“Streaming content is no longer an extension on the [media] plan but is truly foundational.” Those were the words of Lauren Benedict, Senior Vice President, Addressable Sales at Disney Advertising Sales (which includes Hulu) at The Future of TV Advertising U.S. in June, when the growing importance of premium streaming TV was outlined by leading executives across the sell-side and buy-side. Benedict added that streaming is now ubiquitous “and brings tremendous reach and scale against premium content.”
Maureen Bossetti, Chief Partnerships Officer at Initiative, an agency under the IPG Mediabrands umbrella, said her planners are much more focused on connected TV and OTT and are looking at more audience buying in general and addressable TV in order to deliver ‘growth audiences’ for clients because linear TV can no longer match her agency’s reach needs on its own.
As you can read elsewhere, Bossetti told the audience that clients that are heavily into DR [direct response TV] found themselves building frequency rather than incremental reach, but results have improved after seeking new supply opportunities like connected TV and OTT. “We are still spending in [linear] television but we are expanding our purview to other video sources,” she told an online audience.
Jen Soch, Executive Director, Specialty Channels at Group M, is another buyside executive who confirmed that her advertisers are excited by the growth of streaming. “We want to follow the consumer wherever they go within appropriate messaging,” she noted.
Turning to some of the challenges still associated with streaming, Soch said she is still having conversations about measurement and metrics, and highlighted the need for a cross-channel understanding of what the viewer is doing rather than the separate buckets of knowledge buyers have today – when the burden falls on them to figure out the big picture.
Maggie Zhang, Head of Measurement Success at Amazon Advertising, picked up on the growing importance of streaming on media plans. “It is now mainstream,” she declared. “Advertisers are following audiences to streaming platforms but at the same time they are still investing in linear TV. The streaming platform is creating incremental reach contributions to linear TV to achieve the omnichannel goals of advertisers.”
Zhang believes streaming TV is the most exciting addressable media available and Amazon Advertising is combining industry recognised third-party measurement solutions with its own exclusive first-party insights and metrics in an attempt to boost the TV advertising model. The first-party insights emanate from billions of shopping, browsing and viewing signals, with IMDb TV and Twitch among the touchpoints. Interactions include brand-based search, detailed page views and new brand purchases, with loyalty and purchase intent derived from actions, for example.
Meanwhile, Henry Embleton, Head of Ad Products and Revenue at Crunchyroll, a leader in anime, predicted a dramatic rise in the value of the connected TV addressable advertising market, partly boosted by the arrival of older demographics. Demonstrating the role that passion/special interest services have in the expanding television universe (thanks to streaming), he contrasted Crunchyroll’s purpose to that of global streamers he characterises as providing ‘something to everyone’. “We are more verticalised – we are more like ‘everything to someone’,” he said.
Crunchyroll also has a very focused advertiser appeal. “We offer 13–35 year-olds with an interest in gaming, entertainment, fast good and CPG.” Giving an example of the targeting capabilities via this digital service, Embleton pointed to an anti-smoking non-profit that listed age and gender in its target requirements, but only if they had spent money in a vaping store within the last 90 days. “We were able to forecast users and potential impressions based on frequency caps, and the price.”
Philo, the streaming service that aggregates U.S. television channels for $25 a month, logs 98% of all its viewing on connected TV devices, Reed Barker, Head of Advertising at the company, revealed. “That is great because we think that is the prime television experience that everyone wants.” 100% of Philo inventory is addressable, harnessing first-party data from authenticated paying subscribers.
Barker highlighted the value of programmatic to both the sell-side and buyside. “It allows you to very quickly find an audience. You can traffic an ad to a DSP at noon and before lunch that ad could run to a large audience. Programmatic gives you the flexibility to take the scatter dollars – and upfront dollars – and place them in the right place at the right time.”