3 things you need to know about connected TV advertising in 2024

3 things you need to know about connected TV advertising in 2024

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MiQ’s advanced TV product manager reveals three predictions of what shifts we’ll be seeing in the CTV space this year, and how advertisers can prepare for the future of programmatic TV.

“The TV ecosystem is changing” — it’s a line we’re all familiar with. But in the complex and fragmented world of TV, this tells just a fraction of the picture.

How is it changing? Why is it changing? And significantly, how will it continue to change?

Well, one thing’s for sure. Connected TV (CTV), a major driving force behind these shifts, will continue to soar. With more eyeballs, more screens, and more consumer options than ever, CTV is growing, and evolving, rapidly. And advertisers are following suit.

According to our Behind the Screens report, 55% of advertisers in the UK are looking to invest in CTV in 2024. But what are these investments? And how can you ensure you’re allocating your media dollars wisely?

Like all product managers, I spent the tail end of Q4 (and a worrying amount of Q1) trying to predict what the industry will look like in 2024 and where the opportunity is. I’ll be unpacking my predictions of what shifts we’ll be seeing in the CTV space this year, and how advertisers can prepare for the future of programmatic TV.

ACR will become invaluable to traditional AV planners

Barb provides our industry with ‘gold’ standard TV viewership data, allowing advertisers to unlock smart insights for planning and measurement, but the real magic begins when you start evaluating Barb and ACR insights together.

Automatic Content Recognition (smart TV hardware that identifies content on screen and ad exposure to create a second-by-second viewership data feed) has been challenging the dogma of linear TV measurement for a couple of years now, and it’s ready to cross the Rubicon.

We keep hearing: “Not sure if I trust it” and “The numbers don’t match up”.

To which I say: “You should” and “They do… if you know how to leverage it.”

ACR has great added value by allowing planners to analyse reach split out by 3,000 postal districts instead of 14 broadcast regions. This extra level of granularity can be used to enrich Barb’s audience insights allowing us to plan for incremental reach and complement broadcast buys with CTV. This is becoming more and more important as all demographics are moving away from linear TV to to ad-supported streaming services. Not to mention ACR is all based on 100% opt-in data, so customer privacy is ensured.

If you’re looking for a real-life example, here’s our case study with UKTV where we helped drive people back to watching linear TV with a connected TV campaign — a great example that showcases how CTV and ACR can be invaluable to broadcasters.

Prediction: ACR will stand side-by-side with Barb, offering an exciting new solution, a change we’ve seen accelerated in the US eg NBCU/Comcast reporting that 40% of their TV trading in 2023 was supported by ‘alternative datasets’.

VTR will take a back seat

It’s 2024, and a CTV campaign has come across your desk requiring a view-through rate (VTR) greater than 90%. What do you do? Outside of YouTube, you’ll probably do very little.

Like traditional (linear) TV, SVOD/AVOD/FAST don’t have a skip button for ad breaks and you can run unskippable on YouTube. Meaning, we see these channels consistently achieve a VTR above 90% with relatively low optimisation needed.

So I ask again, if you’re guaranteed a high VTR with every unskippable ad, are you generating value?

Currently, a lot of CTV spend comes from digital teams where VTR is a great sanitary metric in the online video world but has little added value on the big screen. As mentioned earlier, 55% of advertisers in the UK are looking to invest in CTV. So as more advertisers look to include CTV in their plans and heavy hitters from traditional AV teams increase CTV investment, we need to rethink our primary KPIs.

Enter cost-per-incremental-impact (CPII) and brand lift.

TV is great at two things: mass reach and branding. For this reason, we, as marketers, will start judging our campaigns based on how many extra eyeballs we reached and if those eyeballs registered what they saw. The latter is particularly important considering 40% of us almost always use a second screen whilst watching TV.

This is why we prioritise long-form content over music videos and podcasts, both of which are passive experiences boasting high VTRs.

Prediction: CPII and Brand Lift will become vital metrics of campaign quality.

Streaming will dominate growth

The only linear TV I’ve watched this year outside of the RWC (mostly pub-based) was at my nan’s over Christmas. The Repair Shop is a great bit of content that transcends generations, but I’ve not watched it since.

It got me and some media correspondents thinking, ‘what are people watching?’

This raises a fundamental point in this discussion. ​​Mass reach starts with the broadcasters and although watch times are down, that fact isn’t changing in the short term. But, with so much choice out there for consumers, should we start thinking differently about where to start our reach strategies, especially when looking to reach 16-34 audiences en masse in a more addressable way?

And all the analysis MiQ has done through ACR suggests the same — people who watch linear TV will watch BVOD, meaning there is little opportunity for the UK’s largest advertisers to generate incremental reach. Throw in the fact that 73% of the UK owns a smart TV and it’s hard not to conclude that TV has reached an inflexion point.

Individually ad supported streaming services and long-tail AVOD/FAST publishers may offer piecemeal reach. The magic happens when you link them all together to buy at scale and start measuring incremental reach against linear TV.

Suddenly, you’re faced with a choice. Do I plug my remaining budget into more linear and hit the same people, or do I think about augmenting my linear TV strategy to include streaming? The latter allows you to reach incremental audiences, while also avoiding diminishing returns on linear TV investment.

The extra efficiencies of holistic third-party measurement, cross-platform frequency controls and access to the elusive 16-34 generation mean many media plans will start with streaming and build from there.

Prediction: SVOD/YouTube/AVOD/FAST will offer the same measurable reach as broadcasters.

Mike Lampard is product manager, Advanced TV, at MiQ

If you’re interested in learning more about how/where consumers are consuming TV; how UK advertisers are evaluating CTV; and advertiser insights to maximise results, read our latest Behind the Screens: TV Viewing Habits in the UK report.


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