"On TV And Video" is a column exploring opportunities and challenges in advanced TV and video.
The rapid shift to streaming TV last year significantly disrupted the advertising industry, and was nothing short of transformational amidst the pandemic, social unrest and a divisive presidential election.
But despite its vast potential as an emerging advertising platform for brands and marketers, streaming ad spend continues to lag behind the surge in viewers.
With more innovation this year around measurement and attribution to address a fragmented TV landscape, however, that could change.
Cathy Oh, global head of marketing and analytics at Samsung Ads, said over email that heading into 2021, there will be less of a need to educate buyers about the value of CTV.
“That has been proven,” she said. “Now it’s all about measurement and attribution. How do we help our clients measure the effectiveness of campaigns and attribute them to sales? We took one step in this direction via the launch of our Samsung Measurement solution in Q4 2020, and will continue to focus and make measurement a priority in 2021.”
And with consumers watching video in new ways – linear TV, ad-supported streaming and subscription-based services – advertisers need to find new ways “to connect with consumers with meaning and relevance through this myriad of content viewing platforms.”
AdExchanger: Following the rapid shift to streaming last year, how has the landscape changed for both linear and CTV in 2021?
CATHY OH: Over the past several years, we have watched the definition of TV change – and the way advertisers leverage TV change with it. While linear addressable TV never realized its full potential, streaming in just a few short years is ahead of the curve and fully addressable. Streaming has already proven its audience-based, one-to-one reach.
While streaming has gone up, linear has gone down. Consumers are spending 63% of their time streaming on Samsung smart TVs vs. only 37% watching linear TV.
Ad-supported video on demand (AVOD) gained popularity and reached parity with subscription services during 2020. During Q3 2020, streamers spent one hour and 24 minutes per day with AVOD solutions, which is a year-over-year increase of 47%.
Free ad-supported TV (FAST), a growing component of AVOD, is having its moment and we should expect to see these platforms launch more original programming and advertising innovations. In 2021, these “channels” will become household names just as AVOD has.
How have advertisers and publishers adapted to the accelerated shift to CTV, what were some of the main challenges and what do you expect to happen in 2021?
Every advertiser knew that CTV was becoming important, but that was certainly magnified in 2020. First, we are seeing where budgets are coming from change. Rather than from the innovation funds, linear TV funds are being used to buy CTV.
Second, we had to educate buyers that CTV isn’t just for incremental reach, but can be used for reaching mass audiences too. Since 63% of time is spent streaming on Samsung smart TVs, there are a lot of opportunities to reach consumers via CTV. We like to think that CTV is both precision and a mass media tool. Finally, we have seen the desire for buyers to buy CTV programmatically, so we have made those options available, having launched Samsung DSP in Q3 of 2020.
What is the future of linear over the next five years?
We will continue to see time spent watching linear decline. That is why most major content producers are launching streaming solutions. We are committed to helping brands plan and measure across both linear and CTV. We believe that is the best way to effectively build video strategies by using both mediums together to reach the right consumer, at the right time with the right message.
Which industries do you expect to make bigger moves into streaming and why?
While media and entertainment were early adopters of CTV and Advanced TV, auto, pharma and travel started leaning-in in 2020. We will see these industries push ad innovations forward in CTV in 2021 as they use CTV to generate sales, not just awareness.
Will we see more innovation this year around measurement to address fragmentation, and what will that look like?
In 2021, we will start to see more collaboration around standardized measurement and attribution. TV marketers will be able to prove sales attribution vs. modeling. They will also be able to use advanced technology and AI to find new audiences and opportunities that traditional TV just can’t support.
The smartest advertisers are not measuring individual campaigns – they are looking at the combined impact and effectiveness of linear and streaming campaigns, optimizing, and allocating spend based on how best to reach consumers. This is a big area of focus for Samsung Ads. In 2020 we launched Samsung Measurement and in 2021 we plan to continue to build on that.