The Comcast-owned video software company, FreeWheel, recently commissioned a survey of marketing agencies and advertisers (conducted by CoLab, an independent research company), which shows that UK marketers’ optimism is returning, and spend on advanced TV advertising is set to increase over the next year. While in 2020 UK marketers predicted a decrease in budgets of 51% (net), responses from this year’s survey reflect a serious bounce back – UK marketers expect a 4% net increase in 2021. Additionally, 32% of UK marketers expect overall budgets to improve, and 60% are looking to increase their advanced TV advertising spend over the coming 12 months.
Virginie Dremeaux, Vice President of Marketing and Communications International of FreeWheel commented, “The research findings reinforce the continued positive trend toward advanced TV identified in FreeWheel and CoLab’s 2020 survey, with a third of TV ad budgets reportedly being assigned to advanced TV channels in 2021 compared to a fifth last year”.
Breaking down advanced TV advertising spend into VOD, CTV and OTT spend, the study reveals that UK advertisers expect an increase across the board over the next year, by +15.1%, +8.8% and +14% respectively, while agencies forecast an increase of +5.2%, +9.5% and +6.2%.
While both UK advertisers and agencies foresee dedicating more budget to advanced TV, they rank the key drivers behind the spend growth slightly differently. 53% of agency respondents chose linear TV reach extension as a main factor, and 50% ranked ad effectiveness. Advertisers focused on advanced TV’s targeting capabilities across audiences (66%) and platforms (56%).
Across all UK marketers, the ability to measure ROI remained of signal importance – with 42% of those surveyed affirming it as a major factor in securing buy-ins, and 39% ranked the ability to gather data to optimise campaign performance in-flight, as highly important. Agencies and advertisers differ slightly in the weights they assign to the drivers that will unlock further budget, with agencies (47%) more concerned with access to deterministic exposure data as a basis for measurement, and advertisers prioritising data integrations (41%) and trusted third-party certification (37%).
Despite these minor differences, Virginie Dremeaux highlights the shared conviction among UK marketers, about the indispensability of advanced TV for advertising: “Critically, there’s increased recognition from both groups of advanced TV’s potential to reach highly engaged audiences in premium video environments through effective ad campaigns. With greater education and experience, I’m confident advertisers and agencies can continue to achieve the return on investment they need from these channels.”
Methodology: The study was conducted between 23 July and 2 August 2021 in key European markets: Italy, France, Germany, Spain and the UK, in collaboration with independent research company CoLab Media. In the UK, the survey was completed by 102 marketing decision makers or influencers – 40% of respondents comprised advertisers and 29% agencies, with the remainder being media owners or others. A variety of agencies took part in the survey, from small independents to larger conglomerates: 27% of the agencies surveyed in the UK had over 500 employees.