How CTV & its digital advertising have been impacted by the pandemic


  • We estimate CTV investments in the US grew by 40.6% year over year in 2020, to more than $9 billion. 
  • CTV advertising was among the fastest growing for any significant sector of the US digital ad spending market.
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Connected TV (CTV) advertising was a beneficiary of pandemic trends and remains one of digital advertising’s fastest-growing channels. Last year, linear TV decreased in importance to advertisers, as cord-cutting accelerated and more programmatic CTV inventory became available than ever before.

In 2021, US advertisers spent $14.44 billion on CTV, an increase of 59.9% over 2020. - Insider Intelligence
In 2021, US advertisers spent $14.44 billion on CTV, an increase of 59.9% over 2020. Insider Intelligence

Consumers have increasingly cut the cable cord and spent more time with OTT video, especially video streamed to CTV devices. Naturally, advertisers have followed these viewers to the media channel.

Not only has CTV advertising grown throughout the pandemic, but it also rose at rates that were among the fastest for any significant sector of the US digital ad market, thanks in part to the expanded availability of its offerings with scaled targeting through programmatic buying options, as well as the greater flexibility it offers compared with linear TV.

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CTV ad spending is growing so quickly that each time we update our forecasts we end up raising our estimates. In October, we raised our 2022 US CTV ad spending forecast from $17.44 billion to $19.10 billion.

When we published our previous CTV advertising report in November 2020, we expected that US CTV ad spending would total $11.36 billion in 2021 and grow to $18.29 billion in 2024. Since then, people increased the amount of time they spent streaming video, and advertisers spent more money trying to gain the attention of those viewers. We now forecast that more than $30 billion will be spent on CTV ads by 2025.

CTV advertising stats and 2022 forecast

Prior to the pandemic, we’d had high expectations for CTV ad spending in 2020, but they have been repeatedly exceeded. Our estimate of the CTV user base in the US has changed, too—we now expect 213.7 million people to use the internet through such a device at least monthly in 2021, compared with our pre-pandemic forecast of 208.1 million. In addition, we’ve revised our 2021 figure for traditional pay TV households downward, from the 76.8 million we had expected prior to the pandemic to our current forecast of 74.0 million.

CTV is benefiting from the general increase in programmatic video advertising. In 2022, video will account for more than half of all US programmatic display ad spending. 



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