Video Essentials

OTT Viewers Watch Together and Talk About the Brands They See

Co-viewing is popular for OTT viewers, and these viewers not only watch a lot of ads, but they talk about them, too.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has released a study called The Co-Viewing Experience: 2017, and it’s designed to show that streaming TV is a brand-friendly place. It’s not all loners binge-watching Netflix shows for eight hours at a time and never seeing an ad. No, OTT viewers watch in a group, see a lot of ads, and talk about the brands they see.

OTT viewers co-viewing According to the IAB, 93 percent of people between the ages of 13 and 64 watch big-screen living room TV with other people. People who watch OTT content with others are younger (typically between 18 and 34) and are more likely to be cord-cutters or cord-nevers. OTT co-viewing is also more popular with Hispanics and those with large households.

Streamers watch a lot of live programming. In fact, 36 percent of the content watched by OTT co-viewers is live. That means they’re seeing ads. What’s more, they’re engaged with the ads: 56 percent of OTT co-viewers talk about the brands and products they see, compared to 50 percent for linear TV co-viewers. Also, 45 percent of OTT co-viewers say they have changed someone else’s mind about a product they saw advertised, compared to 36 percent for linear TV viewers.

For OTT viewers who watch together, 92 percent pay moderate or full attention to the video content and 69 percent pay moderate to full attention to the ads.

“Co-viewers on OTT are highly interactive either in person or on social media,” the study concludes. “This can lead to high brand engagement including discussions, online searches, and online purchases. The interaction also creates a two-way dynamic to influence decision-making and brand perceptions. Brands can leverage the opportunity to plan a cross-device campaign optimizing social and search activities.”

The IAB got its results from a survey of 1,223 U.S. consumers using a MARU/Matchbox Springboard America online panel. View the full results for free (no registration required).


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