It’s a classic scene: A family gathering around the TV in the living room, enjoying their favourite shows together after dinner. That scene is still playing out in homes across the country, only now, Canadians are streaming those shows on connected TVs.
Canadians’ viewing habits have changed significantly in recent years, and we are streaming more content on our TV screens than ever before with the rise of connected TV. Connected TV (CTV) refers to any television screen that’s connected to the internet that people can use to access the world of streaming, including via gaming consoles, Chromecast, and other digital connected devices.
YouTube has been at the forefront of the shift to streaming. In fact, in December 2021, more than 16 million Canadians streamed YouTube on their TV screens.1 It’s clear from this recent viewership data that YouTube is now a mainstay in Canadians’ living rooms. And this evolution has changed the way Canadians define TV itself: 61% of Canadians say that YouTube “is TV” when it’s viewed on their television screen.2
We are streaming more content on our TV screens than ever before with the rise of connected TV.
Today, streaming and TV are one and the same, and connected TV offers a huge opportunity to reach people who can no longer be effectively reached with traditional broadcast. And YouTube can help advertisers reach their audiences on a bigger screen. Here’s a look at why brands should prioritize a connected TV strategy to tap into the power of TV and digital with YouTube.
1. Reaching Canadian audiences at scale
Nowadays, viewers have many streaming platforms to choose from, but not all streaming platforms are ad-supported. YouTube can help reach streaming audiences at scale. According to research conducted by Ipsos, YouTube is the No. 1 ad-supported TV streaming platform in terms of reach for Canadians, which is more than 4X the next highest ad-supported TV streaming platform.3
Until recently, YouTube has largely been a platform that Canadians watched on their mobile and desktop devices. But in that decades-old tradition of gathering around the TV screen, people are now watching YouTube together with their friends and family. In fact, 64% of Canadian YouTube CTV viewers say they watch with other people.4 Across the industry, this is often referred to as “co-viewing.”
Accounting for multiple people, or “co-viewers,” has been a core part of TV ad measurement for years. Brands can measure the same behaviour with YouTube CTV, using Google’s planning and measurement solutions to get the full picture of the audience they’re now reaching through co-viewing.
2. Reaching the right audience, with the right frequency
Earlier this year, Google announced a new feature that lowers the risk of video ad fatigue among viewers who are watching across different screens, while adding more reach within the same ad budget. With Display & Video 360, advertisers can manage ad frequency across YouTube and other connected TV apps.
Not only does this reduce ad fatigue for viewers, it allows media dollars to go further. Globally, brands are seeing a 5% increase in reach per dollar, on average, when managing connected TV ad frequency across YouTube and other connected TV apps, rather than separately.5
3. YouTube’s largest creative canvas
We know that ad creative looks great on the big screen. When it’s shown on YouTube’s largest screen in the living room, in the context of a viewer’s personalized, logged-in content recommendations, it can have an even bigger impact.
Because connected TV encourages more attention from viewers, brands can use the opportunity to tell bigger stories. The living room is a more leaned-back environment, so when audiences are watching connected TV, they’re watching for longer. In fact, when watching YouTube CTV, Canadians watched videos that were over 80% longer and for 90% longer duration compared to mobile and desktop.6 So connected TV gives brands a bigger canvas to tell longer stories, outside the traditional 15- and 30-second constraints of traditional television.
Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) took advantage of this and saw really encouraging results with a recent campaign. In 2021, the global automotive industry was heavily impacted by supply-chain challenges, and the powersports industry faced the same situation. While inventory was low, BRP’s Marketing team and agency shifted gears from a focus on driving sales to building brand awareness and consideration across a younger target audience that was new to the powersports industry.
Because connected TV encourages more attention from viewers, brands can use the opportunity to tell bigger stories.
Understanding that the TV screen offers a more immersive ad placement and can deliver longer views, BRP added dedicated Connected TV campaigns to their video mix. They found that 50% of their total campaign watchtime was via Connected TV, with a 5-minute average watch time per viewer. Combined with BRP's overall marketing strategy, this helped the company power a 43% increase in acquisition of new customers, compared to the previous year7.
In many ways, we are still in the early days of connected TV, but all indications are that it’s here to stay — and for advertisers, it’s no longer about a strategy for a single screen. Offering big-screen impact with the benefits of digital marketing, YouTube CTV is an effective way for brands to reach Canadian audiences at scale.