Connected TV: Smooth Streaming Ahead

IAS and industry leaders discuss CTV trends and growing adoption

07/08 By IAS Team
connected TV adoption

IAS, in collaboration with Digiday, released new research around connected TV (CTV) that highlights recent consumer and advertiser trends. To explore the state of CTV, Sarah Canerday, IAS Senior Director of Business Development, hosted a panel with industry leaders.

Across the board, panelists agreed: considering the recent increase in consumer adoption, it’s obvious that CTV is exciting right now. Advertisers have been eager to explore a new platform that allows linear television strategies to extend into the digital space. Brad Stockton, VP of Video Innovation at Dentsu Aegis Network noted, “…the great thing about CTV is that advertisers can use data to enhance their measurement and targeting… it’s the best of both worlds in a premium video environment.” And, as Tim Peterson, Senior Reporter at Digiday, points out, CTV creates a better viewer experience. The lighter ad loads mean consumers have “more time to actually watch shows and movies.” 

Measurement standardization takes time

Despite increases in adoption, subscriptions, and platform options, advertisers have been slow to shift linear television budgets entirely to CTV. The primary reason for this hesitation seems to be the topic of measurement. Every new environment offers obstacles, and it takes time to create structures for standardization across industry players. Then, the adoption of those standards across the board takes even more time. 

Kristina Shepard, Head of East Coast Sales & Agency Partnerships at Roku, has been working to “mitigate the major concerns.” The goal is to help brands take advantage of the increased CTV usage, which is likely to continue post-COVID. As a leader in the CTV space, Roku is working closely with its partners to understand their platform’s unique reach. Specifically, Roku wants to close the gap between consumer time spent (about 27%) with OTT, and advertiser spend (roughly 3%) dedicated to transitioning to OTT. 

Flexibility is key with CTV

The panelists also positively highlighted that OTT and CTV offer advertisers significantly more flexibility than linear television. Increased advertiser adoption is also fueled by price improvements—the historically expensive platform is dropping closer to linear TV prices. But for most advertisers, price is not the issue. Advertisers are more concerned about efficiency, so Roku is focused on helping advertisers get the most bang for their buck. In particular, Roku wants to provide the right tools to bring OTT into video strategies in a measurably beneficial way. Shepard offered this advice: If advertisers only use OTT for mass reach, they won’t get the most out of it.

Roku, for example, provides advertisers with a more narrow CTV strategy. Combining the tools and data of digital, Roku allows advertisers to apply audience targeting while also guaranteeing that they only pay for impressions that improve their linear buys. Ultimately, the savvy advertiser’s goal is to strategically leverage OTT and CTV as complements—not replacements—to linear strategies. 

It’s clear OTT and CTV will continue to grow, even with pricing hurdles, slow adoption of standardization methods, and measurement limitations. As Brad Stockton said, CTV is an “omnichannel play” and for advertisers that want to “take advantage of the video marketplace for effectiveness,” it’s the perfect addition to their overall video buying strategy. 

IAS is committed to advancing CTV measurement and verification. For the insights you need to create an efficient video strategy, discover our CTV offerings.

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