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New Study: 67% of UK Digital Media Buyers Think CTV is More Effective Than Linear TV

New research by Unruly finds 100% of digital media agencies and 77% of brands plan to invest more in CTV over next 12 months due to better ROI and targeting compared to linear TV 

LONDON  March 25, 2021 – More than two-thirds (67%of UK digital advertising professionals think connected TV (CTV) is a more effective ad channel than linear TV. 

That’s according to new research released today by leading ad platform Unruly, which also revealed that 100% of media agencies and 77% of brands plan to invest more in CTV over the next 12 months. 

The new study by Unruly — a company that enables brands and agencies to engage global consumers in premium, brand-safe environments across all screens — found that 68% of digital media buyers across the UK ad industry believe CTV ads provide better value for money compared to linear TVand 68% said it was more effective at reaching their target audiences. 

CTV consumption has risen sharply in the UK over the last 12 months, with previous research by Unruly showing that 54% of consumers are spending more time watching CTV content since the start of the pandemic. 

With a plethora of new CTV channels and devices entering the market, the competition for CTV audiences’ attention is rising rapidly.  

In order to provide brands and media agencies with insights into how best to leverage CTV, Unruly conducted an industry study looking at how CTV advertising is being used today and key areas for development.  

Key findings include:  

  • 72% of UK digital ad professionals say CTV is a key part of their video advertising strategy over the next 12 months, with all the media agencies and 77% of the brands surveyed planning to invest more in CTV over the next 12 months; 
  • 67% say CTV is more effective than linear TVproviding better value for money (68%) and better targeting (68%); 
  • However, more education and insights around CTV are key to driving further growth in the UK, with around half of brands (45%) and agencies (50%) wanting a clearer understanding of how CTV fits into their campaigns and more information about measurement and attribution; 
  • Brands are much more likely to want training on the benefits of CTV (48%) and audiencespecific insights (48%) compared to agencies (23% and 31% respectively). 

Alex Khan, Unruly’s International MD, added: With the number of UK consumers cutting the cord and switching over to free, ad-supported CTV devices and services accelerating since the start of the pandemic, our study shows just how much CTV has become a key channel for brands and agencies.  

Furthermore, with 67% of UK digital advertising professionals reporting that CTV is a more effective channel than linear TV, and 72% saying CTV is a key part of their video strategy, there’s no doubt that we will continue to see innovation in this space. With a possible return to normal following the COVID-19 pandemic on the horizon, we believe our research highlights CTV’s ability to deliver across a multitude of goals throughout the purchase funnel. 

Rebecca Waring, Global VP, Insights and Solutions at Unruly, said: “These results highlight the impressive flexibility of CTV. We found that there was no single driver behind the growth of CTV, because buyers are attracted by such a broad range of benefits.  

Likewise, in our experience, CTV campaigns are being judged on a variety of KPIs that spanned viewability, incremental reach and brand lift. It sounds like a challenge for one platform to satisfy so many different motivations and performance criteriabut according to our research, it appears CTV is rising to that challenge so far, with 98% of buyers happy with the outcomes of their CTV campaigns. 

Unruly’s unique audience insights, engaging creative solutions and direct partnerships witvarious premium CTV platforms enable CTV buyers to access unique, brand safe inventory at scale. 



Unruly surveyed 101 UK ad professionals for the study. All respondents who took part in the study work at either a brandmedia agency DSP or trading desk and have experience planning or buying TV or online digital advertising over the last 12 months. The survey was conducted in November 2020 alongside in-depth interviews with digital media professionals. 

Click here to download the research.