Yasmin Sanders is the Managing Director, Australia at Samba TV. In this piece, she explains how automated content recognition (ACR) technology is helping the ad ecosystem move into CTV.
Viewership fragmentation is the new normal in the TV space. That means, however, that managing reach and frequency across new channels and platforms has become complicated. It’s important for every business to understand not only what’s happening in the traditional, linear commercial landscape, but what’s also happening on ad-based video-on-demand (AVOD) and subscription-based video-on-demand (SVOD) as well. Especially as these platforms continue to add content offerings and grow their audiences.
The trick is measuring where consumers are as they fragment across the landscape. The media world has a tool for doing this: automated content recognition (ACR) technology. This technology, developed by Samba TV, sits inside 46 million global Smart TV devices to analyse and understand all of the content that crosses the screen
The benefit of ACR is that it can measure broadcast linear and over-the-top (OTT) content. This provides much more granular information on both overall viewership and on wider habits and trends. And, because ACR is platform-agnostic, it’s not limited to certain content or devices, but can provide insights on difficult-to-reach cord-cutters, as well as traditional broadcast linear viewers, and all those who fall somewhere in between.
By leveraging technology like ACR, both the buy and sell-side can achieve omniscreen advertising and measurement in three key ways:
1. Build reach and understand frequency across linear, connected TV (CTV), and digital
Reach and frequency across channels and platforms continues to be a problem for marketers as they look to reach key audiences across an increasing number of devices, publishers, and formats. As a result, it’s difficult to target and deliver advertising effectively to the right audience, on the right device. It has historically been a struggle for brands to yield granular and deterministic insights about TV viewership that can be directly tied to marketing ROI.
Advertisers and broadcast marketers can achieve unparalleled incremental impact beyond their linear TV buys by engaging unexposed TV audiences across any screen. By digitally targeting exposed (or unexposed) audiences, they can gain incremental reach on top of TV campaigns. ACR also opens up important insights into what shows audiences are watching, as well as other viewership behaviours like light TV viewership and cord cutting.
2. Package your linear and digital TV audiences
The means of consuming entertainment on TVs have splintered. Today, TV series and movies may be watched live or time-shifted, in-app, or cast from a mobile phone. ACR technology is imperative for broadcasters and advertisers to understand these consumption habits and better determine what content is most successful with what audience.
In particular, ACR technology levels the playing field for broadcasters as they continue to compete against an increasingly digital competitive set. Broadcasters can use linear and digital insights from the technology to create custom audience strategies based on unique and difficult to reach TV viewers through addressable cross-screen ad solutions that support deduplicated reach and frequency.
By packaging both linear and digital, broadcasters can also increase the demand and size of their inventory. While linear TV ad inventory is fixed, packaged digital audiences mean broadcast sellers can offer alternatives for areas where they are sold out. This opens up new opportunities – not just for broadcasters, but also advertisers who have not traditionally engaged in TV advertising.
3. Quantify the effectiveness of your marketing spend to viewership
TV viewership has grown around the world amid the global pandemic, and the more that viewers watch, the more there is to measure.
ACR bolsters insights and analytics products to support outcome-based ad selling. Accurate TV attribution lessens the importance of ratings and approximations, giving advertisers a view of the true value and effectiveness of their campaigns.
The ability to quantify effectiveness by measuring who watched a program compared to the number of people exposed to an ad allows broadcasters and advertisers the ability to create new attribution products and services, as well as understand campaign effectiveness across platforms, and create in-house reach and frequency tools utilising this data.
TV viewership data and first-party, privacy-compliant identity solutions, like those driven by Samba TV, offer broadcasters, advertisers, and our partners like The Trade Desk and MiQ the ability to integrate these within in-house business intelligence teams to better design and craft their own omniscreen ad and measurement solutions. This helps the ad ecosystem go one step further in understanding how ad exposure drives outcomes, and how different media plans impact the incremental lift in performance.
An accurate path forward
TV advertising remains an incredibly powerful way for brands to reach their target audiences, but it’s more important than ever for advertisers to understand who and where their audiences are. ACR data cracks TV wide open by bringing in the granularity that many brands have come to expect from digital media, and it’s all done in a privacy-safe manner. By appropriately merging TV and digital strategies with data-driven insights, broadcasters, advertisers, and viewers equally benefit. Better still, it creates a world where advertising will be sold based on its intrinsic and inherent value, with attribution becoming a growing part of the conversation.
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