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Pitching CTV investment in 5 charts

Even as we approach a potential ad spend winter, connected TV (CTV) advertising is in decent shape. Netflix and Disney+ just joined the ad-supported streaming game. Cord-cutters are outpacing pay TV viewers. And YouTube is increasingly watched on CTVs. These five charts offer a closer look at CTV’s past, present, and future.

1. Pivoting from pay TV

In 2024, the number of cord-cutters and cord-nevers will surpass the number of pay TV viewers, reaching 138.1 million versus 129.3 million. Roughly $1 in $3 spent on TV advertising will go to CTV in 2025, up from less than $1 in $10 in 2019. CTV advertising has a leg up on pay TV in terms of targeting. Now, it also has an advantage in terms of audience size.

2. CTV is outpacing linear

CTV ad spending has a healthier outlook than many other advertising ecosystems. CTV ad spend will near $27 billion in the US next year, growing by 27.2%. Double-digit growth will continue through 2026. One aspect boosting CTV ad spend is the introduction of advertising across more services. There is quite literally a bigger CTV ad opportunity now than there was a year ago.

3. The hardware is already there

Around 85% of US households already use CTV, per our forecast. Nearly 60% of US households already have a smart TV, according to Comscore, and Amazon Fire TV sticks and Roku boxes are already used in around 30%. Amazon Fire TV and Roku adoption is increasing the fastest, according to our forecast. More than 3 in 4 people aged 12 to 54 in the US are CTV users. Advertisers can target users across age groups both via streaming ads and via display ads on those devices.

4. Digital video is moving to CTVs

This year, for the first time since we began our forecast, less than half of time spent with YouTube will be on mobile as viewers pivot to watching videos on other connected devices, which include CTVs. Even as time spent with TV decreases and time spent with digital video goes up, CTV is winning.

5. There are plenty of good options

Big players like Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, and Hulu either have pivoted or are pivoting to ads. But there are other ad opportunities. Around 10% of CTV ad spend share will go to Roku next year, and 84% of US TV viewers consider The Roku Channel to be of high value. So while ad spots on Netflix and Disney+ may feel risky because they’re new, free ad-supported video should not be overlooked as a well-watched alternative.

This was originally featured in the eMarketer Daily newsletter. For more marketing insights, statistics, and trends, subscribe here.