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Addressing the buy-side of Connected TV

Miriam Habibi, Head of Advanced Media at Group M

It’s no secret that how and where we watch TV is changing. The IAB’s recent report highlights the rapid growth of US Connected TV (CTV) ad spend, increasing to a staggering 22% from 2019 to 2020, with advertisers spending $20M (on average) on CTV in 2020. We’re seeing a similar trend in the UK too.

But it doesn’t stop there, more than a third (35%) of buyers expect to increase CTV video ad spend in 2021. This comes as little surprise, as consumers are watching more CTV than ever.

Finecast’s Thinking Inside the Box research, conducted in partnership with DRG validates this belief. With 85% of UK consumers feeling they will always have a TV in the home, it’s indicative of the power and emotional attachment audiences have to this device. However, that doesn’t mean they expect it to stay the same. 80% of 16–24-year-olds now class Broadcaster Video On-Demand (BVOD) in their definition of TV, and one in three stated they’d be more likely to view TV ads if they were relevant to them. It presents a huge opportunity for advertisers large and small.

Existing opportunities

While this is good news for the CTV industry, the media buying landscape across CTV channels comes with its challenges. Often viewed as complex and hard to navigate, it can sometimes create deterrence for brands.

However, where there are challenges, opportunities also exist. The emergence of technologies such as programmatic systems provide an opportunity to better optimise the transaction between buyers and sellers of CTV media. Such technology has enabled advertisers to make data-driven purchasing decisions that deliver improvements to campaign efficiencies and effectiveness.

Speaking at the 2021 Connected TV World Summit earlier this year, I explored some of the barriers facing brands and discussed how they can be removed to foster growth of TV ad spend.

I mentioned how the landscape can appear complex in terms of what is available; the buying rates, who is selling the inventory, and how that may or may not differ across different types of ad-funded VOD content, including BVOD vs other media. This can potentially make it difficult for an advertiser to really understand what a huge opportunity it is.

But, if a buyer is able to better navigate and control the marketplace then it makes it a much more positive experience.

Sustaining growth

The CTV and addressable TV landscape is on the rise. In order to sustain this growth, the processes in place for buyers need to mirror the experiences broadcasters have created for its viewers. In a nutshell, buying TV should be as seamless and easy as it is for those trying to find a new series to watch on TV.

Advertisers should have access to the necessary insights and counsel that enable them to make an informed decision as to how their investments can be optimised, regardless of the medium. TV is very different to other media channels, and requires a specialist approach that accurately measures its impact on an advertiser’s media or business KPIs such as incremental reach and uplift across brand, intent and/or sales

Preparing for the future landscape

At Finecast, our goal is to drive change in capabilities and behaviours that will make this the standard for the industry – and this is made possible thanks to our expert team who understand both today’s and the future landscape.

That’s why we have extensive and bespoke partnerships with key broadcasters in every country we operate in. And, as new Over the Top (OTT) entrants and services grow, we’re extending partnerships with additional supply partners to offer our clients full visibility into target audiences, available inventory, and measurement. The recent onboarding of Roku, Rakuten YuppTV, and Viacom’s Pluto means that we can provide even more reach across linear and  CTV platforms, offering advertisers a single point of access from the Finecast ecosystem.

For the CTV industry to flourish as a whole, we need to collaborate in a way that offers brands and advertisers the most effective method for investing in addressable and CTV – safe in the knowledge they are working with trusted partners who are dedicated to maximising the potential of every investment.

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