More and more consumers are “cutting the cord” when it comes to traditional television and opting for Connected TV (CTV) options. Total hours watched on connected devices has risen 20% year-over-year with 81% of households with WiFi now streaming on CTV in 2023. The rise of CTV in recent years can be attributed to its unparalleled convenience and flexibility, which gives viewers access to a wide range of content on their own terms. 

CTV isn’t just growing in popularity for binging series or watching movies. Many sports channels such as Thursday Night Football, Major League Soccer, and NFL Sunday Ticket have made the move to streaming. Live sports now account for 30% of all connected TV (CTV) viewing. The vast array of streaming services and original programming, coupled with personalized recommendations, has transformed the way people consume television. With football season in full force, learn how Connected TV has changed the way that live sports are being watched and the different ways mobile marketers can leverage this growth.

CTV and Live Sports

One of the biggest distinctions between traditional broadcast cable and streaming has been access to live major league sports. This has been long seen as a barrier to streaming’s growth. But access to live sports is changing and live sporting events are increasingly becoming available on more platforms than ever before. For example, FuboTV streams over 50,000 live sporting events per year. What’s more, nearly half of viewers who watch sports are choosing a primary viewing source outside of linear TV. That number increases to 65% among younger sports viewers aged 18 to 34.

An example of how CTV is impacting the sports viewing world is with the Philadelphia Eagles’ 34-28 win over the Minnesota Vikings in September of 2023. This game averaged 15.05 million viewers on Amazon’s Prime Video and local broadcast outlets in the teams’ home markets. This is the largest audience by about 2 million viewers since the weeknight NFL showcase moved to Prime Video in 2022. It also accounts for a 15.5% increase from the previous high viewership for the opener last year. By letting viewers have access to this game on multiple platforms, the audience for this game sky rocketed. 

Live sports streaming is set to see exponential growth over the next several years, with the market expected to grow from $18.6 million in 2021 to more than $93 million by 2030, a CAGR rate of 24.6%. With CTV, brands reach sports fans via streaming apps like ESPN+, Peacock, and Prime Video with messaging that automatically updates based on their location, viewing history, or the big sports game in their area that weekend. With live sports streaming, agencies and brands gain access to advanced targeting, premium inventory, cost efficiencies, and more.

How App Marketers can Leverage the Growth in CTV

The rise in popularity of CTV unleashes a plethora of opportunities in the mobile marketing space. App marketers can harness the power of CTV for mobile advertising to reach a highly engaged and diverse audience. They have access to higher quality of targeting, cross device retargeting and more. 

Targeted Advertising

Unlike traditional television, CTV platforms offer robust data analytics, enabling app marketers to target specific demographics, interests, and behaviors. Traditional television relies on broad demographic data, whereas CTV leverages advanced data analytics and user insights to deliver personalized ads to specific audiences. This precision is possible because CTV platforms can collect data on viewers' streaming habits, preferences, and even location. 

Marketers can then use this data to create and deliver ads that resonate with their intended audience. With the ability to target viewers based on factors like age, gender, interests, and even past behaviors, CTV lets advertisers reach the right people with the right message at the right time, making their campaigns more effective and efficient. This level of granularity in targeting not only enhances the viewer's experience by showing them more relevant content but also maximizes the return on investment for advertisers. By leveraging this data, marketers can deliver highly personalized ads to CTV viewers, increasing the relevance of their messages and enhancing the chances of conversion. 

Cross-Device Retargeting

Marketers can use CTV as part of a broader cross-device retargeting strategy. When a viewer sees an ad on CTV, the same user can be retargeted on their mobile device, creating a cohesive and consistent advertising experience. This continuity in user behavior allows marketers to employ cross-device retargeting strategies. For example, a viewer who sees an ad on their CTV device can be retargeted with follow-up ads on their smartphone or tablet, ensuring that the brand message remains consistent and top of mind across different screens. 

This approach not only reinforces brand awareness but also streamlines the user journey, making it easier for viewers to take desired actions, such as visiting a website or downloading an app on their preferred device. CTV's ability to bridge the gap between television and other digital platforms makes it a valuable tool for marketers seeking to reach and engage audiences across multiple devices.

Measurement and Analytics

Compared to traditional TV, CTV offers significantly more robust measurement and analytics capabilities. These platforms provide advertisers with detailed, real-time insights into the performance of their campaigns. Marketers can track metrics such as ad completion rates, click-through rates, and post-view conversions, which are challenging to measure accurately on traditional television. These advanced analytics enable advertisers to understand their audience's behavior, optimize their campaigns on the fly, and ultimately achieve a higher return on investment. 

For example, when it comes to sports streaming, advertisers can track the parts of games with the most viewership in order to serve optimal ads at that time. With CTV's data-driven approach, advertisers gain valuable insights that help them refine their strategies. This helps them create more effective, targeted, and measurable advertising campaigns, marking a substantial departure from the limited analytics offered by traditional TV.

Thoughts from Mediasmart

YouAppi's sister company, mediasmart, is an advertising agency based in Europe that been working with CTV for quite some time. Kelly Leonard, mediasmart's VP Europe, gives her thoughts on the growth in this vertical:

"Connected TV (CTV) is rapidly changing the landscape of European advertising, anticipating 2 billion EUR in 2023 revenue. This represents a 34% YoY surge. Its dynamic audience spans diverse interests and offers an engaging space for concise, interactive messages that capture viewer attention in the evolving digital landscape. If we consider sports alone, the viewership for the Champions League Final via streaming increased 45% in unique users compared to the previous year."

"Additionally, as European households increasingly adopt Smart TVs and streaming devices, CTV ad revenues are set to grow 1.4 times faster than in North America over the next 5 years. Leading in digitalization, the UK exemplifies CTV's potential, with streaming habits offering some fantastic opportunities for brands to engage with new audiences. Despite some of its challenges, CTV's global reach and available ad products position it as a formidable channel that will reshape European advertising amid declining traditional TV viewership."— Kelly Leonard, VP Europe, mediasmart

Takeaways of Game, Set, Play: Connected TV’s Impact on Live Sports Viewing 

CTV provides a dynamic and engaging platform for app marketers to connect with audiences in new and innovative ways. By leveraging the capabilities of CTV, including targeting, interactivity, and cross-device retargeting, app marketers can create effective campaigns that drive app downloads, user engagement, and conversions.