Advertisers have historically been eager to follow the eyeballs when it comes to marketing decisions—whether it’s the highest-rated TV shows or the most viral platform—brands typically want to be where they can reach the largest audience. And yet, marketers remain skeptical of truly embracing the shift of viewers to streaming TV.
While 81% of U.S. households that have Wi-Fi stream TV, according to new Comscore research, during this year’s upfront ad haggle media buyers said that even though investment in streaming grew, it still doesn’t contend with the reach of linear TV.
From May 2022 to May 2023, U.S. households’ total connected TV consumption grew 20% from 9.6 billion hours to 11.5 billion, according to recent data from Comscore. The report found that more than 50% of TV viewership has been on CTV versus linear consistently throughout 2023, and that the percentage of cord-cutters (44%) has surpassed the number of traditional TV subscribers (41%) for the first time.
While consumers have jumped to streaming en masse, the transition for advertisers is less simple. One media agency executive told Ad Age that clients allocated 60% of their spend to linear and 40% to CTV on average during this year’s upfront. But the price of sports is becoming a major factor in why more money is still being allocated to linear, the agency executive said. A second agency executive said its clients averaged 55% linear and 45% streaming and similarly pointed to the pricing of live sports as linear’s strongest hold on ad budgets, so much so, that “some clients cut linear altogether outside of sports.”