The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) presented “The OTT Co-Viewing Experience: 2017,” a comprehensive study revealing that more than half (56%) of those co-viewing on over-the-top (OTT) say that they regularly talk about the brands or products they see while watching content on television screens. Moreover, brand-related multitasking behaviors are particularly strong among OTT co-viewers, including chatting on social media about the brands they see, conducting brand-related searches, and even making purchases online.
Co-viewing, long a staple of linear TV viewing, is similarly popular with viewers of OTT, DVR, and video-on-demand (VOD) programming. More than 90 percent of Americans ages 13 to 64 watch programming on their TV screens with other people—and this holds true among viewers across the full range of broadcast and digital video platforms.
Co-viewers on OTT typically skew younger (18 to 34-years old), Hispanic, and are more likely to be cord-cutters/nevers. They are also likely to have a larger household, including children. In line with these demographics, co-viewing activity on OTT is often a family experience, with a spouse or partner (59%) and kids (41%) cited as top viewing companions.
This study makes clear that after linear TV, more U.S. consumers watch video content on OTT than any other platform. Therefore, linear TV and OTT capture the highest co-viewing audience reach.
Other key findings include:
- OTT co-viewers spend more than double the amount of time watching ad-supported content than they do on subscription services with no ads
- OTT co-viewers watch live programming regularly, representing over a third (36%) of the content they enjoy
“Watching TV has always had an important social component, and this has absolutely continued as OTT platforms become ever-more important parts of people’s viewing rituals,” said Chris Kuist, Senior Vice President, Research and Impact, IAB. “This social aspect of biggest screen in the house is powerful, and is being amplified on OTT platforms in ways that can greatly benefit marketers.”
“Insights into OTT co-viewing point to a strong opportunity for brand marketers to take advantage of group dynamics and behaviors that will open doors, as well as wallets,” said Anna Bager, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Mobile and Video, IAB. “OTT is a powerful platform for reaching younger audiences—especially the hard-to-reach cord-cutters/nevers. Brands launching cross-screen campaigns would be wise to take into account this audience’s affinity for brand-related multitasking across devices.”
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