Here’s How to Navigate the Future of TV Advertising as CTV Continues to Heat Up – says Sabarish Pillai (VP Global Programmatic)

The TV set and cable subscriptions were staples for media consumption and pleasure in many family living rooms around the world for years. After years of being a vital part of the family entertainment system, more American households are cutting the cord on cable TV today. In fact, by 2022, 55 percent of Americans are predicted to have completely abandoned their television subscriptions. Viewers now only need a solid internet connection to access their selected streaming applications and watch their favourite television.
While the switch from cable to streaming services is painless for consumers, it’s a little more difficult for the advertising sector. Making sense of third-party cookie deprecation, platform fragmentation, and combining linear and connected TV measurement are just a few of the challenges facing TV marketers in 2021, in addition to dozens of streaming services and linked devices. As the popularity of CTV grows, advertisers will need to continue to approach this new channel wisely in the future.
The decline of traditional television and the rise of digital video consumption
Disney, Paramount, and Peacock have all lately created their own streaming sites, some of which are ad-free, some of which are ad-supported, and others of which (like Hulu) offer both. Currently, viewers watch an average of 2 hours and 19 minutes of digital video every day, with projections indicating that by 2023, that figure will have risen to about 2 hours and 45 minutes. In 2024, the number of non-pay TV homes in the United States is predicted to surpass the number of pay TV households.

The biggest issue with CTV has always been the possibility of losing linear advertising chances, yet despite the abundance of streaming options available, ad opportunities aren’t going away. Not everyone will spend a lot of money on every platform or the most expensive packages. Some viewers are prepared to pay a premium for ad-free access to their favourite content, while others are unwilling to pay the whole price but still desire the content. According to eMarketer, ad-supported streaming will continue to be a wonderful mix, with CTV ad sales per brand growing between 34 percent and 114 percent this year.

So, how do marketers reach out to these consumers and persuade them to embrace the future of television advertising?

Taking care of the fragmentation
One thing is certain: as the CTV ecosystem expands, there will be a plethora of options.
However, fragmentation is a major issue that must be addressed. A buyer has no way of controlling frequency across programmers. If a media buyer buys TV advertisements on Roku and on a programmer’s app, for example, they run the risk of reaching the same audience twice. The most visible shift in the previous eight years has been toward an integrated, cross-screen video media execution. Today, we see important players in the industry using our marketing services as the foundation for their brand and data spine.
With the deprecation of third-party cookies, new data pieces are constantly developing.
Connecting these fragmented CTV platforms and other media channels will be easier thanks to the interoperability of these new digital identifiers, resulting in an integrated, cross-screen ad planning, activation, and measurement system built on scale, resiliency, consumer privacy, security, and trust. The process of purchasing television commercials has altered. During the Upfronts, marketers are expected to spend the same amount of money on TV ads, but how much of it is dedicated to CTV will change. To create an effective and comprehensive TV plan, advertisers must consider digital and CTV in addition to traditional linear buys. As a result, it’s no surprise that enhanced data and identity play a key role in connecting this new channel to traditional TV purchasing.

The future of television advertising is today, and privacy is paramount.
While digital identity is important, TV advertisers must also keep the interests of their viewers in mind. The future ad experience is more privacy-conscious while yet providing a more gratifying user experience. To do so, a trusted third party must deliver cross-screen video ad execution in a privacy-safe and consumer-friendly manner by matching the relevant ad to the right groups of viewers across screen types. Unpacking the customer decision journey and attribution across screen types with the correct identity resolution and consumer data is critical for a successful TV campaign. The reliance on partners who can assist TV marketers in creating engaging ad experiences can only improve the success of a TV strategy and create a more realistic picture of the customer journey ahead of us.

Sabarish Pillai is the Global Vice President for Programmatic solutions with 12+ years of experience in the ad-tech and digital ecosystem, with a thorough understanding of digital advertising, both offline and online. He is a proficient digital technology specialist with seniority in building and executing programmatic strategies on behalf of major web publishers, demand, and agencies.

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