A Marketer’s Guide to CTV Advertising Benchmarks

Why putting CTV campaign performance into context matters

Connected TV (CTV) advertising isn’t new, but it has gained significant traction in recent years as viewership habits lean increasingly digital. eMarketer projects that CTV advertising spend will grow 22.4% to reach $30.10 billion in 2024, solidifying its place as the fastest-growing major ad channel in the US. CTV’s ability to deliver incremental lift in concert with linear TV, social, and digital can’t be ignored.

As CTV advertising grows, so too has consumers’ receptivity to it. Our Ad-Supported Streaming TV report revealed that only 13% of people said they weren’t likely to subscribe to a discounted streaming service with ads. This value exchange has opened up new avenues for brands to fuel brand growth with CTV advertising.

As the industry braces for more CTV growth, understanding ad performance is paramount. Benchmarks are a helpful tool for marketers to better understand how their CTV campaigns are moving consumers compared to others in their category,  as well as other industries. You can also see how CTV benchmarks compare to benchmarks for other media channels. 

DISQO just released the industry’s first full-funnel benchmarks for CTV campaigns. To prepare you, our guide addresses the following questions:

What is the difference between CTV vs. OTT?

To set the stage, we first want to define what CTV is and isn’t. Connected TV and over-the-top (OTT) are often used interchangeably, but they are not synonyms. 

  • Connected TV (CTV) is the term used for any TV set connected to the internet, including TV sticks (Roku), smart TVs (Vizio), and gaming consoles (X-Box).
  • Over-the-top (OTT) is the process of streaming video, audio, or messaging content “over-the-top” of the internet. Popular OTT platforms include Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, YouTube TV, and Disney+.

What are CTV advertising benchmarks?

CTV advertising benchmarks are standardized metrics used to evaluate campaign effectiveness. They provide a framework for understanding how well your ads perform compared to others. 

For CMOs and their teams, proving the impact of ad investments on the bottom line is a must. DISQO empowers clients to measure ad effectiveness objectively. When communicating how a campaign met its goals based on measured brand and outcomes KPIs, our benchmarks provide a relative comparison to further assess campaign performance on a relative basis. They help to identify where there are potential areas for improvement.

Why do I need CTV advertising benchmarks?

DISQO’s general 2024 Ad Effectiveness Benchmarks are a useful tool for gathering a holistic understanding of campaign performance. But our CTV-specific benchmarks allow you to get a more granular frame of reference for CTV ad performance, so you can focus on the unique nuances of the channel.

  1. While CTV has gained significant traction, it’s still a relatively new medium for advertisers. This means that traditional measurement methodologies just don’t cut it. A lack of standardized measurement tools and metrics only compounds this challenge, leaving marketers in the dark about how their campaigns are actually performing. Trusted channel benchmarks are necessary to get on the same page with the broader industry about what “good” and “bad” looks like in the connected landscape.
  2. As Adland’s fastest-growing major channel, CTV is evolving quickly - and so is the content consumers expect to see on platforms. Publishers have introduced new ad formats and content features – QR codes, choose-your-own advertising, live links, and more – to foster more engagement and drive downstream outcomes like site visits and e-commerce. However, this has also raised the bar for more holistic advertising measurement.

How can I find trustworthy CTV advertising benchmarks?

Your benchmarks are only as good as the aggregated campaign data used to create them. Considering the scale and longitude of normative benchmarks, data quality is of the utmost importance. We’ve outlined characteristics of high-quality CTV benchmarks to help you choose the right partner.

Metric breadth

Many benchmarks can tell you what a good or bad campaign looks like on a singular metric. However, if you want to see how your campaigns impact multiple metrics — and most marketers should — then you’re left relying on different sources for benchmarks. This is especially true as marketers increasingly seek to understand performance with both attitudinal and behavioral metrics on CTV platforms.

Marketers need a research partner that offers behavioral outcomes on top of more traditional brand metrics. With benchmarks for both, you can see whether a CTV campaign boosted awareness or favorability, and also prompted downstream behaviors like search, site visits, and e-commerce.

Consistency of source

If you require multiple research providers to assess lift benchmarks — one for attitudes, one for digital behaviors, one for social, and one for television — it’s difficult to determine if the change is significant enough to make valuable conclusions. Marketers should look for providers who can cover the vast majority of preferred metrics and media through one program. 

Single-source measurement ensures each study is conducted on a similar CTV audience, eliminating the risk of comparing apples to oranges. Stronger conclusions allow for more effective communication with stakeholders. Explaining the nuances of multiple vendor datasets to an audience is an unenviable task while describing findings from a single solution makes for a more compelling internal narrative.

Cross-platform coverage

Keeping tabs on exposed and unexposed consumers in a highly fragmented media environment is challenging, and leaves huge gaps in measurement validity. If your research provider can’t see across CTV platforms, benchmarks will be heavily biased toward those platforms where it does have access. 

When assessing your benchmark partner, look for providers with strong, consistent ways to view longitudinal consumer behaviors on CTV platforms. 

Recency of data

Benchmarks should change as the advertising landscape evolves. Why? Because campaigns tested 5-10 years ago may have launched at a time when consumer behavior differed notably from where it is today. The speed of culture transforms advertising in ways that make recency a critical component of reliable benchmarks.

Review the timeliness of campaigns included in any benchmarks you consider. Partner with a vendor who you can trust to grow as the advertising industry evolves. This will help future-proof your research efforts and normative comparisons.

How do I use CTV advertising benchmarks to improve campaign performance?

Gauge performance against competitors.

By measuring your campaign performance against CTV benchmarks, you can identify areas where your campaign exceeds industry averages and where it falls short. This analysis helps pinpoint campaign strengths and weaknesses in your campaigns, and also allows you to set realistic goals that align with your objectives.

Understand where CTV shines brightest.

As CTV continues to grow and evolve, its strengths do as well. It’s important to keep a close pulse on where CTV campaigns pack the most punch, so that you can align your investments with your campaign goals. Our benchmarks not only outline differences in upper-funnel and lower-funnel impacts, but they also highlight the unique metrics where CTV stands out.

Identify how CTV ads can be optimized.

Benchmarks not only reveal where channels have the most impact, but also where innovation is needed to optimize their effectiveness. This allows advertisers and publishers to develop new ad formats or refine targeting. For example, in a channel that performs well on brand metrics but less so on outcomes metrics, publishers may need to streamline the path-to-purchase to drive down-funnel impact. 

Measure ad effectiveness with DISQO’s full-funnel, cross-media benchmarks!

Because our audience members opt into having their digital behaviors metered across all channels, DISQO can see CTV ad exposure without relying on inputs provided by the platform itself. This allows us to leverage a consistent methodology across all studies and all platforms. 

Our 2024 CTV Ad Effectiveness Benchmarks just dropped. Download to benchmark your connected TV campaigns’ performance.

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