Report: Linear TV Proving Reliable for CTV Advertising

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NEW YORK—While the advertising market is starting to shift more toward CTV and streaming avenues, linear TV is still seen as the most valuable resource for advertising, according to a new survey from Advertisers Perceptions.

Gauging how advertisers are planning to spend their 2021 budgets, Advertisers Perceptions found that video advertising is increasing. About a quarter of TV screen advertising budgets are going to streaming, but 51% of advertisers believe that linear TV is the most valuable video platform; the next closest is social media (16%) and video sites (15%), with streaming at just 6%.

(Image credit: Advertisers Perceptions)

Even those advertisers that are putting a greater emphasis on CTV prefer to do so with TV networks. Citing concern over fraud in online video, Advertisers Perceptions found that larger advertisers will more often go with TV networks’ CTV options, and in the event they opt for a digital video platform, they will often want linear TV-type assurances, i.e. insisting their ads appear on reputable sites, pairing with brand-safe content and to run within professionally produced video content.

In addition, the bigger the advertising budget, the more likely they are to rely on linear TV. Per the survey, those spending less than $25 million find video and social media sites to be more effective than linear; those spending more than $25 million prefer linear TV and rely less on video or social media.

“Big TV networks have really beefed up their CTV opportunities at the right time,” said Justin Fromm, executive vice president, Business Intelligence at Advertiser Perceptions. “They’re becoming safe harbors for the largest advertisers as fraud climbs in the medium. While the major internet platforms will lead in volume of streaming ads, TV network safety is keeping them the gold standard in video as the platforms evolve.”

Other findings from the report show that advertisers are decreasing reliance on video sites and social media and are increasing their use of programmatic TV options (DSPs, vMVPDs). Also, more than half of advertisers said it is harder to have precise measurements of campaigns reach the more impressions are bought outside of linear TV.

The upcoming 2021 Upfront is expected to be an opportunity for advertisers to see how networks will improve cross-screen opportunity, measurement and brand safety.