Feb 8 2024
Megan Reschke

Convergent TV Advertising in 2024


Largely speaking, TV was simpler in the days of yore. Sure, there was the stress associated with missing the start of your favorite sitcom (in the days before DVRs or streaming), or the conflict that arose when two of your go-to shows aired opposite one another. But just a decade ago, watching TV was relatively straightforward.

Fast forward to today, and watching your favorite TV content has become an increasingly complex, and decision-riddled endeavor.

First, there’s the question of what device to watch on: Your phone? Tablet? Smart TV? Laptop? All of the above (and, perhaps, all at the same time)? Then, there’s the consideration of where to watch: Hulu? Netflix? Disney+? MAX? Peacock? YouTube TV? Or maybe even good ol’ cable? Finally, there’s the choice of just what you’re going to watch—that is, if you have enough decision-making energy left to tune into anything other than your go-to comfort reruns.

For advertisers, this shift in audience habits and emerging opportunities has invited a host of new challenges: Just where, exactly, is my audience? How do I navigate the increased fragmentation of the TV landscape across linear and streaming? And how can I best meet my audience where and when they are watching to fully capitalize on the convergent TV opportunity?

This complexity has all culminated in convergent TV: a new mindset for TV advertising wherein strategies extend beyond any individual channel and instead account for the proper balance between traditional/linear TV, over-the-top (OTT) streaming, and connected TV (CTV). And though OTT and CTV are increasingly establishing themselves as forces to be reckoned with among viewers, linear TV still maintains a strong foothold.

Here, we’ll dig into everything advertisers need to know about convergent TV in 2024: from the lay of the land today, to emerging trends, to new innovations—and how viewers feel about them.

What’s the Latest in the Convergent TV Landscape?

The last few years have seen significant shifts in the convergent TV landscape, including the 2023 writers’ and actors’ strikes, more streaming platforms releasing their own ad-supported tiers along with new original content, an increase in streaming-exclusive live event broadcasts (including MLB and NFL games), and more.

Alongside these shifts in the TV landscape itself, audience viewership and ad spend trends have evolved as well.

Here’s where things stand in TV land in 2024:

Linear vs. Streaming TV Viewership

In terms of viewership, traditional TV is on the decline: As streaming grows in popularity, more and more viewers are opting to cut the cord (or, in the case of mostly younger viewers, have never used a cord at all).

Over the past five years, time spent per day with traditional TV has decreased by nearly 19%. It’s likely not a coincidence that, during that same time period, OTT streaming services have exploded in popularity, and that time spent with CTV has increased by more than 115%. Though connected TV is especially popular with younger generations—with millennials and Gen Z turning to CTV for more than half of their TV screen time—older viewers are doing a good amount of streaming themselves.

So, just what is driving these trends? Pandemic lockdowns famously helped accelerate the shift toward streaming and drove substantial CTV adoption. And in an age when consumers have grown accustomed to content being available on-demand and on-the-go, the increased convenience and flexibility that streaming offers—not to mention the ability to watch across multiple devices—also plays a significant factor. Additionally, beyond the extensive libraries of classic content that's long lived on streaming platforms, the emergence of new original content produced exclusively for streaming services has further increased the appeal of OTT and CTV. Coupled with a significant slowdown in new scripted content on linear TV in 2023 due to Hollywood labor strife and it’s not a huge shock that linear TV fell below 50% viewing share for the first time last year.

Linear vs. Streaming TV Ad Spending

As more and more viewers choose a bundle of streaming services over a bundle of cords, advertisers are following in kind, attempting to connect with audiences precisely where they’re consuming their TV content.

Here’s what the convergent TV advertising landscape looks like heading into 2024:

  • From 2019 to 2024, traditional TV ad spending dropped from $70.59 billion to $60.56 billion. It is forecast to drop below $55 billion by 2027.
  • CTV ad spending, on the other hand, is forecast to surpass $30 billion in 2024—a 370+% increase from five years ago.
  • Subscription OTT ad spending (i.e., ads placed on platforms like YouTubeTV and Paramount+ and watched across a variety of internet-connected devices) rose by 50.5% in 2023 and is projected to grow by an additional 17.2% this year.

This growth in OTT and CTV ad spending has, unsurprisingly, coincided with increased viewership on those platforms, but their advertising appeal extends beyond just eyeballs. CTV and OTT also lend themselves to highly targeted advertising, enhanced flexibility and customization based on user demographics and behaviors, as well as enhanced analytics and measurement capabilities. And, with third-party cookie deprecation, signal loss, and privacy-friendly advertising a top consideration for advertisers in 2024, CTV in particular can appeal as a trusted safe haven for digital advertising—after all, CTV has always been cookieless, allowing advertisers to connect with audiences in a targeted and privacy-friendly way.

Political Advertising and Convergent TV in 2024

Then, of course, there’s the other story that’s shaping the convergent TV landscape in 2024: political advertising.

Basis data shows that political programmatic CTV spend grew by 67% from 2020 to 2022, and strong growth is forecast for this year’s election cycle as well. In fact, of the $30 billion in projected total CTV ad spending this year, election year political spending is forecast to account for upwards of $1.8 billion—or more. With a controversial presidential race at the top of the ballot, combined with many other high-profile races and causes, advertisers across all industries will feel the effects of the 2024 election and should be aware of its potential impacts—particularly within the convergent TV landscape.

Linear TV has long been a staple of political advertising. With its familiar, lean-in viewing experience, it allows campaign teams to connect with and educate viewers in an emotion-driven way that fosters memorability. And though streaming is overtaking the convergent TV landscape, linear/traditional TV will still play a significant role in the 2024 election cycle, with 51% of total political ad spending during the 2024 cycle forecast to go toward broadcast television.

That said, political advertisers are increasingly taking a balanced approach to TV advertising by complimenting their linear ad buys with CTV and OTT. Digital video offers political advertisers many of the same benefits as linear TV, plus the ability to target and measure ads more precisely. It can also help them reach voters (particularly younger voters) who might not be tuning into linear TV—an increasingly pressing need given that 65% of likely voters prefer streaming to linear TV and 82% use ad-supported streaming services.

There are a variety of ways for political advertisers to tap into CTV inventory, spanning the open exchange, programmatic guaranteed, private marketplace (PMP) deals, and select partnerships with premium and/or exclusive inventory. By leveraging a well-balanced media mix and utilizing advanced targeted technologies such as automatic content recognition or district-based geopolitical targeting, political teams can turn to CTV to connect with key audiences.

Taken altogether, political advertising is set to spend, spend, spend across the convergent TV advertising ecosystem this year—and that will have a significant downstream impact on non-political advertisers, too. Linear, OTT and CTV inventory is likely to be more limited (and certainly more costly) in the days leading up to state primaries and Election Day itself. This is especially true in “purple” battleground states such as Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Georgia.

To adapt, non-political advertisers should be prepared to either pay significantly inflated rates for broadcast TV, or to shift dollars away from that channel during the weeks leading up to the election as political ads gobble up much of that inventory. When it comes to streaming, advertisers should consider leaning more heavily on other channels in their omnichannel mix or tapping into streaming inventory that does not allow political ads, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+. Additionally, advertisers should be especially mindful of brand safety and perception implications during the politically charged campaign season. By proactively understanding and adapting to the changes that political advertising will have on the larger convergent TV landscape, non-political advertisers can manage campaign costs, prioritize brand safety, and effectively reach target audiences in the runup to November 5.

How All Advertisers Can Make the Most of Convergent TV in 2024

In 2024, convergent TV presents a significant opportunity to all advertisers—particularly as more and more consumers shift towards streaming.

Live Sports Advertising

Across both linear and streaming, live sports advertising continues to be a powerhouse opportunity for advertisers looking to reach large and engaged audiences. And whereas live events used to be available only via cable/broadcast (think: the Super Bowl being broadcast live exclusively on CBS back in 2010), these events are increasingly being streamed simultaneously via connected TV and on OTT platforms (for instance, Super Bowl LVIII being broadcast on CBS, Nickelodeon, CBS.com and Paramount+). Some games are even being aired exclusively through these streaming services (see: Peacock’s exclusive NFL playoff game in January 2024 or the many NCAA sporting events that air on ESPN+).

In the year ahead, linear will continue to be a majority of viewers’ go-to home for live sports—and, in turn, a great way for advertisers to  engage broad and captivated audiences in real-time. And as viewers increasingly turn to streaming for sports and other live events, advertisers can experiment with targeting these audiences via tailored and contextually relevant ads, ensuring their message resonates during these high-impact moments wherever those viewers happen to be tuning in. With Disney, Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery recently announcing a new ad-tiered streaming bundle where viewers can access live sports content from ESPN, FOX Sports, TNT, and more, those digital opportunities will only continue to increase in the months ahead.

New Streaming Inventory & Audiences

Advertisers also have an array of new and emerging ad-supported tiers available to them on different OTT streaming platforms. Netflix’s ad-supported tier has amassed 23 million monthly users less than two years after its launch, and Disney+ was sitting at just over 5 million ad tier subscribers in late 2023. With news of Amazon’s new ad-supported tier, this all amounts to a significant amount of high-quality inventory that advertisers can use to connect with highly engaged audiences. And, by tapping into this inventory via private marketplace deals (PMPs) and programmatic guaranteed, advertisers can align their ads with streaming content most likely to resonate with their unique audience.

Interactive Content

Viewers today consume content across a variety of devices—and often, on multiple screens at once. To capture and hold audiences’ attention, many advertisers are embracing interactive elements in their linear TV, OTT and CTV ads.

Innovations like shoppable ads and QR codes, in particular, can enhance the TV advertising experience and deliver value to consumers and marketers alike. Shoppable TV allows advertisers to seamlessly integrate e-commerce elements into their content, providing viewers with a direct pathway to make purchases. QR codes can play a similar role, offering a quick and convenient way for viewers to access additional information or promotional offers, and giving advertisers an easy way to meaningfully measure impact and attribution for specific ads.

Using these interactive elements can significantly boost conversion rates, as viewers can instantly act on their interest in a product or service. And, better yet, the features seem to be resonating with audiences, with one study finding that 70% of viewers like TV ads with QR codes and 62% would scan a QR code if they saw one in a relevant ad.

By leaning into new opportunities in the convergent TV landscape to capture and maintain audience attention—and, of course, balancing linear, OTT and CTV ads with other channels to create a holistic, omnichannel experience for viewers—advertisers can engage with audiences intentionally and elevate their campaigns.

Next Steps: Convergent TV in 2024

The next several years will continue to see evolution in the convergent TV landscape, as the shift from linear dominance to streaming supremacy continues. Advertisers who navigate this complex terrain with agility, embracing the emerging trends and opportunities, are poised to make the most of this transformative era in TV advertising.


Looking for a deeper dive into how TV advertising fits into you video advertising strategy? Explore how savvy advertising teams can leverage digital video channels effectively and cohesively to create customer journeys that engage audiences and inspire action with Video Unleashed: The Ultimate Guide to Digital Video Advertising.

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