There is a growing number of terminology used to characterize various viewing options as the TV and streaming environment gets more fragmented.

The differences between OTT and connected TV (CTV) have already been discussed. Let’s now examine the entire landscape.

How to Handle the Complex TV/Streaming Landscape Linear: TV shows and movies that are broadcast on cable or satellite networks at predetermined times, as opposed to being available to viewers on-demand.

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We project that this year’s linear TV ad expenditure will come to $58.99 billion, based on our March 2024 prediction.

Although live events such as the Olympics and US presidential election tend to boost linear TV, as streaming becomes more popular, linear TV ad expenditure is declining.

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Over-the-air (OTA) and pay TV are the two subcategories that make up linear television.

OTA: Over-the-air television. People use an antenna to access this network TV.

As per our February 2024 prediction, 14.9% of the US adult population, or 39.9 million people, watch OTA TV.

OTA channels are available for TV stations like ABC, NBC, and CBS.

Pay TV: Also known as cable TV, pay TV is the term used to describe digital live TV services and TV bundles. According to our February 2024 projection, there will be 157.1 million pay TV viewers worldwide in 2024. They are separated into two categories: pay TV viewers—traditional and digital.

Conventional: TV packages offered by telecom, cable, and satellite providers.

According to our February 2024 prediction, 111.1 million US people, or 41.5% of the population, will watch traditional pay TV this year.
As more customers switch from traditional cable bundles to digital pay TV and streaming, that number is decreasing.

Digital: Live TV services supplied digitally; also referred to as virtual multichannel video programming distributors, or vMVPDs.

According to our projection from February 2024, 46.0 million US people, or 13.4% of the population, will watch digital pay TV this year.

The number is rising as more individuals use vMVPDs.

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Among the vMVPDs are Sling TV (5.1 million viewers), Hulu + Live TV (11.4 million viewers), and YouTube TV (21.5 million viewers in the US).

Streaming: The internet-based delivery of on-demand programming.

According to our March 2024 projection, the amount of money spent on advertising on connected TV (CTV) through subscription-based over-the-top (OTT) services in the US will reach $9.48 billion this year. This represents a 31.1% increase compared to the previous year, 2023.

Streaming include ad-supported video on demand (AVOD) platforms such as The Roku Channel and Netflix Basic with Ads, as well as subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services like Netflix.

Ad-supported SVOD is a hybrid approach that more and more platforms are implementing.

FAST refers to television material that is streamed via the internet and does not need any payment from viewers. Some examples of FAST platforms include Pluto TV, The Roku Channel, and Tubi.

According to our projection for February 2024, there will be a total of 111.5 million viewers of FAST (Free Ad-Supported Streaming TV) this year.

As more people use sites like Amazon Freevee, that number is rising.

Any subscription streaming service with adverts included is called an ad-supported SVOD. Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, Max, and Netflix, which are all significant subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) platforms, now offer levels that include advertisements.

Ad-free: Streaming platforms that do not display advertisements, typically requiring a higher subscription fee. These platforms encompass all major subscription video-on-demand services, such as Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, Max, and Netflix.