UK trend 2022: Digital video advertising will make further inroads into traditional TV

Lockdowns in the UK drove up video consumption, and multiperson households made good use of their multiple screens. Advertisers now need to adapt to an audience that is more device-agnostic and content-hungry than ever.

Advertisers must follow their audiences wherever they may be, as the boundary between digital video and traditional TV grows blurrier for viewers. People are streaming short-form content on TV screens and watching traditional live TV on their smartphones. Connected TVs (CTVs), in particular, are becoming increasingly popular devices for consuming the full gamut of video content available to UK viewers. Other screens aren’t being sidelined, though. Consumers now watch video content on whatever screen is most convenient (and optimal) for them, and advertisers should meet them there.

Digital video ad spending will thus continue to eat away at traditional TV budgets. In 2022, TV will account for just 12.4% of total media ad spending, down from 13.3% in 2021, according to our forecast. Digital advertisers are investing more in broadcasters, however, particularly in public-service networks that make their content available online. We estimate that broadcaster video-on-demand (BVOD) ad spending will grow by 26.0% this year, for example, to reach £583.9 million ($748.8 million), and will rise by a further 12.4% in 2022.

The broader CTV category—which includes BVOD and all other digital video advertising that appears on CTVs—will likely see strong growth as well, with advertisers building out their CTV advertising strategies by drawing budget from linear TV and other underperforming channels.

Advertisers must adjust their strategies to align with this reality. With “traditional” linear TV ad spending on the decline, and with digital video content largely consumed on TV sets, ad buyers should rethink their ad executions—but exercise caution. Digital video can offer optimized measurement, but brand safety remains a big issue. Advertisers should also ensure the type and length of a video ad comports with the surrounding content—a 3-minute midroll ad in a short YouTube video wouldn’t be well received, for example.