CTV (connected television) viewership is on the rise in nearly every demographic, fueled by a sharp increase in streaming over the course of the worldwide pandemic. But you probably already know that. And the fact is, CTV is still growing. Ad dollars are moving from linear to CTV, and there’s a lot of opportunity on the consumer side.
What’s in CTV for marketers?
Targeted eyeballs. With CTV, you can reach right out and communicate with your specific audiences in a personal and direct way. And more and more advertisers are moving their dollars to CTV. A study in late 2021 by media analyst Advertising Perceptions found that three in five advertisers plan to increase their CTV advertising budgets in 2022. Depending on your individual buy, it can be very cost-effective for those on tighter budgets in the wake of an ongoing pandemic.
The time is right. Ad costs will only go up and availability will dwindle as more and more marketers flock to premium programmatic CTV ad inventory. And they’re already doing it. According to a study by eMarketer, CTV upfront ad is projected to double in 2022 and overall CTV advertising will hit a whopping $19.1 billion.
Though all demographics saw a rise in CTV usage and device ownership, viewers of color had the biggest increases, including people of Asian, Hispanic, and Native American descent. Ethnic entertainment hub behemoths like Univision are responding by spinning off even more specialized channels, such as PrendeTV and Pantaya.
Starting to advertise on any new channel can be confusing. This guide will help you better understand the prevailing myths about CTV, cut through any confusion, and provide recommendations to help you get the most out of this trend.
Myth: It’s one or the other: linear and CTV can’t live together.
With so many changes in the world, it’s easy to want to think in absolutes. But advertising is not a zero sum game. Many advertisers are looking at a more hybrid buy, with broadcast and CTV. There’s no question that broadcast buys give you reach, but CTV advertising gives you greater power to not only expand that reach, but refine it. And unlike with broadcast, you can use interactivity and other creative hooks to prompt a direct and measurable response.
Adding CTV to your marketing mix should be a no-brainer. Anything that helps you to better reach your desired targets – where they are – is something you should be interested in. Still, you should work with a partner that understands your goals and can best help you to modulate and optimize your plan, and has a reputable DSP with a healthy availability of programmatic CTV advertising.
Myth: It’s impossible to tie customers across multiple channels.
C’mon! We can do it right now, and it’s only going to get better. It’s true that there’s no absolute way to be sure that the user you’re identifying from Hulu is the same one you’re identifying from Roku, which can result in duplicate reach – and double the effort. But give the technology time to catch up. With omnichannel marketing in general, you’re going to have duplications, it may just be the price of entry at this point. But it’s getting better all the time.
Review your current CRM data to make sure it's clean and structured, and actionable. Then partner with an identity-based programmatic platform that has the CTV inventory and experience to identify opportunities. Make sure to work with a good CTV measurement platform. Finally, support industry-wide efforts to establish standards like Universal ID.
Myth: FAST inventory like PLUTO isn’t premium enough.
FAST (Free, Ad-Supported Streaming TV) or AVOD (Advertising-based Video on Demand) channels like Pluto, The Roku Channel and Tubi emerged onto the scene as aggregates of content – collecting mostly less popular TV shows from the 1950s through the 1980s but has now attracted premium channels like Comedy Central and MTV. And premium channels are premium channels, regardless of how the consumer got there.
Include FAST inventory in your marketing mix. It’s less expensive and is an arguably more effective way to target your ideal consumer. Work with an ad platform that has FAST and broadcast inventory, and has the insight to recommend and optimize a plan that works.
Myth: Streamers don’t want commercials.
There is some evidence that there is a certain money amount that consumers are willing to save to allow ads in their content. Hulu’s cracked the code: only 30% of Hulu’s subscribers use its more expensive ad-free channel. Some viewers might actually prefer an ad break and might take the time to scroll around to find a better piece of content, according to this article, which suggests that advertisers schedule their timing strategically.
Don’t fear the commercial. Your ads don’t have to be on the Super Bowl to be effective with your target. Use the same creative energy to create industry-defining, interactive CTV ads.
Myth: CTV advertising is riddled with fraud.
Yes, there are issues with fraud in CTV advertising. Scammers follow the money, and with a rise in usage, you’re bound to see a rise in fraud. Still, brand safety has never been more top of mind, and platforms are putting technology in place to make CTV (and programmatic advertising in general) safer for brands and end users. The IAB Tech Lab has approved several tools that enable brand safety checks, including VAST4, OpenRTB, and Open Measurement, and there are bound to be more on the way.
We can’t overemphasize how important it is to lean on experienced partners you can trust. Don’t forget to check on the partners of partners: you want to work with platforms that are publicly committed to providing ads in safe environments that are free of fraud. And don’t forget to contribute to ongoing support to industry-wide brand-safety endeavors.
Here’s the thing.
Every day there are more options for what to do with your ad dollars. Broadcast TV has stood for nearly a century as the gold standard for brand advertising, but that is changing as upstarts like CTV continue to capture the attention of streamers across the country.
The landscape for advertising on a TV screen is changing rapidly. Don’t get tripped up by misconceptions. You can either watch this increasingly valuable TV real estate go to others, or make the most of this burgeoning trend by connecting with your target where they are, when they are.
Valter Sciarrillo is Head of Product Marketing at OpenX Technologies and is responsible for leading the development and implementation of all go-to-market activities. For more of the OpenX POV on CTV, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.