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    Research Digest

    Read the Room: How Co-Viewing Affects Connected TV Viewership

    Abstract

    • Viewers are more likely to watch CTV content with friends and family than Linear TV, with VPVH (Viewers per Viewing Household) averages of 1.29 versus 1.26 on Linear TV.
    • Co-viewing with kids equals less attention versus co-viewing with adults by as much as 19%.
    • Movies draw 18% more co-viewing activity than TV episodes.

    Connected TV co-viewing leads to higher ad attention, in some cases more than others.

    The domino effect of co-viewing is clear—not only does it impact attention, but also affects the value of Connected TV ad buys. This digest dissects the current state of co-viewing on CTV across the consumer and advertising side, and should help advertisers to navigate this ever-evolving landscape of CTV viewership.

    More Kids Equals Less Attention on CTV, But More Opportunity For Advertisers

    A report released by TVision¹ on Connected TV co-viewing revealed that adults pay more attention to ads overall—whether they are watching alone, with other adults or as a family. Meanwhile, children are more likely to pay attention when watching CTV with other children versus alone.

    Although adults are paying more attention on Connected TV, they don’t co-view as much as their younger counterparts. Almost three-quarters (69.9%) of kids aged under 18 years have the highest co-viewing rates compared to adults.

    Over 50 percent of viewers (across all age groups) co-view, and this is a trend that is here to stay long beyond the pandemic. A study by Future Today² of over 300 parents found that 86 percent of adults plan to watch more content together with their families.

    This study also found that co-viewing drives further ad engagement, with 93% of parents saying they are “engaged” when presented with an ad for adults while co-viewing, and 88% of parents reported their children as being “engaged” while co-viewing adult-focused ads.

    Ultimately, co-viewing leads to increased attention not just for programming, but for advertising too—and is seen as a value-add³ by the majority of industry professionals.

    Co-viewing is More Common on Connected TV Than Linear TV

    Viewers are likely to co-view with friends and family on Connected TV instead of linear TV. TVision’s Spring 2022 Co-viewing report measured the VPVH (Viewers per Viewing Household) of over 5,000 homes across the country and found an average VPVH of 1.29 on Connected TV versus 1.26 on Linear TV. 

    Although Connected TV is a more engaging format, not all CTV ad inventory is built equally. This same study revealed that the most co-viewed CTV apps draw in twice the average number of viewers compared to the least co-viewed. 

    When comparing the type of Connected TV programming—movies or television episodes—movies’ long format draws more co-viewing (73.2%) than its short-form  counterpart (54.8%). 

    The most co-viewed programs on ad-supported Connected TV apps are mostly of the family-friendly variety, with movies making up most of the top five most co-viewed programs (ranked by VPVH):

    1. The Spongebob Movie (Paramount+) – 2.2
    2. Esme & Roy (HBOMax) – 2.1
    3. Battlebots Bounty Hunters (Discovery+) – 2.1
    4. The Boss Baby: Family Business (Peacock) – 2.0 
    5. Paw Patrol Movie (Paramount+): 2.0

    Conclusion

    Co-viewing drives higher attention spans and engagement on Connected TV, although younger age groups are naturally inclined to co-view more than others. This presents a big opportunity for advertisers to connect with multiple audiences, and co-viewing has been recognized as a value-add in the industry when negotiating CTV ad buys. However, advertisers should note that not all CTV ad inventory is built equally, as some program types (like movies) draw more co-viewing activity than others.

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