2021
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If you’ve ever spent hours binge-watching a newly released season of your favorite TV series, chances are a CTV—connected TV—was the device supporting your all-day marathon. And if you happened to tune in on something other than a cable or satellite TV set, you’re likely in the majority of viewers. 

There’s a lot more to CTV viewership and trends than simply knowing you’re part of the in-crowd, however. In fact, the latest patterns in TV households across the country have reshaped the way companies look at their marketing strategy. 

Ready to tap into the potential of connected TV advertising for your omnichannel marketing strategy?

First, some background.

CTV Defined

Put simply, connected TVs are a cable alternative that allows you to stream digital video content on your household TV. Whether it’s built directly into your smart TV or connected via a separate apparatus, such as a Roku box or game console, all a CTV needs to stream the newest episode of Big Little Lies is a high-speed internet connection. 

Connected TVs are practically everywhere. In fact, the Leichtman Research Group reports that over 80% of households own one (or more) CTV device. Maybe you’ve owned one since their genesis, or perhaps you’ve had one right under your nose at home without even realizing it. 

Whatever the case may be, here’s a quick look at some of the most common CTV devices:

  • Apple TV
  • Roku
  • PlayStation
  • Xbox
  • Amazon Fire
  • Chromecast


Another term you’ll want to familiarize yourself with? OTTs, also known as over-the-top media services. They’re often closely linked to CTTs but the two terms cannot be used interchangeably. 

The primary difference? OTTs can be streamed in several different locations including smartphones, tablets, laptops, smart TVs, game consoles, and PCs—essentially, anywhere with a qualifying internet connection. 

CTVs, on the other hand, must be connected to a television set.

Some of the most popular OTT streaming platforms on the market include: 

  • Netflix
  • Hulu
  • Disney+
  • HBO Now
  • Amazon Prime Video

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Types of CTV Ads

On a personal level, CTVs are the source of endless hours of at-home entertainment. From a business perspective, they’re an advertising tool you may want to consider incorporating into your omnichannel marketing strategy. 

First, let’s take a look at how they appear on a connected TV device versus a traditional cable or satellite connection. 

Advertising for connected TVs can take these three primary forms: 

  • In-stream video ads – These often unskippable ads can be played before, during, or after the video content on a CTV is streamed. They tend to range from 15-30 seconds long. 
  • Home screen ads – Before tuning into a film or show, CTV users will peruse the home screen menu to make their pick. Home screen ads are displayed here. 
  • Interactive ads – These ads may appear while video content is streaming but will also include some sort of interactive element. This gives viewers the option to engage with the advertisement by clicking through to a website or landing page. 

If you’re considering optimizing your company’s reach with a connected TV marketing strategy, take a closer look below at the numbers surrounding CTV trends in order to decide how best to shape your approach.  

CTV Viewership: A Closer Look at the Data

CTV viewership is on the rise and is expected to continue on an upward trend moving forward. But you’ll need to get more specific than that if you really want to understand how to capitalize on this particular marketing channel. 

In terms of the viewership, here’s what you need to know:

  • A 2020 survey revealed that nearly half of the American polls used a CTV on a weekly basis.
  • The age bracket with the highest CTV viewership was between 18 and 34 years old, as reported during the third quarter of 2020.
  • The number of households in the United States using connected TV devices is projected to reach 113 million by 2024, up from 105 million in 2020.

The numbers here reflect both the popularity of CTV usage and the audience amongst which it is most commonly used. This valuable information can supply marketers with the knowledge they need in order to target their desired demographic. It also gives them the confidence to invest ad dollars into a trend with an undeniably promising future.  

Because of the increase in CTV viewership, advertising patterns are already starting to show signs of a shifting paradigm. Consider the following statistics that showcase the market response to the evolving trends. 

  • 35% of media buyers plan to elevate their ad spending in 2021 on connected TV.
  • Over half of video advertising budgets will be spent on digital video (CTV or OTT) rather than linear TV (cable or satellite). 
  • Nearly three-quarters of media buyers have already made the shift in their budget to accommodate for CTV advertising, rather than broadcast TV, for 2021.  
  • Over 80% of media buyers surveyed in the United States cited targeting and efficiency as the driving force behind switching from traditional, linear TV ads to OTT and CTV ads in 2021.
  • Down from the previous year, spending on linear TV advertising decreased by 14%.
  • Spending on CTV advertising in the United States is projected to grow to 27.5 billion dollars by 2025.

Translation? CTV advertising doesn’t appear to be going anywhere but up in the near future. Some media buyers may have predicted this pattern before it even started while others are just now hurrying to get on board. 

Benefits of CTV Advertising

Based on the numbers alone, you’ve probably guessed that connected TV advertising could have the power to elevate your marketing potential. Let’s take a closer look at the primary benefits marketers can expect from this on-the-rise trend:

  • Access to new audiences – Marketing strategists can optimize their campaigns by tailoring ads for certain channels. Companies interested in reaching a younger demographic, for example, may see that their advertisements yield a higher return if displayed on a CTV rather than on a traditional linear TV. 
  • Improve audience insight – Another key to marketing success is having a better understanding of not just who your audience is but how they behave. The more you know about them, the more precisely you can customize their ad experience. You can find out more about who is already interested in your brand and opt for a retargeting campaign. Or you can adjust your ads according to location, language, and high-activity times of the day. The major perk? Precise audience segmentation and more efficient spending. 
  • Higher ad completion rates – Why invest precious ad dollars into advertisements that may go entirely unseen, right? Well, perhaps one of the most compelling reasons to invest in connected TV advertising is its incredibly high video completion rate. In fact, a report showed that, in 2020, 95% of CTV ads were watched until the very end. The reason behind such a percentage? The appealing unskippable feature of most CTV advertisements. 
  • Valuable metrics – CTVs are able to combine data gathered from user IP addresses and watching history to find out more about each individual viewer rather than a larger, more generalized group. By tapping into some of the data-tracking features available with CTVs, marketers can glean specific insights regarding how many users visited your website, made a purchase, or even visited your brick-and-mortar location after watching a CTV ad. 

Ride The CTV Trend With Power Digital Marketing

Connected TVs are more than just an effective, affordable device used to keep you, your family, and your friends entertained. When used properly, it’s a marketing channel that can build your brand awareness, target the right audience, and increase your campaign conversion rates. 

It’s time to change the channel from broadcast to connected TV. Tune into expert advice at Power Digital to better inform your next steps and to help you make the right moves as you ride the wave of this new advertising trend. Read our guides on ‘Cord nevers’ and ‘What are cord cutters’ for more information on CTV.

CTV viewership is on the rise. Take your marketing potential along with it. Elevate your strategy with our digital marketing services today. 



  1. The National Interest. 80 Percent of U.S. Households Have At Least One Smart TV (Or Smart Something) https://nationalinterest.org/blog/techland/80-percent-us-households-have-least-one-smart-tv-or-smart-something-187418
  2. Statista. Share of viewers watching television via connected TV boxes on a weekly basis in the United States from 4th quarter of 2018 to 4th quarter of 2020 https://www.statista.com/statistics/720015/tv-connected-device-reach/
  3. Statista. Daily time spent using connected TV devices in the United States in 3rd quarter 2020, by age group https://www.statista.com/statistics/694336/tv-connected-devices-time-spent/
  4. Statista. Number of connected TV households in the United States from 2017 to 2024 https://www.statista.com/statistics/304853/number-of-connected-tv-users-usa/
  5. Statista. Reasons for shifting media budgets from linear TV to over-the-top (OTT) and/or connected TV (CTV) in the United States in 2021 https://www.statista.com/statistics/1227156/reasons-shift-media-budget-ott-ctv-usa/
  6. Statista. Connected TV (CTV) advertising completion rates in North America from 2015 to 2020 https://www.statista.com/statistics/1240046/ctv-ad-completion-rates/
  7. Forbes. Connected TV Advertising 2021: Prospects And Promiseshttps://www.forbes.com/sites/howardhomonoff/2021/05/10/digital-video-advertising-2021-prospects-and-promises/?sh=401024413d5d
  8. TV Tech. OTT Advertising to Double by 2025, BIA Says https://www.tvtechnology.com/news/ott-advertising-to-double-by-2025-bia-says
  9. Statista. Connected TV advertising spending in the United States from 2019 to 2025 https://www.statista.com/statistics/1048897/connected-tv-ad-spend-usa/


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