TV and video advertising is locked in a constant battle to grab the attention of viewers, whose time is increasingly fragmented across delivery channels – whether it be linear or digital, set-top box video on demand (STB VoD) or over-the-top (OTT). But while viewing might be increasingly disjointed, there’s plenty of evidence to indicate it is still a thriving advertising channel.
TV advertising already has major weapons in its arsenal. It has great content, which will keep viewers coming back for more, and it is still the number one medium for reach, emotion and engagement. So how does it now capitalise on this prime position?
TV anywhere and everywhere
There is a danger of automatically placing TV in opposition to digital. But TV is not just a screen; it is a type of content that crosses both linear and digital. Ultimately, whether a viewer is catching up on their favourite show on a tablet during their commute or relaxing in front of the television set in their living room, it is all just TV to them.
What broadcasters and advertisers should be focusing on is how they can achieve incremental reach and provide the optimum viewer experience whatever device or platform is being used.
Convergence across the TV industry needs to work on a number of levels. Inventory pools should be created across all platforms and devices, no matter if it is desktop, STB VoD, OTT, or linear. By breaking the silos, the content remains king and the viewer does not feel any discrepancy between screens or ad loads.
Transaction models for TV and digital inventory tend to favour either programmatic or direct buying. Instead, the industry should take an agnostic approach and concentrate on making sure there is control and transparency in all transactions. Despite some bad press, programmatic is capable of providing both control and transparency when viewed as an automated transaction, rather than an automatic one.
The power of data
By using the rich data the industry has at its disposal to target users, TV advertising can become a connected part of the whole viewing journey. It’s predicted that by 2022, 30 per cent of all audio-visual advertising and 10 per cent of linear TV ads will be delivered as addressable.
Partnerships between media brands and operators who own data allow different ads to be shown to different households watching the same programme. For example, addressable TV allows a national ad campaign to be broken down into local segments, so four different ads could be shown within the same slot. This creates more personalised and relevant ad campaigns.
Amplifying reach through alliances
The perfect way to leverage precious TV data is through publisher and broadcaster alliances. These unions recognise a media brand is just one touchpoint for viewers, but the power of an ad can be multiplied across collective brands.
Alliances offer a ‘one-stop shop’ for advertisers, making their lives easier while providing a framework with control and transparency. By working together, broadcasters can communicate with engaged audiences efficiently, and at scale. They can also increase their collective power to challenge the media giants who are increasingly snapping up ad revenues.
A recent example of broadcasters joining forces in this way is the European Broadcaster Exchange (EBX), made up of Mediaset in Italy and Spain, TF1 Groupe in France, The Prosiebensat.1 Group in Germany, and Channel 4 in the UK. Alliances such as these open up access to vast inventories. In the case of EBX, advertisers and operators working with these broadcasters can potentially reach 160 million viewers on VoD platforms across Europe.
There’s a collective responsibility within the industry to support the ‘Golden Age of TV’ and see it become the ‘Platinum Age of TV’. For publishers and broadcasters this is about recognising their common purpose and working together. For technology providers it is about creating solutions that provide transparency and control for both supply and demand. And for agencies and advertisers it’s about trusting TV and its premium content as the most powerful way to generate emotions, tell a story and engage with viewers.