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Reviving Shared TV Experiences: Strategies for Marketers in the Connected TV Era

Shared TV viewing, once considered a thing of the past, is making a resurgence, especially with the growing trend of co-viewing on connected TVs. Recent research conducted by Google in collaboration with Ipsos indicates a shift in viewer habits, with connected TVs, particularly on platforms like YouTube, fostering a sense of communal watching.

In the pre-internet era, families and friends gathered to enjoy weekly TV dramas, making it a bonding experience. However, the rise of mobile devices led to fragmented viewing habits and a preference for solo watching. Now, YouTube and connected TVs are reversing this trend.



The research highlights that, despite the prevalence of diverse viewing devices, there is a desire for shared experiences. Connected TVs, serving as a conduit for bringing people together, play a pivotal role in rekindling communal viewing.

With 71% of surveyed considering streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and YouTube as part of their TV experience, brands can leverage this trend to connect with customers in their living rooms. Here are some strategies for advertisers to consider:


Foster a Community Feel:

  • Embrace the phenomenon of "The Ikea Effect" by building deeper connections with viewers.

  • Three-quarters of individuals feel a stronger bond with friends and family when watching YouTube together on the big screen.

  • Connected TV provides a platform for marketers to tap into the community-oriented sentiment of watching together.


Explore Trending Genres:

  • Understand the popular genres on connected TVs to effectively target engaged users.

  • Genres like travel content on YouTube have seen a 45% year-on-year growth in watch time, while humorous content has grown over 50% in the UK.

  • Group activity-inspired videos, such as dance content, are gaining popularity as shared experiences on connected TVs.


Capture Viewer Attention:

  • Recognize that viewers on connected TVs pay more attention, even to ads.

  • 57% of Europeans use YouTube for product research, presenting an opportunity for brands.

  • Connected TV viewers are more receptive, with 86% paying increased attention while co-viewing YouTube on TV screens.


Build Brand Relevance:

  • Utilize connected TV as a platform to reach families, communities, and cultures watching content together.

  • Marketers have the chance to enhance brand relevance and connect with a broader audience where they feel at home.


In summary, the resurgence of shared TV viewing through connected TVs presents a unique opportunity for advertisers to create meaningful connections with audiences, capitalize on trending content genres, and increase brand visibility in a communal setting.

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