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56% of OTT Co-Viewers Report Talking About Brands & Products They See While Watching TV

IAB Study Finds That OTT Co-Viewing Audience Skews Toward Younger, Hispanic, Cord-Cutters/Nevers

NEW YORK, NY (November 13, 2017) —The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) today released “The OTT Co-Viewing Experience: 2017,” a comprehensive study revealing that more than half (56%) of those co-viewing on over-the-top (OTT) say that they regularly talk about the brands or products they see while watching content on television screens. Moreover, brand-related multitasking behaviors are particularly strong among OTT co-viewers, including chatting on social media about the brands they see, conducting brand-related searches, and even making purchases online.

Co-viewing, long a staple of linear TV viewing, is similarly popular with viewers of OTT, DVR, and video-on-demand (VOD) programming. More than 90 percent of Americans ages 13 to 64 watch programming on their TV screens with other people—and this holds true among viewers across the full range of broadcast and digital video platforms.

Co-viewers on OTT typically skew younger (18 to 34-years old), Hispanic, and are more likely to be cord-cutters/nevers. They are also likely to have a larger household, including children. In line with these demographics, co-viewing activity on OTT is often a family experience, with a spouse or partner (59%) and kids (41%) cited as top viewing companions.

This study makes clear that after linear TV, more U.S. consumers watch video content on OTT than any other platform. Therefore, linear TV and OTT capture the highest co-viewing audience reach.

Other key findings include:

  • OTT co-viewers spend more than double the amount of time watching ad-supported content than they do on subscription services with no ads
  •  OTT co-viewers watch live programming regularly, representing over a third (36%) of the content they enjoy

“Watching TV has always had an important social component, and this has absolutely continued as OTT platforms become ever-more important parts of people’s viewing rituals,” said Chris Kuist, Senior Vice President, Research and Impact, IAB. “This social aspect of biggest screen in the house is powerful, and is being amplified on OTT platforms in ways that can greatly benefit marketers.”

“Insights into OTT co-viewing point to a strong opportunity for brand marketers to take advantage of group dynamics and behaviors that will open doors, as well as wallets,” said Anna Bager, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Mobile and Video, IAB. “OTT is a powerful platform for reaching younger audiences—especially the hard-to-reach cord-cutters/nevers. Brands launching cross-screen campaigns would be wise to take into account this audience’s affinity for brand-related multitasking across devices.”

“The OTT Co-Viewing Experience: 2017” was released during the IAB Video Symposium conference in New York City. Sponsors of the research include Hulu and Roku, Inc. To download the entire study, please go to

IAB partnered with MARU Matchbox on this quantitative research. An online survey was conducted among MARU/Matchbox’s Springboard America online panel. 1,223 respondents participated in the survey, representing video viewers ages 13-64 in the United States. The survey was fielded between October 2nd and October 9th 2017. In this study, co-viewing is watching video content with others and OTT is video programming (on demand or live) streamed to a TV via the internet, using a streaming device, Blu-ray player, gaming console, or smart TV.

About IAB
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) empowers the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy. Its membership is comprised of more than 650 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling, delivering, and optimizing digital advertising or marketing campaigns. The trade group fields critical research on interactive advertising, while also educating brands, agencies, and the wider business community on the importance of digital marketing. In affiliation with the IAB Tech Lab, it develops technical standards and best practices. IAB and the IAB Education Foundation are committed to professional development and elevating the knowledge, skills, expertise, and diversity of the workforce across the industry. Through the work of its public policy office in Washington, D.C., IAB advocates for its members and promotes the value of the interactive advertising industry to legislators and policymakers. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City and has a San Francisco office.

IAB Media Contact
Laura Goldberg
[email protected]


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