Blog Adjust at GDC 2021: Gaming is the next big thing on CTV

Adjust at GDC 2021: Gaming is the next big thing on CTV

Ad-spend for Connected TV (CTV) in 2020 was US$8.11 billion, in 2021 this figure is expected to rise to $11.36 billion and to $18.29 billion by the end of 2024 - more than double the 2020 spend. At this year’s Game Developers Conference (GDC) we discussed CTV's recent surge and why gaming could be an important player in the emergence of this new media landscape. With the number of households in the U.S. using CTV growing as more people cancel their cable subscriptions, it’s predicted that by 2025 households watching television exclusively via the internet will become the majority.

Lead Product Strategist at Adjust, Gijsbert Pols looks at how CTV has transformed the way in which we consume media and how it can blur the lines between video and gaming content providing exciting new creative possibilities.

Explaining the CTV ecosystem

CTV refers to TVs that are connected to the internet, smart TVs or devices that can plug into a TV to display online media content such as game consoles and streaming devices. These devices allow you to connect directly to the internet, either via an operating system  (Roku OS or Android TV) that is developed specifically for CTV devices or apps (predominantly streaming) such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. Apps across different verticals are making a splash on CTV - Roku alone has more than 23,000 apps, with gaming the second most popular vertical (behind streaming). Gaming is also the second largest category on Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV.

Why CTV is under the spotlight

Figures from Adjust and DCMN’s Connected TV: The Ultimate How-To Guide revealed that in the U.S. alone, investments in CTV grew by 40.6% in 2020 to over US$9 billion. Furthermore, 82% of U.S. households have at least one smart TV, or television that is connected to the internet. We need to break outside of the mindset of traditional linear TV or of only considering the option of watching video content. With CTV’s interactiveness there are many potential avenues of entertainment to explore. Beyond content formats, by harnessing the interactive possibilities of CTV, marketers can also find brand new ways to reach consumers.

The power of interactivity

When it comes to gaming in particular, desktop and mobile devices have always been based around the individual whereas when we think of TV, we think of it as a social device - think of the amount of times you sat down with your family or friends to watch the latest episode of that series everyone’s talking about. The communal nature of TV plays a huge part in why CTV gaming is on the rise - you can already play quiz games with your smartphone as the remote and using your TV as the board. With CTV and mobile, the viewing household can be extended all across the globe making it a truly connected experience.

Consider just how often you check or use your smartphone while watching TV. With CTV, mobile marketers can take advantage of this by showing products to a specific segment of their CTV audience followed up by the same ad on their mobile device. The possibilities are endless - imagine you can buy clothes seen directly on screen by simply scanning a QR code or maybe even get more information on a course or service that piqued your interest. This heightened interactivity empowers your audience to act on what they see, when they see it.

Much like how the smartphone has changed the way in which we think of phones, Connected TV will soon change our perception of what a TV can be. With TV traditionally being the centerpiece of the home, combining it with the convenience and sheer connectedness of the internet will open up so many entertainment options in ways which we previously couldn’t imagine.

To learn more about  CTV, you can read our Connected TV: The Ultimate How-To Guide, created in partnership with DCMN.

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