Digital Essays 2022: Multiple screens make a comeback – by ArabyAds’ Sachin Kumar

When consumers use their mobile phones for multiple daily activities, attention and brand-recall gets mixed up, writes ArabyAds’ Sachin Kumar

By Sachin Kumar, business director, Connected TV – ArabyAds

It started with one click on a mobile phone. Today, mobile screens have turned into an extension of one’s identity. It knows your preferences, affinities and everything about your online behaviour. Consumers across the top 10 mobile-first markets spent a little under five hours on their mobile devices every day in 2021.

However, it’s not all good news as we see a big dent on the consumer’s attention span. With the rising app-economy, mobile phones have turned into an everything-device used for multiple daily activities. The same screen serves the need for communications, transactions, gaming, entertainment and shopping. Clearly, the per capita time on engagement – call it attention or brand recall – goes for a toss. On a lighter note, isn’t the human in us demanding a lot from the small screen?

The subtle, yet loud shift of consumers towards connected TV (CTV) is a part of a need-based evolution. There is a need to break the clutter and segregate screens that deliver experience versus transactions. This behavioural change is irreversible and is bound to explode as adoption increases. CTV presents an exciting proposition for the audiences with its flexibility to provide diverse and rich content on-demand with ease of access and better control. The customer feels like the king again.

A generation of ‘cord-cutters’ and ‘cord-nevers’

CTV is the primary reason for the rise in number of ‘cord cutters’ – consumers who have switched from traditional cable TV to streaming services or internet-based cable alternatives. They tend to be more demanding and want to stream content at will. However, a massive parallel boost to the adoption of CTV also comes from another consumer segment – the ‘cord nevers’, consumers who have never paid for a cable plan. Their interest leans towards streaming services for their entertainment needs. The audience segment here primarily comprises of Gen Z-ers. These two consumer segments have propelled CTV adoption through the roof.

If connected TV is getting consumers’ attention, it is a winner for advertisers too. Let’s take a look at recent numbers and understand the impact of CTV on ad spend. According to Statista, the CTV advertising spend in the United States alone was valued above $14bn in 2021. It is expected to cross $38bn by the end of 2026. While the US leads in CTV ad spend globally, European advertisers have increased their investment in this channel along with marketers in EMEA, LATAM and Asian markets. In the first half of 2021, CTV advertising in the EMEA region witnessed a 100 per cent increase compared with the first half of 2020. It is reassuring to see that after North America, EMEA made the biggest CTV share gains, increasing from 8 per cent to 22 per cent in 2021. Given that the MENA region, especially markets of UAE, KSA, and Egypt have high internet penetration and a considerable Gen Z population, we can expect CTV advertising in MENA to scale up and turn into a dedicated channel of spending. 

CTV advertising solves a real-use case

As the increasing clutter on mobile devices negatively affects campaign interactions, CTV builds a robust case for itself. It amplifies the need for advertisers to build engagement with consumers and create maximum impact that generates better brand recall. Factors such as high engagement rates on CTV, better ad-recall among consumers, large-screen ad experience and uncluttered CTV screens provide advertisers the ability to create immersive and engaging content for consumers. Besides, due to co-viewing, CTV ads reach one to five potential consumers in every household, enhancing the campaign exposure while limiting the cost to a single impression. With a better sales attribution capability and accurate targeting and measurement, CTV has become the most sought-after advertising medium in several markets.

CTV advertising opens up innovative and experiential advertising capabilities with its first-screen experience and highly effective niche audience-targeting capabilities. Considering how well it does globally, we will see massive adoption of CTV advertising in the MENA region. 

With a massive reach of more than 20 million unique devices, household sync, first-screen advertising experience and multiple targeting options, ArabyAds CTV Ads opens up significant potential and a new channel for advertisers.