Marketers are on the hunt for that sweet spot where their audience spends most of their time. It can be tempting to throw money at every platform in an age where consumers are glued to multiple devices — but there’s more to it than that.
So where are consumers spending most of their time online? Let’s navigate the different platforms and identify strategies to help you target your audiences.
Are computers the new television?
In some ways, yes. Recent research by Accenture examining consumer media consumption patterns reveals a noticeable uptick in internet users watching TV content on their personal desktop rather than on an actual TV. And while watching TV was the number one rated leisure activity for people in the U.S. according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer-related activities, like gaming and socializing online, emerged as a close second.
Let’s look deeper into time spent on desktop. On average, consumers allocate 34 minutes per day to using a computer for gaming, leisure, and socializing. The labor statistics study found that consumers double their time socializing online on the weekends, dedicating 53 minutes in contrast to 25 minutes on weekdays. Here, we see a shift in leisure patterns — weekends foster increased social interaction compared to the typical work week, helping marketers understand where their audiences can be found online throughout the week.
For marketers navigating desktop environments, it’s crucial to understand the motivations behind the surge in computer usage. For example, what should marketers consider as they craft strategies to effectively connect with this growing audience of PC-oriented TV viewers?
It’s all about convenience.
While CTV interactivity and customization is becoming more common, desktops are still leading the charge in user personalization. What sets the computer experience apart is the seamless accessibility of these features when a viewer transitions across different devices, offering a level of personalized engagement that elevates the overall viewing experience. So, in a time when computers are giving consumers a reason to shift their media consumption away from more traditional methods, marketers should focus on ad formats that fit their needs.
The mobile divide: apps vs. browsers
People are scrolling on their phones everywhere you look. Insider Intelligence tells us that in the U.S., mobile consumption consistently overshadows traditional channels in both viewership and listenership. Beyond merely seeking entertainment on smartphones, consumers are dedicating more and more time to mobile apps, with an emphasis on social media and messaging apps.
This shift in preferences underscores the evolving media consumption landscape, with mobile serving as a primary conduit for entertainment and communication. Consumers are dedicating a greater portion of their time to mobile apps versus browsers — mobile app usage is estimated to reach 3 hours and 28 minutes per day this year, while browser usage is expected to remain at a much lower 52 minutes per day.
This is where mobile-first campaign strategies and transparent in-app media quality become crucial for marketers to ensure their valuable investments are truly reaching consumers where they are and driving engagement.
CTV and linear — where will ads have the most impact?
In 2023, the CTV wave swelled, with a staggering 88% of U.S. households owning at least one connected TV device. This transformation is most pronounced among Gen Z and Millennials (yes, CTV has won over Gen Z), with over 110 million CTV users in their ranks. As viewers pivot from traditional linear TV to streaming alternatives, advertisers are eagerly harnessing the potential of this digital migration. In fact, marketers surpassed $25 billion last year in CTV ad spend.
So what’s the deal with linear TV? While U.S. adult usage by the hour continues to drop annually, expanding CTV viewing time is actually backstopping the decline in traditional TV, which is helping to maintain (and grow) TV-based budgets. Plus, consumers are still spending time with linear TV — especially in 2024 with an upcoming political election and the Summer Olympic games.
Consumer perception of CTV ads has painted a positive picture. Over 60% of CTV viewers express a preference for watching ads if it means saving money. They also welcome targeted ads to enhance their viewing experience. Plus, nearly six in 10 CTV users think CTV ads are more relevant compared to linear, and recent IAS research found that relevant ads drive higher brand impact than those that are irrelevant.
How IAS can help
In a world where the already complex digital advertising landscape is evolving at breakneck speed, seizing opportunities on different media platforms has become more critical than ever. But not all platforms should be utilized equally.
Consumers are increasingly on the go, and so are our products. Whether consumers are watching a video, playing a game, or reading an article, IAS offers the same level of accuracy and insight into mobile media quality as we do for desktop, including MRC-accredited Viewability and Invalid Traffic measurement, plus Brand Safety and Suitability optimization solutions.
IAS is the first and only partner to work directly with the largest video publishers to validate that ads on CTV are played to completion and free from invalid traffic. Our CTV product gives marketers the insight to know exactly what they’re up against with comprehensive video metrics, protection against all major fraud scenarios, and our first-to-market CTV valid quartile consumption metrics that give insight into campaign viewability. Additionally, we’ve launched the industry’s first video-level brand suitability measurement for CTV in partnership with IRIS.TV to help marketers protect and grow their brand through frame-level video analysis, GARM industry alignment, and unmatched transparency.
Reach out to an IAS representative or contact us now to get started.