After a year dominated by war, economic downturn and the surprising (to some) struggles of streaming giants, the future appears cloudy – though opportunities abound for CTV as major players enter the advertising sector.
Meanwhile the continued deprecation of the third-party cookie in Chrome, the increasing focus on social responsibility, and further fragmentation across the TV landscape creates new avenues for how best to use data and monetise a growing content pool.
VideoWeek asked nine ad tech execs what 2023 holds for video, TV and advertising, covering everything from AI to word games – and what this shifting ecosystem might look like in the year ahead.
Nicola Lewis, CEO, Finecast
“Three themes will dominate 2023: creative optimisation, omnichannel performance and attention.
As an industry, we have done a great job at optimising media placements across the entire sales funnel. Now, there’s a huge opportunity for us to dial up campaign effectiveness through creative optimisation executed in an addressable TV environment. The ability to deliver multiple, in most cases hundreds of, creative permutations based on different locations, preferences and behaviours, creates opportunities for advertisers to resonate with their customers like never before.
While omnichannel isn’t a new concept, how we execute a truly omnichannel solution will change. Advertisers will increasingly want to bring all addressable media closer together to create consistent and impactful brand experiences and to improve campaign effectiveness. This addressable-first mindset will also fundamentally, and irreversibly, change the way all brands approach and plan campaigns. For viewers, this provides a seamless and enhanced brand experience.
Finally, attention dominated conversations in 2022 and we expect that this will continue well beyond 2023. Clients are increasingly recognising that attention is a critical consideration in any media plan. How we learn from research and implement the findings will be a key driver of value for clients.”
“The rise of generative AI and technologies like text-to-video will create a need for clearer regulations (and risk management tools) around content ownership and privacy.
The word game craze will continue strong into 2023 with more companies getting in on the trend and introducing new daily games that provide quick entertainment for a shorter attention span that utilise punchy, contextually relevant content.
As video advertising continues to evolve at a rapid pace all eyes are on CTV as we move into 2023. We expect to start seeing more contextual solutions specific to CTV to help advertisers reach niche audiences and maximise ad spend.”
“The meteoric rise of CTV, and in particular programmatic enabled CTV. is nothing short of incredible, gaining an unprecedented tail wind from the pandemic. However, like every hyper growth example in our world – not dissimilar to a start-up – there is a period that follows the growth that addresses critical, foundational elements that must be paid. 2023 will be that period. And OpenRTB 2.6 is that foundational upgrade for programmatic CTV.
This represents one of the most critical standardization efforts, as it creates the programmatic CTV “language” that media buyers and sellers can leverage to truly communicate pod specific details at scale. The newly introduced spec not only provides far more transparency and accuracy in measuring and qualifying CTV inventory, but also critically opens up the potential for pod bidding—the ability to select and price a specific ad slot within a given pod when buying programmatically. This combines the more automatic, efficient method of buying inventory with the seamless ad experiences consumers expect from TV.
These upgrades could not come at a better time. With UK viewers seeking to trim their subscriptions during the cost of living crisis, an increase in ad supported content will allow consumers to access their favourite content in the way that works for them. Embracing programmatic is a key part in this transformation.”
“Heading into 2023, predictions and projections for many media companies will be challenging as digital channel maturity levels off growth, and channels like retail media get their footing. We continue to invest in our core strengths as an ad server and SSP because we believe that the transformation of traditional media like broadcast video will have sustained velocity throughout the year and beyond.
Media buying behaviour will likely track with the measure of confidence advertisers have that consumers will respond to their messages. Some will have the foresight to invest deeply in their brand promise, to establish the loyalty and advocacy they will need to maintain sales during a potential recessionary period. Others may elect to taper their performance marketing to meet the realities of selling into a marketplace of financially constrained consumers.
Whatever the next year holds, trends toward data-enriched media planning and execution will continue. At Equativ, we intend to help publishers and advertisers realise that goal.”
“Outcome insights drive growth in 2023. Today’s TV experience is no longer bound by time, platforms, locations, or devices. And because of that, the global TV advertising industry has evolved faster in the past two years than it has in decades. Major investments in content, the launch of numerous new services, and audience fragmentation have driven advertisers to adopt a more dynamic view of the converged TV universe.
While this fragmentation brings challenges for advertisers, it also opens the door to more ways of reaching and engaging with audiences where they are. It’s forcing them to think differently about how they buy, measure, personalise, and optimize a much more diverse, cross-platform, dynamic video mix that reflects today’s always-on world.
In 2023, we’ll see advertisers demand insight into the actual outcomes of their campaigns to determine what is really working for them. The right connected platform will help advertisers understand the effectiveness of their campaigns across multiple environments, optimise to drive outcomes (sales, downloads, registrations, etc.), and demonstrate the ROI of their investments. We’ll see a greater demand for this in the new year and savvy tech partners will be ready to support it.”
“In 2023, technology that addresses the convergence of linear and digital will move forward at a greater speed toward true cross-platform planning and activation solutions. Driven by the popularity of CTV and the ongoing growth of AVOD, we anticipate that the deployment of these solutions will start to make a significant impact in overcoming the complexity caused by increased fragmentation that has plagued both investment planners and publishers over the past few years.”
“The death of the third-party cookie is now in the immediate future going into 2023. Brands, publishers, and advertisers are ramping up testing various cookieless alternatives, with a big focus on first-party data solutions and contextual targeting. Privacy compliance is one of the utmost concerns with more scrutiny and investment in programmatic budgets. Contextual and semantic targeting technologies are coming out on top as they protect user privacy while also driving relevance.
A second topic on everyone’s mind is how digital advertising can evolve further toward sustainable practices and solutions. Carbon-neutral goals are being adopted by the entire digital industry, including ShowHeroes Group. Expect more carbon-neutral or carbon-offsetting ad initiatives, such as ShowHeroes Green Media, as well as more overarching partnerships within the media space that focus on alliance and best practices for managing and measuring emissions.
Lastly, attention-based metrics will start replacing viewability metrics mid-funnel. Brands increasingly want to know exactly how audiences are engaging with their messages. Coupled with the necessity of privacy compliance, attention metrics and verification solutions will allow marketers to drill into specific data and content that drive consumer purchase decisions.”
“The Lipstick Effect is the well-documented phenomenon that sales of affordable luxuries rise in economic downturns. Well, in 2023, I predict a rise in the KeepCup effect. With wars raging, costs spiralling and climate catastrophes becoming more prevalent, consumers will be looking for affordable ways to express their social values. Brands have already made their public DE&I commitments, they’ve already signed up to AdNetZero and they’ve already told consumers they care. So 2023 is the year to make good on those commitments and bake social impact into the core business operations.”
“In 2023, advanced AI will become the foundation of the TV viewing experience, encompassing both programming and advertising. Viewers have already become comfortable with letting algorithms pick out programmes that align with their tastes to determine what they watch next.
Next year, advertisers will start to better leverage AI across TV to directly align their message with the content viewers are consuming. AI can make connections between minute-by-minute programming content and advertising messages. This opens the door to muscle car ads playing immediately after a car chase scene, or a restaurant QR code within an ad that shows after a scene in an on-screen restaurant. This leads to a better viewing experience, where ads are tied to the programming context as the program progresses, not just a topline genre level.
The ability to go deeper into the content gives advertisers much more clarity on the value of commercials, sponsorships, and product placement. To get there, TV manufacturers will need to work with advertisers to implement the technology that reads what’s playing on screen. CTVs enabled with AI will emerge and go beyond ACR in their ability to transform the viewing experience for both content and ads, highlighting the power of data and personalisation.”
“Over the past year, we’ve seen buyers and streaming content creators lean into the efficiency, measurability and scale of programmatic. In 2023, I expect that a potentially challenging economic environment will accelerate this shift, with more publishers and buyers embracing the transparency and flexibility of programmatic advertising across the open internet.
Data-driven, addressable advertising technology will fuel the growth of programmatic CTV. At the same time, with the new privacy regulations on the horizon, I expect buyers to bring their targeting closer to the publisher, and the consumer, by activating data on the sell-side. As they do so, we should expect to see content object signals and first-party data become more integral components of CTV targeting strategies.”
“TV’s measurement culture clash will have a reckoning.
TV measurement continues to be a hot topic, as the tug-of-war match between panels and ACR continues. But it’s all coming to a head. The key to solving several different industry problems is to bring panels and ACR together, which will greatly accelerate in 2023.
The ability to cohesively leverage panels and ACR data will allow us to build efficiencies from various POVs, and help brands make sure they are reaching their intended audiences within relevant shows and streaming platforms.
The unification of panels and ACR data will also help solve the co-viewing problem by understanding who is watching within a household, which is something big brands and agencies have called for repeatedly in 2022. Then advertisers can start to do interesting things like finding the true price of inventory for a specific demo target and optimising campaigns against business outcomes such as reach, awareness, website visits, app downloads, and even sell-thru.
And with the current economic uncertainty starting to squeeze the ad market, bridging the gap between panel and ACR data can power optimisation tools that can be true differentiators.”