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Over 80% Of US and UK Consumers Now Have Access to CTV Content

The spread of COVID-19 and continued lockdown restrictions mean many of us are spending a lot more time at home in front of our TV screens.

The arrival of new streaming services from media giants including Disney and HBO, mean accessing connected TV (CTV) content has never been more appealing.

CTV content has also never been more easily accessible, with most new TVs arriving with built-in streaming services, and some available for under £100 in the UK.

And even if you don’t want to replace your TV, cheap streaming media devices are now available that you can plug into your TV to make it smart.

This has led to 82% of the UK and 80% of the US population now having access to CTV content in their homes, according to our latest research project, carried out to help advertisers and publishers understand the evolving CTV landscape.

Our latest study, in which we surveyed 2,562 consumers in the UK and US in July 2020, identifies consumers’ attitudes to CTV, consumption habits, and ad preferences five months after the global outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We broke this consumption down into four device groups — smart TVs, streaming media devices, games consoles and Blu-ray players — to find out which devices people are using to stream their favourite content.

We found that smart TVs are the most popular option in both the UK and US, with 63% of UK consumers and 62% of US consumers saying they watch CTV content through their TVs.

This was closely followed by streaming media devices, like Google’s Chromecast, Amazon’s Firestick and Apple’s TV box, with 54% of UK and US consumers saying they access CTV content through these devices.

Half of UK consumers and 45% of US consumers also said they access CTV content through game consoles, while 33% of UK consumers and 39% of US consumers accessing it through a Blu-ray player.

As well as looking at what devices people use to access CTV content, we also looked at what services they access.

When we think about video streaming, often the paid-for subscription service giants come to mind like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, but several ad-funded models now exist, with more popping up every month, especially in the US.

Some of the more well-known ones which you may have run into include Peacock, Pluto TV, the Roku Channel, Tubi TV, Vudu, and Xumo.

Interestingly, our research findings show that during lockdown these free ad-funded models have become a lot more popular.

Our research found that almost a quarter (21%) of UK consumers said they have tried a new ad-supported streaming service since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and, of those, 74% said they will continue to do so.

This was slightly higher in the US, which is understandable as more of these services exist there. More than a third (35%) of US consumers said they’ve tried a new ad-supported streaming service since the outbreak, and 79% of those said they will continue to do so.

To access all the findings from our survey, click here to download our UK and US CTV whitepapers.