By: Nicole Scaglione, Senior Director of Agency and Brand Relations at Telaria
Global audiences are embracing the flexibility and convenience of connected TV as evidenced by the 200 percent increase in OTT video viewers worldwide over the last three years. The consumer shift from linear TV to connected TV is a massive one for any buyer to fully comprehend at the 10,000 foot level so we opted for a more intimate approach to dissecting the connected TV advertising world. We recently gathered in sunny San Diego at the Moniker Warehouse in partnership with SDX (San Diego’s Ad Club), Amobee, XUMO, MDG (Media Design Group), and an audience of 60 for a lively discussion around how to best transact in a connected TV ecosystem.
To understand connected TV, it’s important to look at the various sides of the deal whether you’re on the publisher or demand side. When we were organizing the panel, it was important that we had voices from all corners of the ecosystem. Oscar Rondon, VP of Advanced TV at Amobee lended his deep programmatic TV experience from the DSP-side to the discussion. Sheb Alahmari, VP of Media at Media Design Group’s advanced TV division TRADR, offered his insight having worked with brands on countless video ad campaigns. Colin Petrie-Norris, CEO of XUMO, provided his expertise from a leading connected TV publisher’s perspective and level-set the audience’s understanding of what connected TV actually is with a quick demo of the XUMO platform.
By a show of hands, we had quite a few linear TV buyers in attendance so of course we had to dig into the nuances between traditional TV buying and connected TV buying. Sheb posited that linear buyers are used to large scale budgets and one of the hardest parts when they buy connected TV inventory is that they have to throw away that mentality and adapt to digital impressions, even if they’re getting the same (if not better) consumer experience. In case any buyers were hesitant about connected TV, Oscar pointed out that advertisers can finally make TV attributable and measurable with audience data. Whereas TV has long been an upper funnel branding tactic, connected TV can help marketers go further down and gain answers to questions like “Did we get the viewer in the store? Did they buy the product?”.
If anyone had any concerns about the scale of connected TV, Colin quickly dispelled them. In response to concerns of content distribution, XUMO’s model in particular is unique in that they’re directly built into smart TVs from brands including LG, Vizio, and Samsung. With smart TV sales growing steadily year after year, XUMO can predictably chart their audience growth and know it will increase majorly in Q4 during the holiday shopping season. In that same vein, eMarketer places worldwide OTT viewer growth at 200 percent over the last three years. Eyeballs are still shifting from cable boxes to connected TVs but the scale is already significant.
Perhaps we saved the best for last when the panel turned to predictions for the future of connected TV. Fifteen and 30 second ad spots were born out of broadcast but they don’t have to be the future for connected TV. Colin noted the success his company’s seen with shorter formats like six second ads and his excitement for more creative options. He made the bold prediction that the number of connected TV publishers will proliferate over the next few years and the amount of inventory will be huge. Along those lines, Oscar expects more premium content providers to launch connected TV subscriptions much like cable due to the sheer amount of content available.
The discussion brought home the fact that connected TV is essentially a huge opportunity for buyers, whether you have the budget of a linear TV buyer or not. We’ve all heard time and time again that connected TV is the future but hearing from this panel of connected TV experts, who have bought and sold connected TV inventory for years, proves that connected TV is already here and is only growing.
For more in-depth information on connected TV buying, check out our CTV for buyers series.