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As CTV Continues to Heat Up, Here’s How to Navigate the Future of TV Advertising

The future of TV Advertising is now, privacy is at the forefront, says Aimee Irwin, a senior marketing leader 

For years, at the cornerstone of many family living rooms across the globe, the TV set and cable subscriptions remained staples for media consumption and entertainment. Fast forward, and today, more American households are cutting the cord on cable TV after years of being an integral part of the family entertainment system. In fact, by 2022, 55% of Americans are expected to cancel their cable entirely. Now, a stable internet connection is all viewers need to tap into their desired streaming apps and consume their favorite programming. 

While the shift from cable to streaming services is a seamless transition to the consumer experience, it’s a little more complicated for the advertising industry. In addition to dozens of streaming services and connected devices, making sense of third-party cookie deprecation, platform fragmentation, and uniting linear and connected TV measurement are just some of the obstacles impacting TV marketers in 2021. As CTV continues to heat up, advertisers will need to continue to approach this new avenue strategically moving forward. 

The downhill spiral of traditional TV and the uprising of digital video consumption

Brands such as Disney, Paramount and Peacock have recently launched their own streaming platforms—some ad-free, some ad-supported, and some (like Hulu) offering both. Currently, viewers are averaging 2 hours and 19 minutes of digital video per day, and estimates show that figure will arrive at nearly 2 hours and 45 minutes by 2023. Overall, the number of U.S. non-pay TV households is expected to exceed the pay-TV households in 2024.

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The biggest concern with CTV has always been the potential for diminishing opportunity with linear advertising, but despite the plethora of streaming options at hand, that doesn’t mean ad opportunities are disappearing. Not everyone is going to splurge on every platform nor spend on the most expensive packages. Some viewers are willing to pay a premium for their favorite content in an ad-free space, while others don’t want to pick up the full cost, but they still want the content. There will continue to be a nice mix of ad-supported streaming, where CTV ad revenues per brand have grown between 34% and 114% this year, according to eMarketer.

So, how do marketers reach these consumers to embrace future of TV Advertising?
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Addressing the fragmentation

One thing is clear: there are numerous opportunities down the pipeline as the CTV ecosystem continues to grow. However, one key problem to overcome is fragmentation. There is no way for a buyer to manage frequency across programmers. If a media buyer purchases TV ads through Roku and on a programmer’s app, for example, they risk hitting the same audience twice.

The biggest change in the last eight years has been the tangible move toward an integrated, cross-screen video media execution. Today, we see key players in the industry building their identity and data spine with our marketing services at the core.

New data elements are continually emerging, particularly with the deprecation of third-part cookies. Driving the interoperability of these new digital identifiers will make connecting these fragmented CTV platforms and other media channels more seamless, resulting in an integrated, cross-screen ad planning, activation, and measurement system built on scale, resiliency, consumer privacy, security, and trust.

The TV ad buying process has changed. Marketers are expected to spend the same amount of TV ad dollars during the Upfronts, but how much of it is committed to CTV will evolve. Rather than the standard linear buys, marketers need to factor in digital and CTV to drive an effective and comprehensive TV strategy. So, it should come as no surprise that advanced data and identity play a pivotal role in connecting this new channel to traditional TV buying.

The future of TV Advertising is now, privacy is at the forefront

While digital identity is critical, TV advertisers also need to keep consumers’ interest at its core. The ad experience of the future is privacy forward and still provides a more rewarding consumer experience. To do this, cross-screen video ad execution has to be served in a privacy-safe and consumer-friendly method by a trusted third party by matching the right ad to the right groups of viewers across screen types. 

With the right identity resolution and consumer data, unpacking the consumer decision journey and attribution across screen types is essential for a successful TV campaign. The reliance on partners who can help TV marketers enable meaningful ad experiences will only increase the effectiveness of a TV strategy grow and paints an accurate picture of the customer journey ahead of us.

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