"On TV And Video" is a column exploring opportunities and challenges in advanced TV and video.
Today’s column is written by Scott Ferber, chief innovation officer at Amobee.
TV advertising is in the midst of a major transformation. Video now composes more than half of daily media consumption in the United States. And globally, nearly 765 million people will use a subscription over-the-top (OTT) service at least once per month in 2018 – that’s 10% of the global population and 32% of digital video viewers worldwide.
But those who think OTT is the future aren’t seeing the whole picture. What’s happening is a larger shift that’s already transforming marketing as we know it. Advertisers must get ready.
The name matters: Call it advanced TV
Our industry has spent the last few years talking about OTT, connected TV, data-enabled TV, addressable TV, video on demand and other ways of bringing more data and targeting to linear television.
Many people use these terms interchangeably, when in fact each is a distinct media opportunity under the advanced TV umbrella. But this isn’t merely a semantic debate. The name matters because what we call our space will define our future. We need to think big. Advanced TV not only encompasses the parts that make up the larger whole, it speaks to the convergence of traditional marketing with the internet.
The sum of advanced TV’s components now has the same broad base of support on the demand side as linear, even if advanced TV budgets remain a fraction of linear spend. Advertisers certainly want to address this imbalance, but the first step is to see the big picture.
I see advanced TV as having three qualities. One is premium quality inventory. Context matters. Ads are more effective when they’re joined with premium quality inventory, and brand safety is manageable when you know what you’re buying.
Another capability is cross-device measurement. Marketers understand that measuring across devices is essential for attribution. But cross-device is also critical because viewers are increasingly watching on mobile phones and tablets, meaning television content will be device-agnostic in the long run.
Finally, advanced TV needs scale. At the moment, demand for advanced TV outweighs supply. But as the amount of measurable premium television inventory increases, advertisers will see scale approach what’s possible through linear.
Convergence is transforming marketing
Historically, marketers have been channel-centric operators, but as channels converge, marketers will need to think about their brands, consumers and media in a holistic way. That’s exciting because once marketers understand how to reach their audience throughout the entire marketing funnel, they can better activate media buying across all screens and devices.
But it’s imperative that marketers get ahead of the transformation curve. Advanced TV opportunities are available in market now, and the next few months are critical. Advertisers should start exploring how they can capitalize on today's quickly moving advanced TV landscape.
There are many questions they must address. Are their teams organized around the realities of today's converged video advertising model? Are they taking advantage of their first-party data for both digital and television? Are they looking at campaigns holistically across TV, video, social and display so that each channel informs the other and works in sync to drive results? And are those “results” measured in real-world metrics such as offline sales, brand lift and online actions, rather than proxy media metrics?
How advertisers answer these questions in the waning months of 2018 will not only determine how to allocate budget to drive maximum performance, it will set the ceiling for the capabilities and opportunities of their 2019 media plans and beyond.