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Connected TV Advertising Roadblocks and Advantages

April 5th, 2019   ||    by Charlene Weisler

Connected TV advertising is on the verge of a breakthrough. Television is facing an advertising revenue challenge as linear viewership continues to decline, leading to a focus on finding new inventory sources. eMarketer predicted that connected TV users will represent 60.1 percent of the US population by 2022. As a result, connected TV is viewed as a potential source of additional inventory and revenue.

Challenges of Buying Automated Connected TV

The promise of connected TV riches is not matching the reality. According to Digiday, while there are more automated buys for connected TV than last year, advertiser investment levels are not what they could be. Some of the challenges lie in measurement where data is captured in silos, while other challenges lie in developing up-to-date metrics for that data.

Having too many choices also pose challenges. There are many options available to advertisers considering a smart TV buy. According to eMarketer‘s Paul Verna, media buyers considering connected TV can purchase from a range of vendors—streaming device manufacturers, smart TV makers, content aggregators, automated ad firms, and broadcast networks that allow advertisers to extend traditional TV buys into the digital space. “Inventory is spread out across all of these in a way that makes it difficult for any single channel, or provider, to deliver the kind of scale that advertisers are accustomed to with linear TV,” he wrote. “The industry is currently working through a host of technical and business challenges that have stood in the way of a flourishing ad business on connected TV.”

According to Matt Prohaska, CEO and principal at Prohaska Consulting, there are three primary challenges:

  • Supply, “selling in the Open Auction and thinking that is the only way to sell programmatically, when in fact integrating the offering with existing sales teams and putting proper price/audience parameters in place allows for more inventory made available.”
  • Identity and Attribution, “trying to marry individual and household identity,” which is still “apples to oranges.”
  • Selling Teams, “not completely trained to conduct these transactions,” with too many internal teams handling each side of the transaction.

“Until everyone is comfortable with the price, process, and personnel, progress will remain slower than ideal,” he concluded.

Advantages of Buying Automated Connected TV

The advantages of automated connected TV advertising are extensive, including the ability to reach audiences who don’t watch linear TV. These audiences tend to be younger and, because they access TV interactively, they have the potential to be more engaged with other viewers through social media.

Also, there is more collectable data available through connected devices, enabling greater granularity and predictability for automated segmentations. A recent marketer survey from SmartyAds noted that 65 percent of marketers polled listed targeting precision and granularity as the top connected TV benefits, followed by increased ad relevance (59 percent). Since smart TV users log in to their Facebook or Google account, there is the ability to append further identifiers such as geolocation, zip code, interests, online behavior, device, and language offering more precise audience segmentations.

So the benefits are ad quality and relevance, the flexibility of messaging, delivery on real-time metrics, and responsive audiences. But the siloing of data across a range of platforms requires one more major fix—an omnichannel platform that supports the entire media marketplace. Once this is achieved, the sky is the limit for purchasing, stewarding, and delivering the full promise of automated connected TV advertising.

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