Research finds that ads on CTV are better quality and more relevant, according to Gen Z and Millennials

New York, NY – November 2, 2023 – MAGNA Media Trials, in collaboration with Samsung Ads, released a new study today that explores the viewing habits of Gen Z and Millennial audiences. Their onward march toward digital platforms, such as Connected TV (CTV) sets viewing habits apart from previous generations, creating new challenges – and opportunities for advertisers vying to secure their attention.

The new study, Capturing the Attention of our Youngest Generations, The Digital Advertisers’ Guide to Reaching Gen Z + Millennials on Connected TV, explored highest attention to ads by time of day on CTV, average attention spans by content type and their reactions to repeating ads. One finding, untapped by advertisers, is that Gen Z spends the most time looking at ads on CTV during late-night, locking in for an average 9.63 seconds per spot, while millennials dial up focus during traditional primetime at 9.8 seconds per spot.

Daytime and late night are Gen Z prime times as data revealed viewability rates are at their highest (62%) during late night and daytime capturing a 57% viewability rate and 55% ad receptivity. Millennials’ viewability rate is highest, at 59%, during traditional primetime hours.

“Each new generation claims their own unique viewing behaviors, as evidenced by the shift toward CTV and short-form content,” said Kara Manatt, MAGNA’s EVP, Managing Director, Intelligence Solutions. “Our research hints that other trendlines are more eternal, as Millennials, who are raising families and entrenched at work, clock peak viewability being during primetime and Gen Z, still by majority students, having the bandwidth to watch during daytime and late night.”

Previous MAGNA research has tracked younger generations progress toward CTV. A 2022 MAGNA Time Spent Report determined that streaming networks receive a 56% share of Gen Z TV time and 52% of Gen Y/Millennials’. Gen X and Boomers devoted 30% and 15% of their viewing time, respectively, to CTV.

The study enlisted a nationally representative panel of 2,717 individuals who installed TV visual attention technology in their households to capture automatic content recognition (ACR), resulting in 73,531 ads analyzed for viewability and visual attention. Researchers also recruited approximately 1,022 Gen Z and Millennial CTV users to keep a media consumption log.

Ads viewed on CTV were perceived to be of better quality and more relevant than those aired on broadcast and cable, according to Gen Z and Millennial respondents. For example, 60% of Gen Z and 56% of Millennials agreed that CTV featured better quality ads than cable and satellite and 67% of Millennials and 62% of Gen Z believe they are more relevant.

Other findings include:

  • Gen Z has a greater tolerance for advertising during long-form content, of an hour or more at 46% receptivity, compared to shorter spurts of less than an hour. (38%). In turn, 52% of the cohort was more open to ads during movies, and less so to TV shows at 44%.
  • Millennials are more attentive to ads during sessions of less than one hour at 62%. They were most open to ads aired during DIY programming at 61%.
  • Repeating the same ad in tight timeframes taxed visual attention rates. Gen Z (43%) and Millennials (28%) peaked in attention when the same ad should air three or more hours apart.
  • Gen Z pays more attention to ads appearing on FAST channels, at 31% vs. 27% for non-FAST outlets.

“This research adds powerful context to what we observe every day at Samsung Ads. TV for Americans, particularly younger generations, is streaming-first. It calls for brands to rethink how and when they should engage them on the biggest and best screen,” said Justin Fromm, Head of Insights, Samsung Ads. “This research underscores the highly nuanced behaviors of Gen Z, and Millennials that marketers should approach strategically, based on the multiple layers of data that are now available.”

The full study can be found here.


MAGNA is the leading global media investment and intelligence company. Our trusted insights, proprietary trials offerings, industry-leading negotiation and unparalleled consultative solutions deliver an actionable marketplace advantage for our clients and subscribers. We are a team of experts driven by results, integrity and inquisitiveness. We operate across five key competencies, supporting clients and cross-functional teams through partnership, education, accountability, connectivity and enablement. For more information, please visit our website: and follow us on LinkedIn.


About Samsung Ads

Samsung Ads is Samsung Electronics’ advertising ecosystem, spanning hundreds of millions of smart devices across TV, mobile, desktop, and beyond. Our deep understanding of consumers and unmatched position at the intersection of hardware, software and advertising delivers quantifiable results for brands on a massive scale.

With the largest single source of TV data in the market, reaching 3 in 4 U.S. households, Samsung Ads unlocks unmatched opportunities to engage consumers during connected moments that matter. Today, Samsung Ads serves over 25 countries around the globe.