Unruly / About us / News / Unruly Data Uncovers Japanese Consumer Attitudes Toward Connected TV (CTV) During COVID-19, Including Consumption Habits and Ad Preferences

Unruly Data Uncovers Japanese Consumer Attitudes Toward Connected TV (CTV) During COVID-19, Including Consumption Habits and Ad Preferences

  • 85% Of Japanese Consumers Prefer To Watch TV Shows For Free With Ads Than Pay To Watch Ad-Free
  • Almost Two-Thirds Plan To Reduce Amount They Pay For TV
  • Research Finds CTV More Effective at Driving Key Consumer Behaviours

TOKYO — November 13, 2020 Eighty-five percent of Japanese consumers prefer to watch TV programmes for free with ads rather pay to watch them ad-free, according to new research released today by video advertising platform Unruly,

The new study by the Tremor International company, which examines how consumers’ attitudes and habits around connected TV (CTV) have changed during COVID-19, found the uncertain economic climate, the rising costs of cable and satellite TV and the emergence of free, ad-supported streaming services have resulted in a shift away from paying for TV content.

Almost two-thirds (63%) of Japanese consumers say they now plan to reduce the amount they pay for TV services, with 56% planning to cut costs by switching to free, ad-supported services. A fifth (20%) plan to cancel their cable/ satellite TV completely, while 19% plan to reduce the number of paid for streaming services they use.

CTV consumption is on the rise in Japan. Previous research by Unruly — whose multi-format tech enables advertisers to seamlessly engage global consumers in premium, brand-safe environments across multiple screens — showed that 40% of Japanese consumers are spending more time watching TV online since the outbreak of the Coronavirus.

But as CTV usage, continues to accelerate — particularly among free, ad-supported services — marketers are still trailing behind with their media plans.

Unruly’s study looks closer at the Japanese CTV landscape six months after the global outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the pandemic has rapidly accelerated the growth of CTV, it’s more important than ever before that brands understand and embrace the medium. Almost a fifth (19%) of Japanese consumers have tried a new ad-supported streaming service since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Of those, 59% say they will continue to do so.

Additional key findings include:

  • 68% of the Japanese population now have access to CTV content through various devices. Of those, 35% regularly use two or more CTV devices;
  • More relevant targeting and greater personalisation mean CTV ads performs better than the Japanese TV average across key indicators. Compared to the average Japanese TV viewer, after seeing an ad on TV, Japanese ad-supported CTV users are:
    • 37% more likely to tell a friend about a brand;
    • 23% more likely to buy a product;
    • 29% more likely to visit a store or website;
    • 28% more likely to search for a brand;
    • 31% more likely to have an improved opinion of the brand.
  • Free, ad-supported services, such as TVer and GAYO, are currently used by 36% of people in Japan, and are likely to grow considerably.

“As Japanese consumers begin to pivot to ad-supported CTV services, it’s an opportunity for brands to reach audiences at scale in a highly targeted, high-impact, personalized way that has, until now, not been possible,” said Wataru Nakano, Country Lead at Unruly Japan.

Leading ad platform Unruly offers advertisers a comprehensive selection of high-impact online video, CTV and display formats, optimized for specific devices.

Nakano added: “Following our acquisition by Tremor International, Unruly has shifted from an outstream video specialist to become one of the biggest video platforms in the world. From this unique position, we can help advertisers seize on the opportunities CTV presents like never before. Together with our sister brand Tremor Video, Unruly offers advertisers the most cutting-edge CTV advertising solutions.”

To view the full study, click here.


Unruly, which is part of Tremor International, surveyed 540 Japanese consumers in September 2020 for this study.