The CTV paradox: marketers shift spend to streaming despite questions over effectiveness

EMEA Marketers expect ad budgets to grow but are struggling with effective cross-media measurement. So why the leap of faith into Connected TV ads?

A significant four in five (80%) of marketers across EMEA are now including streaming channels in their media plans, according to Nielsen’s, 2023 Annual Marketing Report.

Interestingly, despite this high proportion, when it comes to OTT-TV and Connected-TV, just 54% of respondents view the spending as “extremely effective” or “very effective”. 

The fifth annual report, which surveyed nearly 2,000 global marketers in December 2022, also found that 67% of respondents acknowledged, in a digital-first landscape, the importance of comparable measurement across channels to ensure that they know who is engaging with the devices and channels carrying their advertising. 

Amongst its many findings, the report also found that on average in key markets across the region, Internet and TV account for 69% of ad spending. However the report uncovered that there were some major differences at a national level between some of the key markets:

  • In the UK, 38% of ad spending was on TV, with 37% on the internet

  • In contrast, traditional TV was the medium with the most ad spend in Italy (73%), France (54%) and Germany (47%) with all three countries having much lower ad spend on the internet than the UK (8%, 16% and 16% respectively)

The 2023 Annual Marketing Report surveyed marketers on the implications of the recessionary economic environment, planned media spending, media mix inclusive of streaming, cross-media measurement challenges and measurement technology. 

Some of the key findings also include:

  1. Economic headwinds aside, marketers expect their ad budgets to grow: More than two-thirds of marketers in EMEA (62%) expect their annual budgets to increase this year, despite 68% saying that economic conditions had a significant impact on planning for 2023. Of the 62%, 13% expect increases of 50% of more

  1. The use of multiple measurement tools hinders confidence in a single view of audience performance: On average, 68% of marketers across EMEA use multiple measurement solutions to arrive at cross-media measurement, with 16% leveraging four to five

  1. Confidence in measuring ROI is low across digital channels: On average across EMEA, marketer confidence in ROI measurement across digital channels is just 57%, which leaves them without the needed insights into the return on their spending

Katya Edelshtein, EMEA Commercial Lead, said: “The audiences’ relationship with television continues to evolve and this shapes what is an increasingly complex media ecosystem today. As the proliferation of channels continues, the industry becomes more fragmented and this continues to change consumer behaviour. That brings huge challenges to marketers as they must put the audience first. Our report clearly shows the issues that are being grappled with as marketers try to meet audiences where they are. 

“For marketers across EMEA, it is clear that streaming channels are playing an ever increasing role in ad strategy, but this is hindered by a lack of true cross-media measurement and low confidence on assessing the returns on these investments. To make progress on this will require transformative thinking alongside leveraging the highest quality inputs and data.”

The report is based on survey responses from marketers who manage marketing budgets $1 million or more; who work across a variety of industries (auto, financial services, FMCG, technology, health care, pharmaceuticals, travel, tourism, and retail); and whose focus pertains to media, technology, and measurement strategies. 

Download the report here.