As viewing habits change and consumers switch on across a variety of devices, broadcasters and advertisers are having to look at new ways to adapt to the fast-evolving TV ecosystem. Here, FreeWheel’s Arjun Arora (pictured below) looks at what must occur to ensure the continued success of TV and video advertising in Australia.
Digital video advertising is in a healthy state. Online accounted for almost 50 per cent of Australian ad spend last year, with video advertising making up $894.4 million of that expenditure. Two-thirds of this video ad inventory was bought through programmatic or ad network services.
This rise in video ad spend accompanies the growth of video viewing, which is most noticeable via STB, VOD and OTT devices. Video consumption via these channels is rapidly catching up, with desktop viewing and is already an integral part of the living room experience, alongside traditional linear TV. This combination of TV and digital is a powerful proposition for agencies and advertisers, especially as TV is moving towards a more digital-like trading model that allows precise targeting, and digital is learning from the transparent, controlled environment of TV.
So, how can broadcasters and publishers capitalise on this trend towards TV and digital convergence, and make the most of the new living room experience?
Premium video: a safe environment for digital
With audiences continually moving between platforms and devices, and the lines blurring between formats, the industry is changing and publishers need to keep up. If they are looking for quick wins, then they may be tempted by the closed end-to-end ecosystems of walled gardens.
An alternative solution, which offers more control and long-term gain, is premium video. With its TV-like approach, premium video caters to content-driven audiences and allows publishers to delineate their models and realign their content towards what consumers actually want. With only professionally produced, rights-managed content, publishers can be sure of a transparent, brand-safe environment, where the audience is emotionally engaged.
Programmatic: the mechanics of relationships
Instead of focusing on the misuse of programmatic by the few, it is better to explore the benefits and range programmatic can provide to the majority of publishers.
Programmatic offers value and efficiency for advertising campaigns, but to ensure its effectiveness, rules and boundaries should be enforced. Despite the automated nature of programmatic, there still needs to be a direct relationship between buyers and sellers, giving both parties confidence in ad trading. Control is key, and publishers need to be discerning about which advertisers to invite to their private networks to maintain the quality and exclusivity of their inventory. The increasing use of deal IDs in trading premium video programmatically also allows increased control and results in eCPMs that are notably higher than with non-deal ID transactions. With the right boundaries in place and specific buyers invited, programmatic delivers a safe, premium environment for video advertising.
Users first: take a holistic view
There is more choice of content available than ever before via linear TV or OTT and STB VOD (digital), and the dynamics have changed for the user in terms of how this is consumed. However, much of this is operating in silos. While revenue generation is essential to fund the ongoing creation of premium content, publishers are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of balancing ROI and user experience.
One way to achieve this is to stop separating out different monetisation methods such as advertising, subscriptions, or ecommerce and to take a more holistic view, ensuring all monetisation data flows through a single platform that is both video neutral and screen agnostic.
When data from all content monetisation models is aggregated, publishers can gain deeper insight into the consumer journey and significantly improve the user experience. Metrics that span all channels, such as revenue per piece of content, can be used to enhance the monetisation mix and respond to user preferences. The development of technologies to unify the current silos of buying and selling for video will lead to more effective ads, better management of ad spend and, most importantly, a better experience for viewers thanks to less repetition and more relevant ads.
The living room is no longer solely the domain of linear TV. Digital has entered the room and is making itself comfortable as TV and video continue to converge. The blurred lines between TV and digital video open the door to a new TV ecosystem that offers safety, efficiency and premium content – all in high demand from consumers. By maintaining the safety of the TV ecosystem, enjoying the efficiency of programmatic and improving the user experience through holistic content monetisation, broadcasters and publishers can capitalise on the new and improved living room experience.