For this upfront season, over-the-top (OTT) advertising is at the top of the “transformation” agenda for the TV industry. In fact, connected TV (CTV) and OTT advertising is expanding at the fastest rate of any major medium and will reach $4 billion this year and $5 billion next year, according to Magna’s latest forecast. Even with this rapid growth, OTT ad spending is still catching up with consumption — it’s just 3% of TV ad budgets.
To win over advertisers, we’re witnessing a battle brewing at the agency level — people are vying for marketers to shift budgets to CTV and OTT. Many traditional TV buyers have renamed themselves as “video investment” teams, and digital buyers are emphasizing their audience targeting, measurement and attribution prowess to stake the vast, growing CTV opportunity.
As the competition rages on between the media giants and the distribution platforms to grow their direct-to-consumer (DTC) streaming offerings, the OTT ecosystem is becoming ever more complex and fragmented, which makes the buying experience even more confusing for advertisers. Compounding the market confusion is the rise of new entrants that claim to do the same thing but are executing differently. Advertisers need a checklist to truly understand what they are getting.
We’re thrilled to kick off our Beet TV video series titled – The Next Big Thing for Advertisers: The Growth of Direct-to-Consumer Streaming.
Over the next several weeks, Beet TV will be featuring industry leaders from major agencies, publishers and technology partners in a video interview series focused on the emergence of OTT as an advertising platform. The episodes will explore topics such as the growth opportunities with ad-supported OTT, how OTT is changing the game and effective buying strategies for marketers.
We have an impressive roster of industry voices including our own Jim Wilson as well as experts from Havas, UM, Horizon Media, Publicis, Discovery, Fox, Pluto TV, Philo, MadHive, to name a few.
Please watch and share this with others!
March 27, 2019 – NEW YORK – Premion, the leading premium CTV/OTT advertising solution for regional and local advertisers, today announced the appointment of John Vilade as its new Head of Sales & Vice President. Vilade joins Premion from TRUSTX, where he was Chief Revenue Officer. Vilade is responsible for leading Premion’s national and regional sales organization and driving revenue growth, go-to-market development and execution. Vilade is based out of Premion’s New York City headquarters.
“Premion is entering a new phase of accelerated momentum, market innovation and leadership,” said Jim Wilson, President of Premion. “As we scale the business to its next level and bring deeper expertise to better serve local and regional advertisers, John brings an impressive track record of leading high performing traditional and digital media advertising teams at world-class media companies and start-ups. I’m confident he will be a tremendous asset for driving Premion’s next chapter of streaming advertising growth.”
A well-established senior national media executive, Vilade brings over 25-years of successful traditional and digital media advertising, distribution sales and business development experience. As Chief Revenue Officer of TRUSTX, Vilade served as a founding executive for the high-profile programmatic digital advertising marketplace start-up, where he led national sales, strategy and development in partnership with many of the world’s leading broadcasters and publishers. Previously, Vilade led sales, strategy and revenue growth with leading media and entertainment organizations, such as NBC Universal, CBS Local and Discovery Communications and was an early sales leader for several years at Hulu where he scaled national, local, multicultural and upfront advertising sales.
“Premion has built a trusted reputation in pioneering streaming advertising as a premium and brand-safe choice for advertisers,” said John Vilade. “I’m thrilled to join Premion at a time of terrific ad-supported OTT growth and focus in our industry. Premion’s differentiated advertiser-first strategy continues to pave the way in driving transparency, performance and innovation in audience targeting, verification and demonstrable simplification in buying for advertisers.”
Since its launch in November 2016, Premion has experienced tremendous momentum and has reliably delivered billions of impressions through tens of thousands of campaigns, for thousands of clients in more than 200 DMAs.
Premion, part of TEGNA Inc. (NYSE: TGNA), is an industry-leading premium CTV/OTT advertising platform for regional and local advertisers. With directly-sourced inventory from 125+ premium publishers, Premion delivers transparency and brand safety and makes it easy for advertisers to target and reach engaged audiences at scale. For more information, visit www.premionmedia.com.
“For advertisers, ad-supported Connected TV (CTV) offers a highly valuable proposition: a brand-safe and fraud-free
environment to reach desired audiences across a broad or niche demo range.”
-Jim Wilson, President of Premion, Tegna
2019 is shaping up to be a monumental year for ad-supported streaming over-the-top (OTT) services with Viacom’s acquisition of Pluto TV, Amazon’s IMDb Freedive and NBCUniversal entering the fray. Pure-play OTT networks, such as MLB.TV, Xumo and Tubi TV, are already gaining significant traction with attracting growing audiences in the booming ad-supported OTT market. This beckons the question: how much of the streaming TV future will be ad-supported versus subscription-based?
The expansion in ad-supported streaming services comes amid concerns of subscription fatigue among consumers. In fact, research from Magid indicates that U.S. subscription streaming growth is slowing.
In contrast, consumers that watch ad-supported streaming services are largely incremental to those that watch linear TV, they represent a high-value audience, and they are highly receptive to ads, according to an IAB study. With rising subscription costs and the fact that there’s a limit to how many streaming services consumers are willing to pay for, it’s inevitable that the ad-supported model will prevail.
For advertisers, ad-supported Connected TV (CTV) offers a highly valuable proposition: a brand-safe and fraud-free environment to reach desired audiences across a broad or niche demo range. As such, brands and agencies are moving bigger budgets to this medium. A SteelHouse Survey finds that 78% of marketers plan to buy ad inventory on streaming TV within the next 12 months.
Here are key developments to watch with the growing opportunities in ad-supported streaming:
Convergence of Linear and Connected TV
Since CTV delivers the same highly engaged, lean-back and big screen experience as linear TV, savvy marketers are combining ad-supported CTV with linear TV in their media buys. In fact, a VAB report highlights that viewing an ad on both linear TV and OTT platforms resulted in a two-fold increase in brand favorability and validate that combining linear TV and ad-supported OTT inventory can deliver even stronger campaign results and increased business outcomes for marketers by extending both reach and engagement. This converged CTV and linear media strategy will accelerate as many TV advertisers now consider connected TV as a way to add incremental reach to their linear TV buy.
Furthermore, the proliferation of video experiences across different platforms and devices is triggering broadcasters to review and consider new business models for monetizing their inventory. With broadcasters embracing OTT, we can expect bigger investments in live streaming services, particularly in the world of sports and local news.
With the heightened focus on consumer privacy in the current GDPR era, advertisers come to expect greater transparency across the advertising supply chain. Given the increasing sophistication of brand safety, ad fraud and viewability issues, marketers are moving from the use of third-party data in favor of first-and-second party partnerships.
Trust and transparency are now considered a competitive advantage. Brands and marketers demand accountability in their partnerships and verifiable transparency has become table stakes for doing business. Companies must be held accountable and choosing ethical, trustworthy people aligned with your core values is mission-critical when considering any business relationship.
When it comes to CTV advertising, given the increasing fragmentation and wide disparity in capabilities among advertising providers and video content, it’s imperative that marketers thoroughly vet their partners to ensure that they are buying the highest quality premium video inventory. Defining and setting clear metrics from the onset and having transparent and detailed reporting on campaign results is key for a successful partnership.
Furthermore, the advancement in blockchain and cryptography technologies offers opportunities to bring independently verifiable transparency to the media supply chain, which in turn drives greater trust, as advertisers can be assured that they are getting what they pay for. The AdLedger Consortium is paving the way in driving and implementing global standards to build greater advertising transparency in this area.
The last year has seen connected TV proving its long-term value. Skyrocketing growth of streaming audiences has spurred an insatiable desire for advertising on these platforms. Having spent most of the year on the front lines meeting with hundreds of local agencies and ad buyers, here’s my assessment on the lessons learned in the connected TV (CTV) advertising market for 2018.
The fourth quarter saw the largest spike in the cord-cutting trend as more than 1 million consumers canceled their cable TV or satellite subscriptions. CTV has emerged as the fastest-growing video segment this year, with marketers planning to dramatically increase their CTV budget commitments, according to an Advertiser Perceptions study. At the same time, the fragmentation of the streaming TV ecosystem is only getting worse as direct-to-consumer (DTC) streaming services are popping up on a weekly basis.
For many agencies and brand marketers, the perception of CTV is that it’s still an emerging market made up of a highly complex network of players, which makes the buying experience confusing. There’s still a lack of understanding of the differentiation in inventory quality and execution among providers as each platform has its own set of targeting parameters and measurement approaches. More importantly, when it comes to budget, marketers are still figuring out whether CTV should be part of the TV or digital budget or whether it stands on its own.
This month, I spoke at Parks Associates’ inaugural Future of Video Conference on the ‘Distribution Opportunities and Challenges for Content Producers’ panel.
We had a lively exchange of ideas centered around the complexities facing content producers, ways to balance established and new video distribution avenues, and strategies for companies to drive growth in the changing video landscape.
The skyrocketing growth of streaming audiences demands content producers embrace new formats and types of video. According to Nielsen’s latest OTT TV report, Americans collectively spend nearly 8 billion hours per month consuming content on connected TV devices.
With the advent of new distribution channels and direct-to-consumer options upturning established windowing strategies and partnerships, content producers must evolve and remove their legacy mindset to capitalize on the new opportunities for distributing and monetizing content.
Here are key takeaways from our panel:
Should programmers create niche versus general market content?
Our panelists agreed that OTT services need to fall into either niche or general market content categories. But without the deep-pocketed resources of the streaming giants (Amazon, Netflix and soon to launch Disney and AT&T’s WarnerMedia), content companies will have a difficult time competing in the general market space. Instead, there are tremendous growth opportunities for niche players in the booming ad-supported OTT market. Pure-play and niche OTT networks, such as MLB.TV, Newsy and Tubi TV, are gaining significant traction with attracting growing audiences. Cutting through the competition is one of the big challenges for niche OTT services, so picking the right genre, focusing on the right audiences and have a clear brand proposition will be the key to success.
Where do programmers invest their resources?
The fundamental question content producers should be asking is: In what screen and in what transmission do we invest in? The easy answer is all screens, all the time, but that is an expensive gamble. With the increasing fragmentation of the OTT landscape, content owners are spending exorbitant amounts on app development. Only certain platforms have been able to recuperate that investment. Furthermore, ATSC 3.0 and 5G threaten today’s dominance of traditional cable, satellite, and internet delivery of high-quality video. The winner will likely be determined by proximity to the user (i.e. the device manufacturer like Apple) or the success of bundled services (e.g. AT&T pairing content with a 5G plan).
Consolidation: Do you join forces and with whom?
The rise of mega-mergers is driving more competition with OTT streamers. According to Ampere Analysis, four of every $10 in the United States will be accounted for by Comcast/Sky and Disney/Fox. The growing consolidation will mean less competition for rights for small players and this inevitably impacts their ability to negotiate favorable deals. The cost of marketing services will continue to frustrate small to medium upstarts. As such, aggregators will serve an essential place in OTT’s future for both SVODs and AVODs.
In the end, personalization of both content and experience will be tantamount to success on all platforms. Consumers are the ultimate winners as competitive pressures will drive media companies to forego near-term profits to please users with fresh content on all screens at affordable costs. Someday in the future, consumers will need to shoulder the cost of their increased demands—limited to no-commercials and content delivery on every screen. But, let’s all enjoy the spoils of today’s content wars for now.