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What advertisers need to know about the state of CTV around the world

A shining globe spins as a hand emerging from inside holds a connected TV remote in the air.

Illustration by Nick DeSantis / Getty / Shutterstock / The Current

“There’s going to come a time, and now it’s in the not-so-distant future, that all TV is going to be streaming TV.” 

That’s the outlook from Mike Proulx, VP and research director at Forrester, and other prognosticators who are encouraging marketers to prepare for total transformation. “What we end up with is the television content that we’ve always loved,” he tells The Current, “distributed a different way, trading cable for the internet.” 

It’s safe to say that modern technology, spurred by pandemic viewing habits, has changed TV forever, from the way we buy ads to how and where we enjoy our favorite shows. And this evolution is happening around the world — albeit with regional nuances. In Europe, for example, some traditional broadcasters who once shunned advertising are now courting marketers and implementing identity solutions; in Asia-Pacific, a potential economic uptick in Japan could become a gold mine for connected TV (CTV) advertisers; and in India, more people are gaining access to speedy internet, making way for a streaming surge. 

While television viewers and advertisers are witnessing these changes in their own countries, few have a global view of the TV landscape. That’s why we’re bringing you perspectives from our international reporting team on how TV viewership is changing in key regions. Whether you’re representing a global brand, or anticipating what’s next for your market, there’s a lot at stake: An estimated $30 billion in global CTV ad revenue is predicted to change hands this year, and WARC projects that amount will grow to $42.5 billion by 2028. 

So, take a spin around the globe to see how North America, Europe and Asia- Pacific are seizing the streaming advantage. You can click a region in the top navigation bar, or keep scrolling, for an overview plus the latest coverage to help you go deeper.

U.S.-based premium streamers embrace advertising

Big picture: eMarketer projects CTV ad spend in the U.S. will surpass $28 billion this year, an 18% increase from 2023. By 2028, that investment is predicted to exceed $44 billion. To say CTV is a growing channel in the country is probably an understatement. That means there are robust opportunities for premium subscription video-on-demand platforms that have embraced advertising and live programming — particularly sports, the crown jewel for brands. 

Advertising is a critical revenue stream for major U.S.-based streamers looking to boost profits. Even Netflix, which has over 270 million subscribers worldwide, said in its Q1 earnings report in April that it would stop reporting subscriber numbers starting next year. Some experts told The Current that this could be a big sign that subscriber growth for the streaming industry has a ceiling, and that the industry is tipping more and more toward ads.

As most of the major U.S.-based streamers have moved into advertising, there are also signs of more consolidation and bundling in the future.

A hand holds a globe with a play button.

Disney completed its integration of Hulu into Disney+ in the U.S. this year; while Hulu is still offered as a stand-alone service, subscribers can access the platform as a tile on Disney+ too. On the other side of that coin is bundling. Disney will soon launch a bundle of Disney+, Hulu and Max; Comcast is now offering customers a bundle of the ad-supported versions of Netflix and Peacock, along with Apple TV+.

It all means that advertisers might have to rely more on data to really hone in on their audience, according to eMarketer senior analyst Ross Benes: “As content becomes more similar across streaming services due to corporate partnerships, the differentiation between them for advertisers will become data and measurement.”

Then there are live sports rights, which are increasingly shifting to streaming; most recently, Netflix announced that it will stream two NFL games on Christmas Day this year as part of a three-year deal.

The Olympics this summer will be crucial for NBCUniversal’s Peacock, which will sell the games programmatically. And in the U.S.’ neighbor to the north, Canadian broadcaster CBC/Radio-Canada recently announced that it is offering its inventory programmatically for the first time, ahead of airing the Olympics.

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A TV revolution is happening in Europe

Big picture: CTV ad spend in the U.K. is expected to exceed $2.3 billion this year, an almost 19% increase over last year. And it could reach $3.6 billion by 2028, according to eMarketer. And Médiamétrie predicted last year an up-to-200% increase in media spend on hybrid video-on-demand platforms in Europe in 2024, while linear TV ad spend would grow just 2%.

Broadcasters in Europe, such as in the U.K. and France, are evolving in an effort to compete with the U.S.-based global streaming giants that have entered the region, with some seeing cheaper or free ad-supported platforms and identity solutions, like European Unified ID (EUID) or ID5, as opportunities to level the playing field.

“What is at stake is European broadcasters’ very position in the media industry and, more than that, their ability to keep reaching local audiences ... ”

Ophélie Boucaud, principal analyst of European media and advertising, Dataxis

The U.K. public broadcaster BBC announced in March that it would start serving ads on its podcasts. The Current reported that the decision wasn’t happening in isolation and reflected a brewing “TV revolution” across Europe, in which more public broadcasters are pivoting to advertising as global streamers move into the European regions.

“What is at stake is European broadcasters’ very position in the media industry and, more than that, their ability to keep reaching local audiences with local narratives in a new, unfamilar space that a lot of them entered rather late,” says Ophélie Boucaud, Dataxis’ principal analyst of European media and advertising.

Another notable shift in Europe that might be contributing to the so-called revolution is that some broadcasters, particularly in France, are adopting the EUID identity solution. The Current reported that identity solutions like EUID and ID5 all aim to give advertisers the precision and scale of third-party cookies, while being more privacy-conscious, and that more could adopt identity solutions as European lawmakers introduce new privacy laws.

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Asia Pacific is emerging as a major CTV force

Big picture: Advertising video-on-demand revenue grew 13% year over year in 2023 in Asia-Pacific, excluding China, according to a January report by Media Partners Asia Research Services (MPA). Advertising is predicted to contribute 63% of the region’s online video revenue by 2028, excluding China, according to the report. MPA Managing and Executive Director Vivek Couto credited the projected growth partly to the rise of CTV and investment in premium local content.

There lie major opportunities for advertisers in Japan and India, in particular.

In April, the Bank of Japan lifted short-term interest rates for the first time in nearly two decades, which The Current reported could provide more opportunities for advertisers in the region as its economy potentially rebounds. Particularly, that could be a boon for CTV advertisers, as 71% of TV viewers in Japan watch ad-supported streaming services, according to a survey by Magnite.

“We are witnessing a new chapter in the story of India, where streaming platforms are revolutionizing the way we consume and create content.”

Harsha Razdan, CEO South Asia, Dentsu

In India, as fixed wireless access devices expand into more rural regions, that means more Indians are gaining access to high-speed internet — and online video platforms. The Current reported that this has added fuel to India’s own “streaming war,” one that could benefit advertisers that want to reach more consumers in India.

“We are witnessing a new chapter in the story of India, where streaming platforms are revolutionizing the way we consume and create content,” explains Harsha Razdan, CEO South Asia, Dentsu.

And in Australia, Paramount rolled out shoppable TV ads for advertisers in the region in January. If shoppable ads spread more widely in the region, it could be a boon for advertisers; in the U.S., 62% of CTV users that responded to a survey said they would scan a QR code if exposed to one while watching an ad, according to a recent LG Ad Solutions report.

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