Linear TV/Ad-Supported Streamers: It’s Not Either/Or, It’s AND

Linear TV/Ad-Supported Streamers: It’s Not Either/Or, It’s AND

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All the industry talk about streaming TV often eclipses the conversation about the power of linear TV. In truth, video campaigns are strengthened with linear TV as their base.

GfK (Growth from Knowledge) conducted two high profile studies in 2024 for TVB: Media Comparisons and The Purchase Funnel. The Media Comparisons Study respondents were aligned with U.S. census data to develop a better understanding of media usage in the U.S. The Purchase Funnel Study focused on consumers in key advertising categories and the influence different media platforms had on their purchase decision process.

Both studies asked questions about linear TV usage and streaming usage. This enabled TVB to analyze how ad-supported streaming platforms stack up against linear TV when it comes to both media usage and consumer influence.  The data from these studies also demonstrate how the two platforms can effectively work together.

The bottom line is that linear TV is far more effective for reaching, engaging, and influencing consumers than ad-supported streaming platforms.  While ad-supported streaming platforms play a part in a media mix, optimal reach can’t be achieved without the inclusion of linear TV.

  • Linear TV has much higher reach than ad-supported streaming.
  • People spend significantly more time with linear TV than ad-supported streaming.
  • Broadcast TV assets reach most viewers who watch streaming platforms that don’t serve ads, viewers who can’t otherwise be reached.
  • Local broadcast TV news is most trusted by those who stream TV programming with ads and is also the primary source for local traffic, weather, and sports news.
  • Linear TV is the primary influencer at all stages of the purchase funnel. Ad-supported streaming platforms have only a fraction of TV’s influence.
  • A higher proportion of those who stream TV on ad-supported platforms are exposed to ads on linear TV that the average adult.
  • Those who stream TV on ad-supported platforms deem linear TV the most important influence for making them aware of a product or service.
  • Optimal reach can’t be achieved without the inclusion of linear TV in a media plan.
Source: GfK TVB Media Comparisons Study 2024. M-S 4A-2A. Persons 18+
Source: GfK TVB Purchase Funnel 2024 A18+
QA4/QA5/QA6/QA7/QA8 Most important for media with at least 1 funnel stage at 2%+ shown; 2%, 1%, & 0% not shown/labeled

For more information, please contact Hadassa Gerber, Chief Research Officer, TVB.