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InContext / An inside look at the business of digital content

How broadcasters can turn Advanced TV to their advantage

February 14, 2022 | By Virginie Dremeaux, Vice President, Marketing and Communications, International – FreeWheel @virginiedremeau

Changes to media consumption habits mean that audiences are consuming more than linear TV and subscription services. Today’s audiences are tuning in to a broad range of connected TV (CTV), broadcaster video-on-demand (BVOD), and advertising-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) services, which all fall under the umbrella of Advanced TV. As a result, marketer interest in this medium and the highly engaged viewers that flock to it are on the rise. But this raises an important question: What’s in it for the broadcasters?

As a medium that can expand the reach of linear TV and make premium video environments accessible to digital-native advertisers, Advanced TV holds strong potential in the media landscape. As Katie Coteman, Vice President, Advertising and Partnerships at Discovery, put it, during The Future of TV Advertising Global event: “some of the bigger, usual advertisers were pulling away [from TV advertising during the pandemic] so it was a great time to encourage new advertisers to TV.”

Recent research conducted by FreeWheel* into key European markets uncovered what’s driving this shift and the growth in Advanced TV. The research also explored further opportunities that broadcasters should seize.

Advanced TV is well-placed to maintain a growth momentum

Almost three-quarters (73%) of the European marketers surveyed intend to boost their Advanced TV spend in 2022, an increase more than double that of global marketing budgets. In the UK, CTV and VOD in particular were forecast to grow 9.2% and 8.2% respectively by respondents in the region.

So, what’s feeding this appetite for Advanced TV? Content and accessibility.

A previous survey by FreeWheel and Happydemics in four European** countries found that CTV users watch an average of two to three BVOD or AVOD services. This highlights both the continued fragmentation of the TV landscape and the rising viewer demand for quality video content. In response, marketers are keen to make Advanced TV an even more integral part of their media plans.

Broadcasters stand to gain from this trend and can tap into the high levels of marketer confidence for 2022. Doing so requires a deeper understanding of buyer needs, so that broadcasters can support marketing objectives and heighten the value of their premium video inventory.

What are marketers looking for from Advanced TV campaigns?

As revealed in FreeWheel’s “Advanced TV Uncovered” study, the European advertisers and agencies surveyed are prioritizing upper-funnel marketing goals, with 59% looking to strengthen customer acquisition. What’s more, 49% are focused on growing revenue and 37% are committed to improving customer loyalty.

These three priorities rank as the most important for 2022, mirroring those of 2021 and indicating that marketers are deeply invested in their current objectives. Cross-screen targeting opportunities are also a key motivator for Advanced TV growth, meaning broadcasters that support these capabilities can win ad budgets by helping marketers leverage premium video environments to boost campaign reach and personalization.

For example, advanced audience targeting is the top accelerator overall for investment in the medium, as claimed by 50% of advertisers and 42% of agencies who took part in the research. Being an ecosystem that doesn’t rely on third-party cookies (which will soon be retired), Advanced TV’s effective and privacy-compliant targeting techniques could be a key accelerator for growth. For broadcasters, these targeting solutions ensure they seamlessly deliver ads that improve the personalized viewing experience while respecting user privacy. Looking ahead, maintaining the quality of the content as well as audience trust in Advanced TV will be highly important.

How can broadcasters continue to capture this growth?

With audience consumption patterns diversifying, it’s becoming critical to unify advertising across all screens. Developing measurement capabilities will be central to this, as 40% of respondents consider the ability to monitor ROI — such as customer acquisition, lead generation, and uplift to web traffic — as a top priority.

Broadcasters have the opportunity to work together to progress the ecosystem, as they are in a strong position to use deterministic data sets and advanced solutions that monitor cross-screen performance. By building a shared language and aligning on metrics, broadcasters may make the most of all their premium inventory, both linear and digital. As a result, digital-native brands could be further encouraged to expand Advanced TV’s place in their media mix. Harmonized measurement tools will enable effective media planning and impactful campaign optimization for marketers, attracting greater investments. 

The strong optimism in Advanced TV is making it a promising part of the media landscape for 2022. Broadcasters can use their in-depth understanding of content and audiences to help marketers deliver addressable, targeted campaigns across screens. By uniting their efforts, they can progress measurement solutions, standardisation, and increase the value of premium video inventory, allowing them to reap the benefits of viewer adoption of Advanced TV.

* in collaboration with CoLab Media Consulting between 23 July and 2 August 2021 in: UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

** UK, DE, IT, FR

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