Connected TV trends: Europeans ‘prefer ad funded platforms to subscriptions’

Jul 20, 2020 | Ad tech, Online advertising, Online video

Connected TV trends: Europeans ‘prefer ad funded platforms to subscriptions’
The majority of people in the largest European markets are choosing connected TVs as their primary way of watching television, with many more likely to choose ad-funded platforms over paid subscriptions, according to new research.

The 2020 CTV Viewership report from SpotX uncovers the behaviour, viewing habits and characteristics of connected TV audiences in the big 5 European markets (UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain).

It is also complemented with unique insights from Samsung Ads Europe and aims to help advertisers better understand CTV usage trends across Europe and effectively reach the growing number of consumers adopting the technology in specific markets.

Key UK findings of the research include:

• British audiences have made CTV viewing a regular habit, with 69% of survey respondents reporting they watch CTV a few times a week or daily.
• 64% of British viewers are more likely to choose an ad-supported streaming service over a paid subscription.
• 69% of CTV viewers say they watch ad-supported content and more than half (58%) say that they prefer to watch free ad-supported programming versus paying for an ad-free experience;
• CTV viewership is not an occasional activity; for many UK CTV viewers (60%), it is the primary way they watch television;
• CTV viewers are not willing to spend more on subscriptions, but will continue to watch more content, which is most likely ad-supported;
• Half of households (48%) earning less than £20k per year watch CTV daily
• 49% are classed as heavy streamers (daily viewers)
• 60% say they watch CTV as their primary way of watching television
• 73% regularly watch live programming (at least several times per week)
• Favourite content genres include drama, comedy, and thrillers

Across the EMEA region, CTV has bridged the generational divide across all Big Five European markets. Contrary to popular belief, Generation X represents the largest generational segment of all CTV viewers at 43% (more than Generation Z and Millenials, which represent a combined 32%). The average age of CTV viewers across Europe’s Big 5 markets is 43.

SpotX also defines new CTV audience profiles in the report, including streamloaders (young adults, most likely to be single and less likely to pay for subscriptions), jet streamers (digital savvy millennial professionals most likely to watch CTV as their primary way of watching television), “do-it-all” streamers (career-minded individuals who are busy balancing work with family and watch a mix of ad-free and ad-supported content), and silver streamers (mainly baby boomers, many of whom switched to CTV after realising the benefits of flexible TV viewing).

Commenting on the findings Léon Siotis, President EMEA at SpotX explains, “Growth in CTV has accelerated in recent years, both in terms of adoption and viewership, driven primarily by consumer demand and the entrance of new streaming services into the markets. With 50% reach in CTV viewership representing 61.5 million households across Europe’s biggest markets, advertisers are increasingly recognising its power to efficiently and accurately reach target audiences at scale.”

Nikalas Dewar, European Business Development Director, Samsung Ads said:“The television has long been the heart of the living room, and the recent advancement of CTV, with its abundance of choice and channels, positions the viewer increasingly at the centre of the TV experience. What’s clear from this report and our own data is that the CTV landscape is growing rapidly and, as a result, understanding the changing consumption habits across Europe and providing a seamless viewing experience to match is the key to unlocking the many opportunities that lie within this space.

Samsung Ads has chosen to contribute to this report to help demystify and clarify the multifaceted world of CTV so the viewing experience can continue to be as seamless as possible. As technology continues to accelerate advancements in television, so too will the many exciting opportunities for both advertisers and media houses to reach viewers in creative ways. As the leading connected audience platform, Samsung Ads endeavours to continually provide a clear picture of how European viewers interact with CTV through our device-level data insights from Samsung Smart TVs to help our partners keep ahead of the curve.”

This study defines CTV as a television set connected to the internet through the built-in capabilities of a smart TV, or through a streaming device or gaming console, that enables the viewing of video content streamed on a large screen.

The SpotX-commissioned study surveyed 1,501 UK TV viewers, and uncovers further insights on consumer cost and subscription thresholds, sentiment toward advertisements on CTV programming and CTV viewership habits.The full EMEA report is available here.


SpotX surveyed 1,501 UK CTV viewers on a series of questions regarding their viewing habits and opinions. SpotX commissioned Mintel, a world-renowned research partner, to conduct the survey of 1,500 CTV viewers aged 18+ who declared that they watched CTV at least once per month. The survey was conducted in February 2020. The EMEA edition of the research contains country breakdowns for the UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy.

For more information about the international findings, click here.

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