Over the past several years, the lines between Television and Digital have become increasingly blurred. What was once a very black and white delineation — television meant linear programming and commercials; digital meant online content and banner ads — is now a grey area.
However, at the intersection of TV and Digital, a new format emerged that has become a must-have tool in the modern marketer’s toolbox: Connected TV.
Connected TV (CTV) is defined by eMarketer as “video watched on a TV with internet connectivity”, typically through content-specific apps in a smart TV interface or game console. CTV is forecasted to reach 80% of US households by next year, so its reach is significant.
Challenges of the Media Landscape
We’ve all heard the drumbeat: cord-cutting is accelerating, viewers are migrating to ad-free streaming platforms, and younger audiences have completely detached from traditional television. Linear TV still functions as an effective mass reach strategy, but there are challenges that advertisers are forced to address.
First, mass reach translates to media waste and inefficient spending. The outdated legacy process of buying TV ads inherently means a portion of budget is not going towards a target audience. The granularity of digital targeting has exposed the shortcomings of broad demo-based TV targeting.
Fragmentation is another challenge. TV content is readily available across multiple devices, and viewers now completely control where, when and how they consume television. Is it considered “television” when a viewer is streaming from Amazon Video to their Chromecast?
Finally, digital media has also shed light on the deficiencies of traditional television measurement. Ratings are becoming less relevant with each passing upfront season, and advertisers are rightfully demanding the same actionable insights and measurement they’re used to for digital campaigns.
CTV to the Rescue
The benefits of CTV are easy to see for advertisers. CTV puts high-quality video messaging on the largest and most-engaging screen in the household – the television. CTV ads are nearly always unskippable which means the video completion rates are close to 100%.
From a targeting perspective, applying demographic, location, and behavioral data allows advertisers to reach granular audiences across CTV inventory. You can also leverage robust TV viewership data from Samba, which includes 150 synthetic segments based on viewing behaviors. Combine all that with contextual targeting, the targeting capabilities of CTV far exceed the limitations of traditional TV targeting.
Fragmentation is combated by partnering with a one-stop shop for CTV inventory to achieve scale, a model Samba has developed by offering access to over 1,000 inventory sources to accommodate the influx of advertisers. Not only does this provide valuable incremental reach beyond linear, it also gives advertisers a direct line to cord cutters and OTT streamers.
CTV measurement mirrors the actionable insights from digital campaigns that advertisers use to make strategic decisions. Impression-level reporting, video completion rates and viewability all contribute to a holistic view of CTV campaign performance while also allowing for mid-flight optimization.
Charting a Path Forward
Advertisers partner with Samba to streamline their CTV partnerships through a single source, and tap into inventory scale that allows granular targeting against a specific audience. Whether it’s setting up a managed service campaign, or structuring a private marketplace deal, all advertisers should be considering CTV as an efficient and effective component of their cross-screen media strategy.