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How the streaming boom has landed us back in the living room

Updated: Sep 20, 2021

Brian Albert is Google’s managing director of agency and brand solutions in the U.S., leading teams that negotiate annual partnership deals with brands and agencies to help them plan and execute more effective video ads and content. Here, he shares his perspective on navigating the video streaming boom — with local insights provided by Gautam Ramdurai, Google’s marketing lead of YouTube Ads in APAC.

We spend a lot of time thinking about video: how advertisers can make the most of video platforms, what makes an effective video ad, and how behavioral shifts change the way people watch. From our perspective, we are entering a clear third stage of viewership.

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Put another way, streaming was always the future — and the future is now.

During the decades-long first wave, we all watched the same kinds of videos in the same places. We watched primetime TV, sports, the news, and our favorite shows on broadcast. Everyone watched at home on a TV screen.

Then, over the past 10 years or so, online platforms like YouTube took off, marking the start of the second wave. Video went mobile. Mobile technology expanded where and when to watch — during commutes, on a lunch break, in bed — and gave us new use cases for video, like making DIY projects, learning new skills, and connecting with passionate communities.

Now we have entered the streaming era, which has, ironically, landed us back in the living room. People still watch a lot of mobile video, of course, but streaming video has taken off in APAC and globally, enabling us to use TV screens again in new ways. Here’s an in-depth look at why people are shifting to streaming video and how you can make the most of it.

Interestingly, we see CTV becoming the screen of choice for many viewers.

According to a 2020 report by Innovid, connected TV (CTV) takes up 40% of global video impression share by device. Across countries in APAC, almost two-thirds of the internet population are streaming or watching online TV on an average day.

Meanwhile, a new generation of global viewers is now choosing to watch YouTube primarily on their CTV screens, with casting watch time for YouTube growing by more than 75% year-over-year (YoY).3 This makes CTV the fastest growing type of screen in 2020.4 Across APAC, this trend is picking up momentum, with 20 million people in Japan, 20 million in India, 25 million in Vietnam, and 8 million in Australia specifically watching YouTube on their CTVs.

There’s less channel surfing and more personalization of our experiences.

The hallmark of broadcast TV has always been the hundreds of channels that cater to every interest — from personal to popular. To find out what sets streaming apart, we looked at TV streaming data across Japan, Australia, India, and Vietnam.

The rise in CTV viewers means that brands are now able to reach a much larger audience through the TV screen, including previously unplugged audiences like “cord cutters” and “cord nevers.”

When people watch an ad with someone else, they experience double the emotional response they experience when watching on their own.

It’s not just quantity — CTV also presents an opportunity for brands to connect with a highly engaged audience. Research shows that viewers tend to spend more time in front of their CTV screens compared with streaming on mobile or desktop devices. They also have a larger appetite for long-form content, with viewers in countries like India watching videos on their CTVs that are up to 200% longer than those they watch on other devices.

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Brian Albert, Gautam Ramdurai

August 2021

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