A-Z of Addressable: L is for Linear

  • 4 minutes read
  • Global
  • 27/02/2023

In the “A-Z of Addressable TV” series, we introduce some of the key terminology, technical aspects, and target audiences involved in addressable TV and explain how they enable advertisers to discover and reach new audiences. From ‘Addressable’ to ‘Gen Z,’ we’ve got you covered.

L is for Linear

What is linear TV advertising?

Linear TV is when people are viewing the same content delivered via a live terrestrial or satellite feed. Traditionally, it has been how viewers consume programming and advertising on TV.

Linear TV advertising is delivered without user-level targeting to a broad audience. Ad space is bought based on time and programming, with spaces during prime time and high viewership shows being the most competitive.

How do linear and addressable TV overlap?

Addressable TV advertising, which enables household-level targeting, can be used to supplement linear advertising which is suited to wide-base brand awareness campaigns. Addressability goes beyond traditional advertising by taking multiple factors into account, including age, gender, lifestyle, interests and attitudes, and even connecting identity differentiators with product purchase behaviour and location.

Adding an addressable layer to a linear ad buying strategy adds incremental reach – the audience reached across digital, non-linear platforms and often light TV viewers – and allows advertisers to target and reach custom audiences. Combined, they can create a flexible advertising campaign to meet multiple business KPIs.

Why are brands combining linear and addressable in their advertising campaigns more often?

The viewing ecosystem is becoming more fragmented. Where and how people watch TV is evolving with catch-up services and streaming platforms giving people multiple options alongside linear TV. Merging linear with addressable TV allows brands to reach this fragmented audience across an ever-expanding array of services and platforms in an affordable, flexible way.

What are the benefits of combining linear with Finecast’s addressable TV solution?

Finecast’s Total TV approach means brands can combine their addressable and linear campaigns through a single access point – reducing complexity and increasing access to 100% professionally produced TV content across multiple platforms and devices – to reach their target audiences on the right screen at the right time. Finecast administers a full-funnel approach to target the audiences that will be most receptive to a given product or service and maximise the purchase of a single ad.

With the complexity of rapidly changing viewer habits, available platforms, and even additional streams of entertainment such as esports and gaming, comes the challenge to devise new ways to accurately measure and ensure the reach and effectiveness of advertising campaigns. Finecast Total TV Measurement provides a measure of reach, frequency and incremental reach across the entire addressable TV and linear TV ecosystem.

Using Audience Project to measure reach and frequency holistically across all inventory to maximise reach in order to achieve their campaign KPIs, and by combining Audience Project data with data from Tech Edge (where linear TV data is collected from BARB) Finecast can analyse how much incremental reach was delivered on any given campaign and, crucially, the potential cost savings of doing so.

Let’s look at an example of a brand using this strategy...

TalkTalk, the UK broadband provider, wanted to increase reach through their AV channels and drive awareness and consideration of their product in a crowded space. They understood TV could help achieve this goal but wanted a cost-effective solution.

Using Finecast addressable TV, the client was able to drive cost-effective incremental reach over linear TV.

Finecast created a bespoke target audience for TalkTalk by analysing, validating, and indexing YouGov, Experian, and Personicx data amongst other sources, and combining this with interest-based first-party data from partners.

A Total TV Measurement study powered by Audience Project made it possible to measure incremental reach versus linear TV. This showed the impact of building a bespoke audience and executing it across the addressable TV landscape. The Finecast campaign achieved a total cost saving of £227,000 versus the linear TV budget required to achieve the same reach. Plus, a 1.3% incremental reach across all adults.  A great result all around. 


For more information on how addressable TV can work for you, get in touch via the form below. And catch up on the full A-Z series to date here.

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