TV-OTT Convergence: Benefits for Automotive Marketers

The 2021 Automotive Analytics & Attribution Summit featured a keynote presentation by John Brauer, Vice President, Insights & Analytics at Effectv and Anthony Jingoli, Regional Director of Automotive at Effectv. The topic of their talk was convergence and what it means for cross-screen measurement.

Based on research conducted and curated by Effectv, the pair posed and answered three questions that should be top of mind for all automotive advertisers and marketers.

  1. How do people watch streaming and traditional TV?
  2. How will campaigns perform better when using both tactics?
  3. How does unified impression measurement enable cross-screen attribution?

Automotive consumer behaviors are evolving against a backdrop of high demand, low supply, and even lower levels of customer loyalty. These dynamics demand a consistent, effective branding strategy and a way to assess its effectiveness accurately. The ability to understand how consumers watch TV is critical to achieving both goals.

How Viewers Watch

An analysis of data from Nielsen and Comcast shows 89% of time spent watching both traditional TV and streaming is spent in front of a TV screen. Those watching streaming content spend 86% of their viewing time watching a TV screen, while 69% of time spent with video is spent with traditional TV.1,2

Streaming behaviors can vary widely by viewer age. This is a critical differentiator. Some 75% of new car sales are to adults over the age of 40. But those adults make up just 62% of the population.3 And among streaming households, the 35-to-49 age group spends 35% of its viewing time with streaming content. In comparison, those 50 and older spend only 20% of their viewing time with streaming content.4

Even as streaming grows in prominence, viewers spend an average of three times more time with ad-supported traditional TV than with streaming.1 And while viewers spend an average of more than three hours daily with ad-supported cable TV, no OTT platform enjoys as much as one hour of daily viewing time.2

Mixed Campaigns Work Best

These facts make clear a critical point: advertisers and marketers whose campaigns combine streaming and traditional TV are likely to enjoy greater success than those who pursue one or the other exclusively. And campaigners who use data to understand how viewing varies by age group, geography, and other demographic factors can expect even greater success.

So why does the industry continue to treat streaming and traditional TV separately? It likely comes down to measurement. Streaming campaigns are measured with impressions delivered, often to a specific audience target identified with more detail than simple age and gender demographics. In contrast, TV is measured with a ratings system that often only gets as specific as age and gender information.

Advertisers and marketers should modernize how they quantify the value of TV. This means shifting away from basic ratings to advertising impressions like those used to measure streaming.

Effectv created a unified dataset of ad impressions that enables measurement of ad exposure among in-market consumers across streaming and linear TV platforms. Effectv then used that dataset to analyze some 5,000 campaigns. That analysis found 82% of reach for automotive campaigns came exclusively from linear TV.2

However, streaming can extend that reach significantly. Streaming also enables finely tuned audience targeting and delivery of ads and messages that complement and reinforce those delivered via linear TV. John and Anthony presented a case study demonstrating the benefits of advertising powered by cross-platform measurement and data analysis.

Further, careful data analysis can reveal an optimum mix of streaming and linear TV advertising for each campaign. Generally, streaming delivers the most incremental cross-platform reach when it accounts for between 10 and 40% of ad spend.2

The Bottom Line

As John and Anthony concluded, streaming is an important component of any video advertising campaign but alone will not reach the entire desired audience at scale. Unified cross-platform ad measurement enables informed campaign strategies that take full advantage of the strengths of both streaming and TV advertising. A unified approach also enables moving beyond measurement of exposure to measurement and reporting of meaningful outcomes for automotive marketers.

Click here to learn more in A Powerful Duo: The Linear + Streaming Evolution.


1. Nielsen Total Audience Report, Q4 2020
2: Comcast Internal Analysis of TV+Effectv Streaming campaigns, Jan-June 2021.
3: Nielsen Auto Marketing Report, 2019.
4: Nielsen Streaming Meter Report, Nielsen NPower. Q1 2021. Total HHs, P2-17, P 18-34, P35-49, P50+.