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Consumers Weigh Digital Video Ad Experience Against TV

IAB survey finds many prefer digital video when it comes to watching ads

May 17, 2017

When it comes to TV ads and digital video ads, many viewers would rather stream video to their TV than watch commercials on regular television, according to new research.

A better overall advertising experience is likely a reason for this. A survey from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) that examined US digital video viewers’ attitudes toward TV ads and digital video ads found that many respondents said commercials shown during digital video streaming on TV are more memorable and less disruptive than traditional linear TV programming.

US Digital Video Viewers' Attitudes Toward TV/Digital Video Ads, 2015 & 2017 (% of respondents)

For example, close to a third of respondents polled in 2017 said that these types of commercials are more memorable than those shown on regular TV—an increase of 5 percentage points from 2015.

Similarly, over a third (34%) of digital video viewers said that the commercials shown during videos they stream to their TV are better than those on traditional linear TV. By comparison, nearly a quarter (23%) of those polled two years ago felt the same.

IAB also found that half of streaming-enabled TV owners said they prefer to watch commercials over having to pay for ad-free subscriptions while streaming video on TV.

According to eMarketer, US digital video ad spending will see double-digit growth annually through 2020. By contrast, TV ad spending will grow much more modestly, at rates ranging from 2.0% to 2.5%. Still, TV will remain dominant, with total ad spending reaching $77.93 billion in 2020—more than quadruple the $17.95 billion for digital video.

Monica Melton

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