Increasingly, we live in a Connected TV (CTV) world. That’s thanks to the rapid expansion of new streaming services and a variety of OTT devices that have combined to create a massive, ongoing shift in consumer behavior. To keep up, broadcasters and networks have evolved content development, commercial models, and distribution strategies. Advertisers have followed these highly desirable audiences, driving up CTV CPMs, according to the latest eMarketer data. But for both buyers and sellers, CTV’s greatest value is as a catalyst for pushing true convergence of TV and digital video channels.
CTVs Evolution Into the Ultimate Marketing Vehicle
With the massive increase in scale and consumption of ad-supported content via CTV over the last couple of years, several important advertising technologies have emerged to drive the convergence of linear and CTV. These advances have pushed agencies and brands to include CTV within TV budgets, versus digital budgets—a logical choice given the premium, long-form nature of the content.
The most important development was the household device graph, which ties the core TV panels and tens of millions of TV sets’ linear viewership and ad exposure to other devices within the home. By linking smart TVs, desktops, and tablets, we’ve gained a better understanding of how consumers watch content and how advertisers reach them across traditional linear TV and CTV devices. Household graphs also opened up a new world of analytics, allowing brands to more easily measure linear TV, CTV and digital video exposure and tie those metrics to online actions and offline sales. Another key development is the ability to activate and capture data about CTV supply for addressable targeting and frequency management. This includes the introduction of digital ad ratings for Nielsen demographics and cross-channel measurement.
Although capabilities continue to evolve, we now have the technological infrastructure to support a converged medium, allowing buyers and sellers to combine insights and data across channels. One immediate benefit is the ability to complement linear campaigns with CTV strategies by leveraging forecasting, allocation, and yield management of supply and demand. By 2022, according to one estimate, CTV will account for 36 percent of all “planned” TV dollars, up from 10 percent in 2018. Approximately $49 billion of TV budgets will be bought and sold on CTV by 2022. Making sense of it all is critical.
Now Playing: How CTV Locates Missing Linear Audiences
Today, CTV’s “converged” value makes it possible to find disappearing TV viewers by targeting audiences that were not effectively exposed on linear TV. It complements TV’s traditional reach and frequency needs. Additionally, with the introduction of advanced measurement analytics that come from the household device graphs, digital buyers can include CTV as part of their video budgets because it can now be measured against traditional digital KPIs like online actions, intent, and offline sales. In this way, CTV plays a dual role—shoring up the growing gaps in linear TV buys, while simultaneously allowing digital video buyers to level-up their capabilities.
Coming Soon: Addressable Supply
Eventually, CTV convergence will give buyers and sellers the ability to manage data-driven holistic solutions and more TV addressability across supply. That will open up a universe of tools and strategies that are customizable to an advertiser’s business objectives. In the process, legacy metrics will evolve in favor of new learnings that reflect a converged, addressable media universe. At that point, buyers and sellers will speak the same audience-centric language because the old barriers—devices, services, and channels—will no longer apply.