Research Digest

Seasonal Trends: Ad-Supported Connected TV Viewership Increases in the Summer


  • Summer is often considered a time when watching TV tapers off, but ad-supported Connected TV (CTV) viewership actually increases during this season. 
  • While CTV usage spiked in the early days of the pandemic, time spent on connected devices continues to grow.
  • Advertisers take note! Not only is CTV viewership on the rise, consumers are also spending more in the summer—in August 2021, consumer purchasing was up 2.8%.

Despite the increase in travel and outdoor adventuring in the summer, ad-supported CTV viewership heats up. 

Summer is here and travel and other adventures are enticing people out of their homes. While this is traditionally a season when TV viewership begins to taper off, Connected TV (CTV) audiences aren’t following suit.

In Q3 of 2021, 34% of internet users in the U.S. reported that they watched an Advertising-Base Video on Demand (AVOD) service in the last month¹—up from 17% during the same period in 2020. This growth in ad-supported CTV viewership aligns with a recent Magnite report on audience behavior in which 48% of streamers said that they are willing to watch ads in exchange for quality content².

Considering that the overall usage of connected devices is also on the rise (more on this below), the upward trend of summertime ad-supported CTV viewership is likely to continue.

Time Spent on Connected Devices Continues to Grow

With much of the world’s population stuck at home for the majority of the year, 2020 saw a spike in connected device usage. After months of repeated behavior, this way of consuming content turned into a habit for many TV watchers.

A study from eMarketer³ reported that in 2022 consumers will spend an average of an hour and 47 minutes a day on a connected device (Blu-ray players, game consoles and CTV devices like Apple TV and Roku), up from an hour and 41 minutes in 2021 and an hour and 35 minutes in 2020. Moving forward, daily connected device usage will continue to rise.

Knowing that AVOD viewership increases in summer months and CTV usage is rising overall, as time goes on, seasonality may become less of a factor in business forecasting for CTV providers and streaming services.

So how might this impact advertisers? More CTV users means the potential for increased ad views. And brands should take note, especially considering that…

Consumer Spending Increases in the Summer

Retailers can rely on a boost in sales leading up to winter holidays (November and December), but summer is proving to be a fruitful season as well. In August 2021, consumer purchasing was up 2.8%, compared to the same period the year before.

With the world beginning to reopen in the summer of 2021, people spent more. Unsurprisingly, the travel industry experienced a notable bump in sales. Brands can expect to see a similar trend in 2022 as over 60% of Millennials and Gen Zers intend to book a vacation this year.


Plummeting viewership in the summer? Maybe for linear television, but not on CTV. In fact, ad-supported CTV viewership increases in the warmer months. Additionally, consumers make more purchases. Knowing this, brands should take advantage of a captive CTV audience who is ready to spend. Advertisers need to be strategic with their messaging and targeting—serving an ad that resonates to a consumer who could be legitimately interested in the product or experience is vital to strengthening purchase conversion rates.

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