As streaming and smart TVs continue to surge in popularity, advertising within what used to be a closed-loop ecosystem remains very much in flux. But it turns out that ads may be more relevant to viewers if they’re watching on a smart or connected device, according to a report from healthcare ad tech firm DeepIntent.

Despite the conventional wisdom that video streaming ads are disruptive, the report found that 64% of connected TV (CTV) viewers prefer to see ads rather than pay more money for content. Needless to say, the result has potentially huge implications for healthcare marketers.

“Pharma has been so active in television marketing. That’s really where the beginning of marketing was for pharma,” noted John Mangano, SVP of analytics at DeepIntent, who believes that CTV presents a big opportunity for medical marketers. “There are a lot of questions around CTV — and CTV viewers — that we wanted to get a better understanding of.”

One of the main questions, Mangano explained, is whether there’s a place for advertising in what he calls “the new television world.” That’s one in which content is streamed at whatever time and place people want to see it, as opposed to the traditional TV model of watching something at 8 p.m. on a Friday night or not at all.

The DeepIntent report, produced in partnership with LG Ads Solutions, surveyed some 2,900 adults in the U.S. who own LG smart TVs. It asked them about their watching habits, then paired the results with automated content recognition technology data.

It found that 57% of viewers believe CTV ads are more relevant than linear or traditional TV ones. In addition, 65% said that targeted ads actually improved their watching experience.

“There’s an appreciation and an acceptance of TV as the vehicle that’s bringing you the content you’re seeing for free,” Mangano noted. “That’s important because when people are looking at advertising, you want to make sure it’s helping the brand, not hurting it. What we’re finding is that the presence of advertising is welcomed when it comes to free content.”

The finding held true for pharma. When matching viewers back to their health claims data, the researchers learned that there was a much higher rate of people starting new prescriptions within the CTV space.

“When ads were relevant, they helped,” Mangano said. “They got people to talk to doctors and seek treatment.”

Still, when asked about health ads in general, only 20% of respondents said they are relevant. That means marketers have some work to do on the targeting front.

“The more a pharma brand is reaching relevant patients, the more value it has for those patients in terms of their healthcare,” Mangano explained. “With technology changing, we have a greater opportunity to do that – to reach the right patient who could actually have a better health outcome. It’s more than dollars and cents; it’s about lives and people’s happiness.”