What to Watch For: 2020 Trends, Predicted by Video Advertising’s Leading Experts


This article is sponsored by SpotX. To learn more about the future of TV and cross-screen video, read “
SpotX’s Guide to 2020 Trends in Video Advertising.” 

Spurred by a new wave of OTT content and subscription services, 2019 might be remembered as the year OTT and connected TV (CTV) finally achieved widespread consumer adoption.

According to eMarketer, 57.2% of the US population now watches CTV – up from 51.7% in 2017. For publishers, this shift in viewing behaviors has driven new interest in premium OTT ad inventory. Supply-side platform SpotX, for example, saw the share of ad impressions it serves through CTV increase from 15% in Q1 2018 to nearly 33% in Q1 2019.

As CTV entrenches itself as a powerful tool to reach TV audiences, the new question for 2020 will become how to get publishers and advertisers to fully embrace its potential. Ad budgets continued to lag in 2019 – exposing lingering concerns about cross-screen measurement, brand safety, and other performance-related topics. To reach its full potential in 2020, CTV will need to address these concerns to facilitate full industry buy-in.

Here are three ways CTV advertising is poised to take the leap in 2020.

  1. Data Activation Will Level Up. Advertisers can leverage audience-based targeting capabilities with CTV, moving beyond traditional linear targeting and measurement. As device manufacturers – such as Roku and Samsung – get more serious about OTT advertising, advertisers are gaining access to a new wave of valuable data assets.

2020 promises to enable even more advanced data activation – delivering efficiencies and unique insights.

“Major media owners and brands have continued to raise the priority of first-party data activation within their advertising strategies,” said Sean Buckley, Chief Revenue Officer at SpotX. “A number of the large agency holding companies have placed massive financial bets acquiring their own data platforms. This will open up new opportunities for improved segmentation, refined targeting, and greater insights overall.”

As advertisers gain more access to first-party data across screens, it will drive new opportunities to accurately track the direct impact of a CTV buy and to build sequential messaging strategies that drive more seamless ad experiences.

  1. Programmatic Guaranteed Will Help Overcome Advertiser Apprehension. Video remains an expensive medium for buyers. In order to protect ROI, advertisers need solutions that will allow them to confidently transition their valuable ad budgets to CTV.

Throughout 2019, programmatic guaranteed (PG) buys emerged as a bridge to more efficient programmatic TV buying. For apprehensive buyers, PG offers a valuable first step – increasing efficiency and minimizing manual procedures, without compromising placement quality.

In 2020, Disney’s Sr. Director of Programmatic Sales & Strategy, Matt Barnes, anticipates programmatic guaranteed will help pave the way for programmatic video to earn an even bigger role in TV buys.

“This coming year, we will see programmatic video take a front seat for both publishers and marketers,” he said. “There will be a marketplace for premium content where programmatic video competes – and potentially beats – deals at the top of the waterfall.”

  1. The Industry Will Standardize Around Brand Safety And Privacy. When the California Consumer Privacy Act takes effect next month, it will bring with it new requirements for tracking and measurement. Additionally, industry experts project ad fraud will increase in 2020 as demand grows.

This new uncertainty has the potential to stifle future industry growth, and it is already driving considerable investment in technology and tools to ensure brand safety and consumer privacy.

“The need for independent quality authentication on CTV/OTT is imperative,” said Steven Woolway, SVP Business Development at DoubleVerify. “This is well underway for fraud prevention. DV’s advances in proprietary technology, as well as industry agreement around standardization, will enable consistent viewability and brand safety measurement across this premium, emerging channel.”

In this evolving CTV environment, increased transparency – particularly in ad reporting – will be the key to unlocking brand-safe opportunities for both publishers and advertisers. SSPs that tackle this challenge head on with cutting-edge anti-fraud vendors and strict publisher onboarding will play a big role in making this goal a reality – alleviating advertiser fears and pushing CTV ad-spend to new heights.

To get the full preview of what’s to come in 2020, read “SpotX’s Guide to 2020 Trends in Video Advertisingincluding additional insights from many of the biggest players in the OTT and CTV industry, such as VIZIO, Roku, Dish, and more.

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