Connected TV is the future of advertising: The Drum Programmatic Punch APAC

The media narrative around programmatic needs to lean more on programmatic video technology, with its diverse capabilities and customization opportunities, according to Adam Lowy, chief commercial officer at Telaria.

Gone are the days of programmatic being synonymous with remnant inventory advertising. “Today it’s a much brighter environment than what it was even a year ago, as publishers and buyers gravitate towards high-quality, scaled technology partners and cut ties with those that don’t meet these standards,” explains Lowy.

Ahead of The Drum’s inaugural Programmatic Punch APAC this October, at which Telaria is a sponsor, we spoke to Lowy on addressable TV advertisers and younger audiences, how new streaming services will affect media spend, measuring the effectiveness of programmatic CTV, and why media measurement is outdated.

What should advertisers know before getting involved with connected TV?

CTV offers richer, deeper targeting, coupled with data and reporting at a much faster pace than we’ve ever experienced before within premium television. Advertisers should not feel intimidated by the new acronyms and verbiage.

When we say CTV, we’re referring to a TV set connected to the internet via a streaming device or a Smart TV through which viewers can enjoy broadcast-quality, long-form video content, live or on-demand. CTV is going to be the default way most people watch long-form, full-screen video in the near future.

With YouTube and Instagram continuing to attract a younger, more engaged audience, how do addressable TV advertisers talk to this audience?

It would be shortsighted to equate connected TV’s high-quality, premium viewing experience with the small screen, short-form environments that YouTube and Instagram provide. While young consumers spend a considerable amount of time on social media, advertisers have every reason to be wary of unmoderated, long tail, user generated video.

To engage younger audiences, advertisers should be emboldened to test newer formats like shorter ads and different types of video creative on connected TV.

How will new streaming services entering the market – like Disney+ and Warner Media – affect media spend?

More services entering the space, especially top-tier premium providers, will drive awareness and consumer adoption which means advertisers will want to spend on the services that offer ad-supported models. An increase of ad-supported services will have a “rising tide lifts all boats” effect as they join others in the marketplace, shifting linear TV spend to digital and CTV platforms.

There will be tremendous pressure on SVOD services to be financially sustainable because it is extremely difficult to offset original production costs and content deals with a monthly fee. Consumers are signing up for services in a puzzle piece model. Someone will subscribe to a specific platform to watch their favorite show; they need another for its robust on-demand movie library and a third live streaming vMVPD TV service. Subscription fatigue is real, and it looks like the sweet spot for consumers will be around three to four services before they hit their financial limit.

Streaming services will need to offer a free or significantly lower-priced, ad-supported model to attract audiences at enough scale to remain profitable in the long term. I have no doubt that advertising will play a pivotal role for the future of streaming.

Fifty percent of marketing professionals ranked programmatic TV as “top of mind” among emerging digital channels, yet only 15-17% have it in media plans. Why the gap?

It takes time and the gap is closing. Marketers are starting to buy TV programmatically and we see the progress firsthand. Programmatic is starting to play a bigger role within publishers’ advertising strategies and making it into the longer-term holding company and agency agreements.

Programmatic is starting to resonate beyond just on-the-spot scatter buys. It’ll take another upfront round or two for the gap to close significantly.

Brands are starting to align their business goals to effective measurement, how easy is it to measure the effectiveness of programmatic CTV?

I can’t speak for other technology platforms but in Telaria’s case we empower the brands and DSPs who buy inventory through our Video Management Platform with real-time data so that they can gauge how their campaigns are performing at any given time. We give buyers a unified view of their campaigns so they can see impressions served, video completion rates, and other metrics and adjust accordingly. Programmatic CTV gives brands the best of digital’s precision targeting and analytics combined with traditional TV’s premium environment all at a much faster pace.

Given the complexity of cross-screen campaigns, programmatic platforms and the digital data silos, is media measurement, as we know it today, an outdated idea?

The industry needs independent, third-party measurement or verification. You can’t grade your own homework. The initial perception of the measurement community, once cross-screen and converging media started exploding, was that they just had to be a part of it. This didn’t ignite innovative thinking and instead pushed existing measurements with minimal enhancements, philosophies and techniques.

The future focus is so much more about true impression measurement and targeting via device, either by individual or household, which digital offers. This opens up more opportunity and thinking with true impression based, audience measurement.

There’s also the Trade Desk’s Unified ID Solution and the IAB Tech Lab’s IFA on OTT platforms, both initiatives that Telaria is collaborating on with our industry peers, that are capitalizing on cross-platform, digital delivery. There’s a need for more players to introduce new technologies, methods and promote fresh thinking. It’s got to be unified and not too spread out, because too many options and ideas will cause buying hesitancy and potential paralysis. The industry is working hard to solve and unlock marketing budgets and grow the space.

Telaria will be on the Advanced TV panel at Programmatic Punch on October 3. Tickets can be purchased now for this one-day event.

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