60+ attendees joined us as we brought together a diverse collection of thought leaders from agencies, brands, and media companies to discuss shifting media consumption across linear and streaming tv and how this has impacted campaign strategy and media buying.
Dawn Butler, Director, Marketing Intelligence & Brand, UPMC
Klarn DePalma, Executive Vice President, MNI Targeted Media
Tatia O’Connor, Research Director, WTAE
Melissa Wilson, Director of Media Activation, Hoffmann Murtaugh
Moderated by Vicki Potter, Global Assurance Director, ID Comms
Defining the new TV Landscape. The world of TV is not really the TV world anymore, but rather streaming video, since consumers are now wired to get what they want, when they want, where they want. Media planners and buyers are responding, focusing on purchasing audiences rather than platforms, shifting budget from linear TV to OTT and CTV.
- CTV (connected TV) refers to a device that delivers video by a connection to the TV or via functionality within the TV itself.
- OTT (over-the-top) refers to content delivered through a full episode player and watched on an internet-connected streaming device rather than via traditional cable or broadcast connection.
The COVID-19 Pandemic is the most significant change that has happened to TV viewership in the last five years. Prior to COVID, Netflix was king, Hulu was gaining more and more popularity, and US adults were tuning to linear TV for live streams and sports. As COVID hit, people had more time on their hands to adopt and learn how to use streaming platforms and watch popular programs like Netflix’s Tiger King. They also purchased subscriptions to platforms like HBOMax and Disney+, especially around big theatrical and cinematic releases like Hamilton. Simultaneously, streaming and internet connectivity got even better, meaning live streams and sports that were previously hard for cord cutters to access, were now just as easy to stream as they were to watch on linear TV. As such, now 55 million homes (40% of the US) watch OTT or connected TV only. In Pittsburgh, about 17% of the market is broadband only.
Audience fragmentation has changed the savvy marketers approach to buying and planning media. Streaming has made it easier to target a niche audience online, which has resulted in a planning and buying mindset shift – brands and agencies are now buying based on an audience instead of a platform and using quintessential digital metrics like impressions and CPMs to compare platforms and measure success.
Advanced digital targeting in the CTV/OTT space creates opportunities for personalization in marketing. Previously, we had one to two screens in each household to reach an entire family and ads were served on linear TV to appointment viewers. Now, we have 10+ screens in a household and everyone is engaging with their screens and content at the same time. This segmentation is an opportunity for advertisers to personalize their messaging to the audience, platform, time of day, geography, and more to reach the right person, at the right time, in the right place, with the right message to complete a pre-determined action.
Measurement is still in nascent stages. In the planning phase, research is vital to determine who your audience is, what makes them tick, and the platforms they engage on; however, industry leader, Nielsen, took a big hit during the pandemic as it was difficult for them to implement local people meters as people were social distancing. They are currently working on new solutions that allow them to provide holistic measurement solutions and are looking at wearable devices or even phone apps that allow tracking.On the back end, reporting beyond the view is also important for the advertiser. Through OTT, this can be done by matching an impression served to an action taken via device ID or IP Address, which is a 1:1 match. Linear has some challenges in this space since they are not able to provide a 1:1 match that is possible with digital inventory. As buyers, we also need to be aware of fraud and bot traffic issues, as the general issues that happen across digital media can creep into the OTT space, as well.
There’s a lot to watch on TV. Our panel recommends
- Only Murders in the Building
- Squid Game
- The Walking Dead
- West Wing
- Ted Lasso
- Reality TV: Big Brother, The Bachelor Franchise. Great British Bake Off