The competitive diversity scenario, i.e. all-against-all, will greatly intensify across the global television advertising market throughout 2019.
Global platforms with bottomless pockets will quickly penetrate local markets; local traditional players will produce and license premium content for big platforms; technology will accelerate the disintermediation from large producers and rights holders to audiences; successful subscription models will be accompanied by new non-advertising formulas; traditional and virtual aggregators with tools for content discovery will lead to increased fragmentation; emerging content producers and distributors designing and bundling targeted proposals for thematic content and audience niches.
All of this will play in a ‘muddy pitch’ within Europe. There will be problems with audience measurement, demanding regulations for the use of personal data, concerns around transparency and ad-fraud, convulsed advertising markets, and heterogeneous social, cultural and political environments.
Within this highly complex scenario, we will find interesting emerging trends across European markets for programmatic advertising, and ad-tech advanced solutions for television.
Below are three core trends to keep an eye out for:
Telecommunications companies that are well positioned in distribution and aggregation can start experimenting without too many restrictions or opportunity costs, and with predominant positions (direct access to homes, high penetration, in-house content, advertising money where to diversify its current businesses, innovation with which to differentiate competitively, etc.).
In Spain, key players in this field are likely to be the TV offering of the large IPTV operators, such as Movistar, Vodafone, Orange and Euskaltel, benchmarking programmatic and addressable ad solutions which are already developed in the United States and the United Kingdom.
The local broadcasters and content producers, as original sources of content, should assume a collaborative role in these models, and take full advantage of the value of shared experimentation: Emerging advanced advertising monetization of a currently non-efficient distribution channel, access to technology and new processes and acquisition of knowledge.
There is a clear opportunity for the development of an advertising-based OTT market (Ad Supported Video or ASV OTT) for several reasons:
- The focus around the subscription monetization for this distribution model
- The loss of an important share of the free ad-inventory dragged by the content licensed to the OTTs with SVoD models
- The possibilities of thematic segmentation of product niches and profiling of targets due to technology
- More and more advanced and cost-effective distribution technologies
- Relevant ad-tech solutions are already in place, like programmatic, dynamic, artificial intelligence and addressable advertising based on data, new formats and models (‘rewarded video’, for example) and anti-fraud controls (current tools and new to explore, as blockchain).
As we already see in the United States, OTT proposals focused on the advertising market can be expected across a wide variety of models: premium and niche content, generalistic and segmented targets, pure and hybrid (‘freemium’) monetization, local and global approaches.
In this market, it does not seem like the development of programmatic and advanced advertising on television could be led by local traditional TV operators.
This is due to complex (and decreasing) main advertising markets, limited premium inventories for non-advertising models (subscription, production and licensing for platforms, etc.), limited technological capabilities and resources, old-business organisations and structures, short-term objectives, defence of traditional models, local focus, etc.
Therefore, in this area, it is interesting to consider one of the few announced global initiatives, the pan-European platform of the RTL Group. This has a very complex integration (global approach with specific local implementations) but delivers on a strategy that responds to two of the challenges: on the one hand, a strong technological component (mainly via acquisitions like SpotX, Smartclip, Yospace and several MCVNs) and, on the other hand, an international approach to the market.