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It’s probably not news to anyone reading this, but it bears repeating: CTV (internet-connected TV) apps are poised for a boom, similar to the take-off in mobile apps after the release of the first iPhone. Ads are everywhere there are apps. — you’ve already seen how ad-based programmatic has been incorporated into nearly every free smartphone app out there, and CTV is seeing similar growth. Pixalate reports that over-the-top (OTT), and CTV apps which support programmatic advertising have increased by 232% — impressive numbers for a sector whose user base and viewer counts are still in their infancy.
Installs of entertainment-video content
Let’s start with the obvious: Looking at Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Tizen, entertainment-video content is the absolute leader in app installs. (Entertainment videos content refers to channels made available by streaming platforms like YouTube, Netflix, and others. According to 42matters, Amazon Fire TV has a 20.04% share, Apple TV has 19.86%, and Tizen has 40.7%.
Roku, the most well-known OTT device maker, is a leader for faith-based channels. — 18.91%, representing nearly 5,000 apps, the biggest vertical, followed by entertainment. One core factor explains the surprising popularity of faith-based channels: — local churches and faith organizations are finding streaming to be an effective way to get their message across to their members. At VlogBox, we often receive the requests for development of this specific sector; however, without considering monetization opportunities, which is quite obvious.
At the same time, if you’re looking for the fastest growing vertical on Roku, that’d be Kids & Family, which saw the number of apps rise by 4.5% from 2020 to 2021, nearly double the growth in screensavers, at 2.6%. A few things have caused this: the myriad of talented kids’ content creators looking to both establish themselves and gain experience with platforms other than YouTube, and the ease of creating a channel. Despite having 8.2% of all apps, this category is the least popular. However, it is expected to grow quickly.
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Similar numbers can be found on Amazon Fire TV as well as Apple TV: Games and lifestyle apps account for the second largest share of entertainment. Cooking shows, exercise programs and home decor are as popular as the rapidly growing field of CTV games — across Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV, these two categories range between 14% to 16% of all apps. According to Samsung, 2.8million of the 34,000,000 active Samsung TVs users have their gaming consoles connected. Thus, Xbox or PlayStation will see the sense in utilizing native ads in Samsung’s UI and AVOD on Samsung TV Plus.
The pandemic’s impact on CTV-app growth
One of the key reasons CTV apps have grown in popularity is — you guessed it — The pandemic. Nielsen last year pointed out that CTV devices were viewed an average of 3.5 billion times per week. And those numbers are continuing to rise, even as pandemic restrictions wear off, vaccinations kick in and the world slowly reopens to a post-Covid future — with many offices adopting a “half-week” schedule, time spent at home will still stay above pre-pandemic levels.
But viewing time isn’t the only impact. The economic impact of the Covid-19 epidemic has had a severe impact on many people. The International Labour Organization reported that an alarming 114 million jobs had been lost in the world. This has created a higher demand for different types of CTV content both for viewers staying at home, experienced publishers and newcomers, as well as advertisers targeting specific audiences. With the variety of monetization models available on CTV platforms, including SVOD, AVOD, product placement or merch, it’s getting easier to start generating additional income — or even to take on video creation and streaming full-time while advertisers are seeing a growing number of inventory.
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Technological development shouldn’t be discounted either; as those local religious organizations on Roku have learned, making a CTV channel and launching it on a platform has become a breeze. That is largely due in large part to the plethora CTV-app development companies and the refinement of the existing OTT channel development and analytics dashboards.
The future of CTV channel development looks bright
With these factors in mind, it’s easy to see why CTV-channel development and advertising are seeing speedy growth. CTV-apps development is just as promising as mobile-app-development, and shares many of the same processes.
As for the future, games, kids’ content and lifestyle are all exciting and rapidly expanding verticals across CTV platforms. Best of all, these verticals are poised for what I like to call an “Angry Birds” moment, with current growth trends making that moment more likely sooner, rather than later.
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That means that enterprising game studios, video-content creators and app developers can take a chance on pulling off the same success as earlier trailblazers did on mobile and YouTube. For advertisers, this means that there may be many unicorns to choose between in terms of sponsorships and partnerships as well as ad buy negotiations. — even product placements, all of which are cheaper compared to linear TV and even large YouTube channels. Considering that CTV ad spend is forecasted to more than triple by 2024, it’s just the right time for marketers to really consider the verticals that may be defining their strategies going forward.