October 1, 2019

Streaming Wars Could Threaten Traditional Christmas Ads, As One In Four Christmas Shoppers Watch Zero Live TV

27 per cent of UK Christmas shoppers don’t watch any live TV, with 60 per cent choosing to stream their favourite programs

Half of all UK shoppers spend 3 hours or more per day on their mobile, with one in five millennials spending more than 6 hours on their device daily

London, 2 October 2019 — The beloved Christmas advert could have a reduced impact on shopper spending unless significant investments are made into targeting shoppers on streaming platforms, according to OpenX.

The latest research, commissioned by the world’s largest independent advertising exchange OpenX, in partnership with The Harris Poll, demonstrates the UK’s changing viewing habits as the streaming wars continue to heat up in the months before Christmas.

It’s no secret that shoppers have mixed feelings about adverts, with nearly two thirds of Christmas shoppers claiming to avoid watching any ads at all on TV, and a further 27 per cent of viewers admitting to either leaving the room or using a set-top-box to skip through adverts.

However, while some shoppers claim to be moving away from ads more generally, 65 per cent say they have had an idea for a gift after seeing an advert, with another 35 per cent saying they have purchased a gift following seeing an ad, proving that effective and engaging advertising across digital, OOH and TV still have an impact on shopping behaviour.

Further, one in five shoppers say they will rely on adverts to inform them of potential gifts, offers, and products this season, meaning advertising will significantly influence the nearly £500 shoppers plan to spend this Christmas.

“Whether they are watching TV, using a mobile device or browsing the web on a desktop computer, the way consumers are engaging with media is changing rapidly and that means delivering relevant adverts on the right screen and at the right time has become increasingly challenging,” said Gavin Stirrat, vice president of partner services, EMEA at OpenX. “Our new research with The Harris Poll found that although media consumption patterns among UK consumers are changing, the overall effectiveness of advertising has stayed consistent, and there is still huge potential for advertising when done right. Marketers need to take notice of these trends in behaviour and embrace a range of ad strategies to make sure their campaigns are effective while delivering a good experience for consumers.”

Other key findings from the report include:

  • Viewing habits vary: UK consumers watch almost 7 hours (6.9) of streaming TV each week, with this jumping to almost 10 hours for millennials. Baby boomers on the other hand watch over 16 hours of live TV each week. While the average UK consumer watches more live TV than streaming, millennials watch 77% more streaming than live TV.
  • Subscription saturation: Despite the range of platforms available in the UK, the majority of consumers (88 per cent) only have one or two subscription services, with just 12 per cent owning three or more. 
  • Streaming ads see sales success: 54 per cent of consumers state they have seen an ad while streaming TV and paused their program to learn more about the product or service being shown to them.
  • There’s “Pop-portunity” in Dadvertising: 41 per cent of Dads say they have purchased a gift after seeing an ad, with a further 40 per cent claiming to have purchased one or more products from a D2C retailer this year, showing a clear interest in alternative brands that may be harder to find or learn about through traditional means. Overall, dads plan to spend 20 per cent more in 2019 than they did in 2018.
  • Shopping goes al-desko: 64 per cent of Christmas shoppers will be using a desktop, or laptop to shop for gifts this year, with 69 per cent of shoppers choosing to buy presents at work during their lunch break.

The full report is available to download here: www.openx.com/uk_en/2019christmasresearch