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Lessons from EMEA: How Europe is Fast Tracking Its CTV Journey

By Leon Siotis, President EMEA at SpotX

The US CTV market is generally considered the industry leader in CTV advertising, with Europe and the rest of the world taking its lead on how to make the most of the emerging opportunities. However, there are some collective lessons that the stateside CTV trailblazers can learn from European advertisers’, broadcasters’ and publishers’ collective journeys into the CTV promised land. 

The pace of development of CTV as a mass-market, large-scale platform for addressable TV advertising in EMEA was revealed in our “CTV is for Everyone” viewership report which showed  the region has seen a 50% reach in CTV viewership – representing 61.5 million households, with 45% of internet-enabled and TV households watching CTV regularly.  

A deeper dive into the figures shows that the majority of CTV viewers in the UK (60%) use CTV as their primary way of watching television whilst Spain leads the region with 65% of Spanish viewers watching CTV regularly.

Conversely, the US edition of our research shows that 40% of US adults are also CTV viewers. Interestingly, a smart TV is the most popular way of streaming content on both sides of the pond, with two thirds of Europeans using the medium and 54% of Americans preferring Smart TV over gaming consoles or streaming devices.

New possibilities for new advertisers 

The EMEA region has been in the fortuitous position of being able to pivot and create new CTV advertising opportunities as new data about audiences emerges. Partnering with global device manufacturers such as Samsung and LG for instance, could be a major route for advertisers to access valuable data they need to help them reach these new audiences. In 2020, LG saw a more than 300% growth in streaming hours on its LG Channels illustrating the pace of expansion of the device manufacturers. Interestingly, Samsung Ads’ data reveals that OTT-exclusive viewership has grown from 10% to 14% on Samsung Smart TVs in the UK. 

The development of commercial relationships between smart TV platform operators, broadcasters and streaming services is also providing new possibilities for CTV advertising in EMEA. TikTok launched its first connected-TV app for Samsung TVs last November, followed by February’s launch on Google TV and other smart TVs.

Greg Turtle, user growth lead for Europe at TikTok, admits that the jump to connected TV was in part inspired by CTV’s growing popularity. And with our research showing that 7 out of 10 European CTV viewers watch ad-supported content, there is an opportunity for advertising outliers to reach the right audiences at scale, at a fraction of the cost of traditional linear campaigns. 

Demonstrating the value of CTV through measurement 

Legislators and producers across Europe have joined forces to push Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney + and others to sign up to a new set of rules to preserve Europe’s economic and cultural ecosystem. They are advocating for the big streamers to offer a 30% quota of European content to European subscribers and for EU countries to be able to introduce legislation to make streaming services reinvest a percentage of their revenues within each European territory operated in.

This comes back to transparency, as European producers feel they should get ‘concrete insight’ on viewing figures for their shows and receive ‘proportionate and fair participation’ when certain viewing milestones are reached. Innovative measurement solutions like MetriX, with its ability to align measurement and attribution with BARB level data, can truly demonstrate the incremental value of CTV.

We used MetriX when sportswear brand Under Armour asked us to promote its new workout products with CTV advertising in the build up to a world heavyweight boxing match streamed around the world. SpotX was able to report on which audiences were reached only by the CTV campaign by comparing reach figures of Under Armour’s linear television activity with SpotX CTV activity.

We then merged these figures with BARB and Audience Project data within TechEdge AXMs module. The results showed that from 1.4m SpotX CTV impressions delivered, 104,000 incremental in-target households were reached. Additionally 32% of total users reached were digital only viewers, who would be unreachable across linear TV.

As demonstrated by the EMEA region’s steady rise to the pinnacle of CTV success, now is the perfect time for US industry to take note. By actioning these lessons from EMEA around quality content, new advertiser opportunities and demonstrating the value of CTV through measurement, our stateside counterparts will be able to adapt their strategies to help with the continued growth of this exciting medium globally.

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