This holiday season, as smart TVs, smartphones and streaming media devices fly off the shelves, it’s clear that consumers are watching their favorite TV shows where, when, and how they want. That’s a pretty nice development for TV fans. But this shift in viewing patterns offers advertisers the biggest gift of all.
As viewers transition from set top boxes to screens of all shapes and sizes, the ability to transact and measure multiscreen TV ad inventory is rapidly improving. For marketers, that means cross-platform TV campaigns are more likely to reach their intended audiences. In fact, Turner made a bold claim recently when it promised that, “by 2020 more than 50% of its inventory would be transacted against audience guarantees.”
“By leveraging data and analytics, we can make advertising more relevant for a consumer and ultimately more effective and efficient for our agency and advertising partners,” said Dan Aversano, SVP of ad innovation and programmatic solutions for Turner.
The technology that enables this new frontier of addressable TV is evolving quickly. For example, Adobe Primetime provides a TV ad planning and yield optimization platform that monetizes multiscreen TV, which is described in the video below.
With this technology, when it comes to transacting, direct sales teams still hold the key to premium ad placements. This was true for traditional linear TV and will remain true in digital.
Underscoring this point, publishers of premium video content are working to enable private, direct, audience-based media sales that are enriched by data and viewer-level measurement. Stephano Kim, EVP Digital Strategy and Operations at Turner Broadcasting told AdExchanger, "It used to be that back in the day, your content used to be a proxy for your audience. If someone viewed your content, the content was deemed relevant to those people. But now that you have so many different modalities of how your content is consumed, it’s changed everything."
As broadcasters begin to realize their vision for addressable media sales, advertisers will have unprecedented control over how they reach TV viewers across a vast array of devices and platforms. Let’s consider a few examples:
Improving multiscreen addressabilityAdvertisers are always looking to reach more consumers with targeted, personalized offers. Instead of using TV content as a proxy for viewers, audience-based buying provides an effective mechanism for marketers to reach their desired segments, via multiscreen campaigns. With the advent of new sell-side technologies, publishers can now leverage data to match individual viewers with specific ad slots across every screen. In turn, advertisers can match specific campaigns to these audiences and see their ad effectiveness double and even triple.
Buying audiences + content across multiple screensExecuting campaigns for specific audiences, during specific TV shows, may be the most effective way for advertisers to ensure their message resonates while viewers are immersed in their favorite shows. Historically, publishers have faced a unique set of challenges in making this hybrid inventory available. Today, however, media sellers have access to cross-platform tools to forecast ad inventory at the impression level for both audience and content criteria. This means that marketers looking to advertise to a particular audience segment, such as recent iPhone purchasers, who are watching a particular show, such as Empire, can do so without the risk of over- or under-selling.
In the past, inventory forecasting for such a scenario would yield an average accuracy of less than 50%. As a result, advertisers would achieve less reach than desired, and rely on negotiating “make goods” to recoup their investments. Now, publishers have access to features that help them recognize and forecast overlapping inventory, and marketers can expect a nearly 2X increase in on-target delivery.
Measuring with your preferred currencyTransacting with audience guarantees, as measured by Nielsen or Comscore, has surfaced a number of challenges with the growth of streaming. These challenges include:
- Broad audience definitions. A 25-49 year old male represents a very broad set of behaviors and buying patterns.
- Panel-based measurement. These small, representative samples are often at odds with buyers’ and sellers’ ability to measure at the impression level.
- Data lag. Nielsen data is only available after a 48 hour delay, meaning campaigns delivered to the wrong audiences may not be remedied as quickly as desired.
Measurement flexibility is key. Turner SVP of Ad Innovation and Programmatic Solutions Dan Aversano said, “We all have to abandon this idea of a single currency. At Turner, we’ve put a stake in the ground that we are data-agnostic, meaning when we’re cutting specific audience deals, we use many different data sets: viewership, behavioral, attitudinal, psychographic and emotional data sets, and those get linked together.”
Of course, major media sellers remain focused on the user experience above all else. Joe Marchese, President, Advanced Advertising, Fox Networks Group says, "If we can move to a world where we can do guaranteed attention, fewer ads, interactive ads, immersive ads, we could raise the rate and we could move the conversation from a battle between content creators and marketers about lower, lower, lower rates and saying no it's about guaranteeing proper human attention, the right audience, someone who's actually in market for goods and services, and a great experience overall."