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CTV: The Trend That’s Becoming a Household Standard

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Think the spike in TV is a throwback trend? Here’s how CTV is keeping the TV screen front and center.

Smart devices are nothing new. Screens are replacing old take-out menus on the fridge, and doorbells now record home security footage. The option to add more tech is always evolving, but home entertainment is still tied to the “OG” screen: the television.

TV has gone through many evolutions, and Connected TVs (or CTVs) are the newest iteration dominating the marketplace. CTVs are TVs connected to the internet, either through the TVs functionality (smart TVs) or through streaming devices, that allow viewers to stream on-demand video content and even live TV through streaming services

With social distancing and stay-at-home orders in place over the past year, record numbers of viewers have tuned into content on CTVs worldwide, but this isn’t a trend. CTV viewership numbers have been going up for years and the data shows CTV is a force that shouldn’t be ignored and is here to stay.

Here are four reasons why:


Booting Up

Viewing hours spent with CTV skyrocketed in 2020. And, while the pandemic has definitely played a role, CTV isn’t a flash in the pan.

The latest news? Consumption on CTV devices surpassing 7 billion hours in 2021, more than doubling over 3 years.1 And these numbers didn’t just come out of nowhereーtwo years prior, in January 2018, viewers were consuming 3.4 billion total CTV hours!2

It’s easy to wonder if numbers will go down. Historical trends say otherwise though: the last four years of steady growth indicate viewers are loyal to their CTVs.


Streaming Superhighway
Viewer expectations for how they enjoy media have changed. This is most notable in trends such as straight to VOD (video on demand) releases, binge-watching, and an ever-expanding libraries of content brought directly to viewers. All of it points to the fact that streaming has never been more mainstream, especially as new streaming platforms continue to pop up.

The continued acceptance, ease, and availability of CTV gives it an indispensable role in home entertainment, and provides viewers with total control over where and how they watch, from hit TV shows to award-buzzy films is the new normal.


Staying Fresh
And all those eyes mean unprecedented demand for content. So what are viewers watching? The answer is a little bit of everything—but their choices of where to watch have stayed relatively consistent.

Three-quarters of all CTV hours watched come from five platforms (Hulu, Disney+, Netflix, YouTube, Prime Video). The remaining quarter of CTV watch hours is split across more than fifty other apps.3

Hulu’s share of CTV engagement grew by +23% from January 2018 to January 2021,4 indicating that Hulu is still a go-to for entertainment.


Ultimate Screensavor
As the #1 of the top 20 most engaging apps on CTV5, Hulu is built for consumers to stream content and entertainment on any screen they want, whenever they want. Hulu is the leader in per-household engagement among CTV streaming services (ad-free and ad-supportedーbeating out both YouTube and Netflix.)6

Why? Content that CTV viewers watch matters to consumers and consumers trust Hulu. 91% feel that Hulu has trusted and credible content while 92% feel that Hulu publishes high-quality content.7

Airing Now

With 2020 behind us, we’re all moving forward with a new perspective. While getting back into the real world is something everyone is anticipating, more than ever, people are looking for high-quality, fresh entertainment that’s convenient and accessible no matter where they’re spending time. Telling us that viewing via CTV is here to stay.

Running your campaigns on Hulu positions your ads on viewers’ CTVs and in the sweet spot of quality content and an engaged audience.

Hulu Ad Manager is a leading self-service streaming TV platform with top-tier content; options for all budgets; and engaged, diverse, and easily targeted audiences. Sign up and begin creating your campaign today!

Ready to start streaming your ads?

Source: 1. slide 2 comScore OTT Intelligence Report, January of 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021

Source: 2. slide 2 comScore OTT Intelligence Report, January of 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021

Source: 3. slide 3 comScore OTT Intelligence Report, January of 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Source: 4. slide 4 comScore OTT Intelligence Report, January of 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Source: 5. slide 4 comScore OTT Intelligence Report, January of 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Source: 6. slide 8 comScore OTT Intelligence Report January 2021. 5% Market Penetration and above

Source: 7. slide 12 Nielsen Competitive Ad Engagement Study, 2019