The 2024 Ultimate CTV Guide for CPG Brands & Agencies

Connected TV (CTV) is making a power play, stealing viewers and ad dollars from linear TV and streaming giants. This year, CTV is experiencing explosive growth and innovation. But how can you leverage this trend to your advantage in 2024?

Use this ultimate guide to discover:

  • The reasons behind CTV’s exponential rise and what it means for unified commerce.
  • How to optimize your TV budgets to capitalize on the CTV boom.
  • How to use CTV’s advanced targeting and measurement at the household level to improve Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) and incremental sales.

What’s Connected TV?
Connected TV (CTV) refers to devices that can stream video content over the internet, typically directly to a television. This includes smart TVs, streaming media players like Roku and Fire TV, gaming consoles like PlayStation / Xbox, and fresh players like Walmart’s purchase of Vizio to create a content delivery to rival Amazon.

According to AdExchanger’s global ad spend forecast1, CTV is poised to overtake linear TV this year. It will challenge traditional Ad-Supported Video on Demand (AVOD) and Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) for attention and ad dollars and is considered a bright spot that’s driving growth.

Chart of Definitions for CTV, Linear TV, SVOD (Subscription Video on Demand) and AVOD (Ad-supported Video on Demand).

CTV Marketplace Snapshot
GenZ is flocking to CTV, with viewership expected to reach 55M this year. They will drive the future of CTV content and advertising.

Overall, Statista estimates 115M US households will use connected TVs at least once per month in 2024.2 Their forecast suggests that by 2027 that number will grow to 121M households having CTVs, such as smart TVs, streaming devices, or gaming consoles.

Chart of Average Time Spent per Day with Digital Videos versus Linear TV

CPG marketers are taking notice: eMarketer predicts CTV ad spend will surpass $30 billion in 2024 -- a 22% increase year-over-year.3 According to a Digiday survey4, brand marketers said CTV’s biggest potential lies in its ability to fit seamlessly in an existing omnichannel strategy. Most surveyed are running CTV ads in tandem with social media (86%), display advertising (78%), mobile video (77%), desktop video (67%) and linear TV (54%).

But the shift to CTV is far from complete. The Digiday survey of more than 100 brand marketers and agency executives shows that there’s a big divide in adoption. More than half (52%) say they began shift media investments more than a year ago, while 48% are still testing or haven’t started yet.

Embracing CTV’s Advantages & Innovations
The primary barrier is the legacy of linear TV: For decades, agencies operated on a compensation structure driven by linear and were organized as such. That made CPG Brands more knowledgeable and comfortable with linear TV’s broad reach and familiar marketing mix approach. But by contextualizing CTV results, CPG marketers and agencies can begin to embrace the shift and lean into this channel’s many advantages and innovations.

Sophisticated Targeting

  • Real Time
  • Purchase-based
  • Predictive Modeling

The limits of Linear TVs broad brush strokes of brand awareness are often underestimated. Linear TV targeting is imprecise and lacks inflight optimization capabilities compared to CTV’s ability to deliver hyper-personalized messaging in real time.

CTV targeting is more sophisticated than you may realize, enabling agencies to deliver performance marketing across the entire customer journey.

And real-time purchase insights are best to help you stay on top of changes in consumer behavior trends.

Both agencies and brands should prioritize working with companies that leverage purchase-based insights and AI/machine-learning algorithms to predict buyer behavior. This will help extend reach beyond current brand and category buyers to all relevant shoppers.

Advanced Measurement Capabilities

  • Awareness
  • Sales Impact
  • Incrementality

Like linear TV, you can use CTV to build measurable awareness, but don’t stop there. Unlike linear TV, you can uncover in real-time what’s driving conversion.

We expect marketers to start demanding agencies focus on more complex omnichannel metrics instead of relying on video completion rates to demonstrate the effectiveness of a campaign.

Agencies should be able to identify insights into sales impact as well as the behaviors of the buyers who were exposed to media.

In-flight Analysis & Optimization

  • By channel
  • By creative
  • By audience

Ultimately, you can use 1:1 purchase data at the household level to discover in real time which aspects of a campaign are working most efficiently and optimize accordingly.

As shoppers move toward purchase you can tweak your messaging content and couple that with incentives that drive specific shoppers in-store.

You’ll learn how category buyers are shifting purchase patterns, what competitors they are coming from, as well as which audiences, creative and spot length perform best.

Improved Frequency Control & Reach
Since CTV lives within the digital landscape, advertisers can more precisely control frequency and reach in comparison to Linear TV’s broad-brush strokes.

This precision is critical as you evaluate media efficiency not only for awareness tactics but also for precise targeting. By controlling frequency, you can minimize media waste.

Ultimately, this allows your media dollars to work harder for your brand by serving campaign impressions to incremental households.

Greater Operational Scale
You’ll also be able to operate on a much bigger scale.
This year, expect tremendous growth of Free Ad-supported Streaming TV – called FAST – which offers wider audience reach at potentially lower costs.

FAST mimics the experience of traditional channel-based viewing using pre-programmed content – often in the form of a library of shows and movies.
It is redefining premium content. There’s nothing magical about what constitutes premium. CPG brands should prioritize who’s watching the site, not what site they’re viewing. If they are sitting through your ad, why does it matter where it airs?

As more consumers become fed up with rising subscription fees and shift to ad-supported platforms, two things are happening – reach and targeting are improving and more inventory is driving down costs.5 This gives agencies the opportunity to guide brands toward increasingly popular free programming.

  • 73% of connected TV viewers prefer to watch free ad-supported content versus paying more for ad-free content.
  • More than half (55%) of consumers said they use at least one free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) service, such as Pluto TV, The Roku Channel, Tubi, Amazon’s FreeVee, or the free version of Peacock.6

CTV In Action
These case studies showcase the advantages of shifting your linear TV budgets to make CTV an integral component of your media plans.

Conquer CTV: Proven Strategies for Growth
The volatility of the streaming landscape shows no signs of abating as they continue to evolve their offerings with less costly ad-supported tiers, increased bundling of services and exclusive live streaming sports content.

But don’t wait for the streaming landscape to settle– it won’t! Take advantage of CTV’s superior targeting, measurement, and optimization capabilities to:

  • Rebalance your linear and CTV budgets.
  • Leverage real-time data for purchase-based targeting.
  • Achieve optimal reach and frequency control.
  • Prioritize campaign performance over solely brand awareness.
  • Capitalize on the shift from paid to free subscriptions.

The Catalina Solution
Committed to privacy from our start 40+ years ago, we invented the world’s first 1:1 digital marketing network. Since then, our data experts have synthesized the deepest insights and most advanced predictive models and AI-enhanced technology to bring you powerful and efficient media performance.

Today, CPG Brands and Agency partners trust Catalina as their advisor to seamlessly navigate advanced TV planning, execution, and measurement. Catalina can target specific buying households with unmatched precision and scale. And go beyond just reach and impressions, helping you understand the incremental return on your TV advertising spend and how well it performed with other media.

Let us be your strategic partner to influence that next shopping trip, measure results in real-time, and orchestrate your omni-channel campaigns for maximum impact.

1 AdExchanger, Global Ad Spend Forecast
2 Statista, CTV Ad Spending 2019-2027
3 eMarketer, Connected TV Ad Spending 2024
4 Digiday, 5 Trends to Watch for in CTV Advertising in 2024
5 FutureProofd Market Analysis 2024
6 Hub Entertainment Research Study 2022