March 21, 2023

Attracting Attention: Optimizing CTV Advertising Engagement

Together, we must develop effective strategies to optimize campaigns that gain - and hold - the attention of consumers. With that in mind, Yahoo partnered with Publicis Media to research these important questions with our joint study CTV Ad Attention & Receptiveness.

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Ad-based Video On Demand (AVOD) is rapidly gaining popularity around the world. Nearly two-thirds of consumers will use at least one AVOD service monthly1 and spend nearly $9.5 billion on paid subscription services2 in 2023. With these viewers in their sights, all the major streaming platforms are joining the market with an expanding mix of offerings for consumers to enjoy and advertisers to leverage. Studies predict that by the end of 2023, all major subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services will have launched an ad-funded tier to complement ad-free options. By the end of 2024, half of these providers will also have launched a free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) service, and by 2030 most online video service subscriptions will be partially or wholly ad-funded1

Advertisers are noticing and flocking to the new channels. CTV ad spending as a whole is expected to exceed $26 billion in 20232. However, even as ad spending grows, buyers are struggling with how best to leverage this rapidly evolving medium. To stand out, advertisers must understand the key variables that impact consumer attention and receptiveness to ads on CTV. Together, we must develop effective strategies to optimize campaigns that gain - and hold - the attention of consumers. With that in mind, Yahoo partnered with Publicis Media to research these important questions with our joint study CTV Ad Attention & Receptiveness.  

Advertisers Welcome

Overall, the study found that consumers recognize the role of advertising in reducing the cost of their access to AVOD channels and generally welcome ads in CTV environments. In fact, 46% of respondents said they would rather pay less and receive some ads when adding a new streaming service. Additionally, 82% of CTV viewers expect ads on free streaming services, and 7 out of 10 AVOD users report being at least somewhat satisfied with their CTV ad experience. Moreover, a majority of respondents found ads to be helpful, with 56% agreeing that ads and commercials provide them with useful information.

While consumers indicate an openness to advertising across ATV platforms, the sheer scale of the opportunity can leave marketers uncertain of where to start - let alone build a comprehensive strategy. Effectively reaching your consumers, gaining their attention and holding their attention to communicate your brand messaging across ATV requires a vast array of considerations. Yahoo & Publicis Media’s research uncovered several key points to consider when building your CTV strategy.

Things To Consider Before You Buy ATV

CTV is a multimedia experience: CTV is a multimedia channel encompassing both sight and sound. 53% of consumers reported frequently having CTV on in the background while they do other things, noting that they still heard the audio even if their eyes weren’t on the screen. This helps explain why the study showed only a third of CTV ads receive two or more seconds of active consumer attention (aka eyes-on-the-screen).

CTV consumption is not the same as linear TV consumption: Previous studies have found that half of the time spent consuming linear TV happens between 6-10pm.  Yahoo and Publicis Media found that, while CTV ad attention is highest during Prime Time, peaks of attention occur during the early and late morning periods, making these potential opportunities for advertisers to focus on since they are typically cheaper. 

Consumers are invested in the whole experience of their favored TV platforms: Ad attention is higher for more "intentional" paid subscription services. Viewers tend to pay more attention to ads on applications that are paid or subscription-based - particularly vMVPDs like YouTube, FuboTV, and Sling, as well as hybrid services like Hulu, HBOMax, and Paramount+ - where there is more intent behind programming choice. 

How To Optimize Your Advanced TV Investment

Know where to reach your target audience: Demographics play an important role in CTV tuning and attention, as certain age groups are more likely to engage with specific applications. Understanding where these age groups spend their time and how they engage is crucial for targeting a specific group. Yahoo and Publicis Media’s study found that younger viewers (under 40) are almost 60% more likely to spend time with Hybrid applications than their older counterparts (40+).

Pay attention to placement: Attention varies by pod position. If an ad airs in the first in-pod position, it captures at least 2 seconds of attention 38% of the time and viewers pay an average of 11 seconds of attention. Meanwhile, pods of <90 seconds up to 1-5 minutes enjoy relatively steady attention - between 38% and 36% attention, respectively. Only when pods exceed 5 minutes do we see a significant dropoff in attention to 27%.

The study found that genres with higher engagement during viewing also had a higher share of ad attention. Crime dramas had the highest attention percentage at 46%, followed by political commentary/coverage at 39%, and game show competition at 38%. On the other hand, awards programming had the lowest attention percentage at 14%, followed by sci-fi at 16%, and action/adventure at 20%.

Contextually relevant ads have been found to capture greater attention than the average ad in the respective genre, making it an important way to engage the consumer further. For instance, 64% of CTV viewers agree that ad experiences are better or ideal when ads feature people or elements from the program they are watching. Additionally, viewers pay 77% more attention to food and beverage ads aired during cooking shows compared to the average ad.

Build a plan for positive attention: Repetition can be a major annoyance and negatively impact brand sentiment. Over two-thirds (67%) of viewers are annoyed by seeing the same ad more than once within the same ad pod. Ultimately, Yahoo and Publicis Media found that attention drops when viewers are exposed to the same ad within two minutes, and attention remains lowered for ads aired less than 5 minutes apart. Our research revealed consumers have an “attention sweet spot” of 6-10 exposures along with the optimal timing gap to avoid brand burnout of 12-24 hours between exposures. 

How Yahoo can help?

Exclusive data partnerships help you get to know your target consumer better: Yahoo’s unique access to VIZIO and our proprietary deterministic data helps you accurately find the best demos and audiences and manage frequency and reach for ideal consumer messaging. 

Powerful Inventory partnerships give you the access to scalable inventory for your best reach: Yahoo enables your brand to run on every major network and publisher, including live sports. Curate the perfect inventory to align with your audience across 192 logged in viewers in the US3.

Uniquely combined data tools empower you to measure and optimize across platforms with ease - Leverage Yahoo’s Unified TV Report to optimize during a campaign as well as for post campaign insights. Yahoo uses a powerful combination of 3rd-party measurement partners to complement our 1st-party measurement capabilities providing superior insights for improved planning and optimization.

Thoughtful dayparting support helps you improve your timing: Reach consumers where - and when it matters most - by thoughtfully targeting them across the different platforms they are consuming at the different times of day they are viewing on those platforms.

Comprehensive content metadata helps you pair the right time with the right place: Lean into specific genres and contextually relevant environments that grab the most attention such as Cooking, Home & Garden and Live Sports. 

In-house design experts help you build attention-getting creative - Yahoo Creative Services (YCS) is here to partner with you to get the most from your video assets across environments. Leverage our creative experts for quick edits to scale your buy, sequential messaging and dynamic creative to personalize creative, or boost engagement with QR codes.

Connect with Yahoo to get all the details and learn more about Yahoo ATV Solutions.

Yahoo & Publicis Media CTV Ad Attention & Receptiveness, March 2023

1Jeff Loucks, Mark Casey, and Craig Wigginton, Ad-supported video: Will the United States follow Asia’s lead?, Deloitte Insights

2eMarketer Q4 2022 Digital Video Trends Report

3Yahoo Internal Data, March 2023

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