Contributed by Olivier Wellmann – SVP, Product
Many assume that linear TV advertising has reached maturity, due to the captivating growth of over-the-top (OTT) video providing a truly dynamic platform for on demand content and targeted advertising. New technology promises to combine the dynamic advertising model of over-the-top (OTT) video with the scale of linear TV. The standards that align the media and platforms for Linear TV will soon extend to cover personalized, addressable advertising, and this will unleash powerful new business models for the industry.
At the forefront of this standards-based movement is Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV (HbbTV), the standard that defines the technology roadmap for linear TV in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Western Asia, Middle East, and has tremendous influence in other regions of the world as well.
The standard can be instrumental in this transition. HbbTV is a technical standard implemented by software by compliant browser embedded in smart televisions. In the US, other standards such as ATSC 3.0 and Project OAR (Open Addressable Ready) are also establishing addressable advertising standard.
Today, HbbTV is used to create interactive experiences that enhance broadcast video with interactive applications that overlay the video rendered by the browser in synchronization with linear video. More recently, the standard provides advertisers with the specification to replace regular broadcast advertising with digital and dynamic versions selected according to the profile of the viewer — a method called “spot replacement.”
HbbTV enjoys massive scale, deployed in tens of millions of TV sets all over the world. In March 2019, Samba TV joined the HbbTV organization to align its data, technology and Smart TV partnerships with the scale of major broadcasters in Europe initially and other markets soon after.. Samba aims to facilitate the deployment of a privacy compliant Targeted Advertising (TA) standard over linear TV, at a massive scale with standards for unifying the user experience and privacy compliance.
Linear TV: The New Frontier of Digital Advertising
Free-to-air (FTA) Digital Terrestrial Television is entrenched in most European, Asia and LATAM markets. For example, in most western European countries Digital Terrestrial Television (the one you receive with the aerial on the roof) accounts for 40 to 70% of television reception. This percentage means that no operator is controlling the delivery for a large part (often the majority) of TV usage. Broadcasters directly air their content to television sets and retail set-top boxes (STBs).
Digital advertising has grown steadily for the past decade, and it is now the largest single segment of global advertising spending. Television still holds a similar share, at 35% vs. 38% and continues to dominate video advertising. OTT is starting to challenge this entrenched position. However, the current share may continue for some time as we transition to the new world of internet television delivery. A recent study from Strategy Analytics forecasts that 80% of global video ad spending to be on TV in 2023.
However, increasing broadband penetration, such as CTV and OTT, combined with viewers’ demand for more-personalized content, is transforming TV into a digital Internet medium. The conversion of TV advertising to digital is inevitable. It is creating new opportunities for both incumbent stakeholders (such as TV broadcasters) and new entrants.
Google and Facebook dominate the digital advertising market, leaving little space for other players. In contrast, the TV market includes many more companies in a fragmented market position usually broken down across geographic borders.
The Rise of HbbTV
The good news is that there is a technical standard with years of deployment and testing that can potentially ease the transition. Hybrid broadband-broadcast television (HbbTV) is a professional standard created in 2009 that blends web technologies with Broadcast distribution (DVB). HbbTV deploys in more than 50 million set-top boxes and TV sets in Europe and Asia.
HbbTV enabled apps used by more than 10 million households in Europe, and the numbers are growing. HbbTV-compliant TV sets are capable of managing the substitution of linear advertising clips by digital ones that are delivered online. The broadcaster can then easily insert elements into the television signal so that online advertising replaces the live broadcast one. Many are now testing this Addressable Advertising technique with several trials and small rollouts since 2016 in France, Germany, the UK, and Italy.
Pushing Market Standardization
Samba TV recognizes the success of HbbTV and has decided to join the organization leading its development as an everyday member. We are enthusiastic about the benefits of HbbTV and about participating in its targeted advertising improvements.
HbbTV offers several benefits for the fast and safe deployment of Targeted Advertising, such as:
- There is a large number of HbbTV devices available, making adoption of the standard easier by manufacturers.
- HbbTV is an open standard, which eliminates gatekeepers and reduces barriers to entry. We believe that an open standard is the most appropriate for a fragmented horizontal market with many different TV manufacturers.
- Standardization allows consistent deployments across many TV manufacturers and countries. Addressable advertising can work only if the participants offer a tremendous and scalable opportunity to agencies and advertisers.
Samba TV comes to HbbTV with TV-centric data that offers an ideal fit for advertisers’ needs for targeted television advertising:
- Profile data created from TV viewership patterns and enriched with corresponding data provided by Samba apps or third parties.
- A massive deployment of Samba-compatible TV sets already in selected countries (the US, western Europe, Australia, etc.).
- The Samba TV Privacy hub enables full transparency, control, and security of anonymized consumer data through single easy to use opt-in with control application.
- Samba offers value to the consumer with recommendations, popularity ratings, and more natural content discovery.
Samba TV leverages its partnerships with TV manufacturers and advertising platforms to support the deployment of privacy-compliant personalized advertising on linear TV:
- This proposal offers win-win deals for TV set manufacturers, who receive compensation for the use of their devices.
- We incentivize TV Manufacturers to implement the standard to create a vibrant TV ecosystem with a profitable business model for all stakeholders.
- Broadcasters benefit from the all-in-one solution, returning higher revenues with simplified GDPR processes (the General Data Protection Regulations mandated by European law).
We find this partnership inspiring. Together with HbbTV, we are excited to usher in a new era of TV digital advertising.