Having the Right Metrics is Key to Unlocking Advanced TV Success

Tim Cross 15 February, 2024 

Despite the fact that only a small proportion of marketers are growing their overall ad budgets in 2024, the majority are planning to increase spend on advanced TV says Stefanie Briec, Director, Head of Demand Sales UK & INTL at FreeWheel. But along with this increased spend, advertisers are looking for new metrics to support their investment beyond the basic GRP.

In this article Briec picks out data from recent AudienceXpress reports to highlight how buyers’ expectations around advanced TV are changing, and what advanced TV platforms need to do in order to capture this increased investment.

If there’s one development that defines Advanced TV in 2024, it’s the significant growth of advertising opportunities across channels. Whether it be video on demand (VOD), connected TV (CTV), over-the-top (OTT), or addressable linear, these services are attracting greater advertiser interest and spend intent. According to AudienceXpress’ 2024 marketer survey, Advanced TV Uncovered, 83 percent of European advertisers are planning to increase their investment in Advanced TV in the next 12 months.

This surge in Advanced TV spend comes during challenging economic times, however. Purse strings have been tightened for wider marketing budgets. The same survey found that only 18 percent of respondents expect an increase in overall budgets in 2024. Half expect their budgets to stay the same.

Marketers are also under ever-increasing scrutiny to prove campaign effectiveness and efficiency at every turn. This is especially true when it comes to customer retention: almost two thirds of European marketers surveyed cited this as their top marketing objective.

Measurement is key to achieving this and Advanced TV, which gives access to better metrics, presents a growing opportunity for brands.

Why Advanced TV?

Marketers are excited about the ad experience and impact provided by Advanced TV channels and value them above online video. Connected TV in particular can offer interactive and personalised viewing experiences — and with the right ad placement that chimes with a particular piece of content, its effectiveness can be turbocharged.

Additionally, Advanced TV platforms are seen as premium ad environments by over half (58 percent) of marketers surveyed, according to the Advanced TV Uncovered Report. Premium ad environments are perceived as adhering to quality over quantity, promising higher customer engagement and return on investment.

Implicit in this, Advanced TV is seen by half of European marketers surveyed as brand-safe inventory, helping advertisers to avoid any placement or context that could harm their image.  Brand-safe credentials, at a time when reputation is paramount, heighten Advanced TV’s importance.

Marketer spend comes with a caveat: more metrics

Cross-media measurement has become a burning issue for marketers because brands are running campaigns across a wide range of platforms, including linear and streaming. The streaming landscape itself is also evolving with subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services seeing a slowdown in subscribers, and ad-supported tiers being launched in response.

Linear is still an important part of the equation though, particularly when it comes to big cultural and sporting events. Many brands turn to streaming to extend the reach of their linear campaigns. More than half of European agencies and advertisers say this is the biggest growth driver in their Advanced TV spend.

Measure up to demand

Almost three quarters (70 percent) of European agencies and advertisers cite new metrics as their top strategic priority for 2024. Having more partnerships, better industry collaboration, and agreed metrics will support a more convergent TV ecosystem.

In turn, it may also allow for unified reporting on ad campaigns. Campaign data should be consistent and comparable across screens, platforms and markets — and standardised measurement could make reporting more easily comparable. This would allow marketers to accurately evaluate cross-platform campaigns and optimise their media mix accordingly.

There’s been a call to strengthen third-party measurement audits. The industry body BARB for instance, has committed to expanding its measurement of audiences to include ‘fit-for-TV’ content on video-sharing platforms, not just broadcasters.

More than half (54 percent) of UK marketers want more comprehensive measurement solutions tied directly to business, such as CPMs replacing GRPs. This represents a huge opportunity for the industry to redefine measurement standards across screens and platforms.

The emerging metric of attention — the impact of ads on viewers’ attention — is getting a lot of traction, augmenting the measurement spectrum and reinforcing inventory value. Attention could help differentiate between premium and non-premium ad inventory, enable marketers to value them appropriately and let streaming services and linear shine.

With several manual tasks still present within the digital supply chain, marketers will increasingly look to automation to make key operations — such as media buys, campaign optimisation, and targeting at scale — more efficient. Automation will further drive programmatic’s resurgence, with advertisers looking more closely at their programmatic strategies and upping their spend on programmatic campaigns.

Future-proof Advanced TV spend

Advertisers who have already tried Advanced TV want to spend more. However, they are looking for better metrics and proof points of campaign effectiveness and efficiency.

With new sources of inventory constantly emerging, linear and Advanced TV platforms must come together and work to meet this demand in order to see greater ad spend reach its full potential.

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About the Author:

Tim Cross is Assistant Editor at VideoWeek.
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