Home Analysis Proving the effectiveness of addressable TV: the next step for France

Proving the effectiveness of addressable TV: the next step for France

France is a fast-follower in the addressable TV market and its impressive industry-wide collaborations have ensured a rapid lift-off for this market. One of the next steps is to improve measurement and demonstrate how addressable fits into a planning mix that also includes linear TV and BVOD, with audience de-duplication and channel mix optimisation as key goals. Some advertisers are interested in how addressable TV can drive consumers to online activities. The RTL Group/smartclip subsidiary Realytics is helping the buyside and sell-side with this drive towards optimisation and proof of effectiveness.

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Having launched addressable TV advertising on Pay TV at the start of this decade, France has become a ‘very fast follower’ market, and buyers are sufficiently interested that they have started to request more evidence of de-duplication and effectiveness as a foundation for continued growth. The smartclip (RTL group) subsidiary Realytics is at the heart of the efforts to demonstrate ROI, working with the French telco Bouygues Telecom to launch a solution called BEE that measures exposure of addressable TV (and other) campaigns and the engagement and business-level outcomes that result.

The BEE solution (which stands for Brand Exposure & Engagement) harnesses data from 2+ million Bouygues Telecom set-top boxes plus existing Realytics technology to provide deterministic single-source measurement of national linear TV, BVOD and addressable TV. The exposure data can then be linked to downstream online consumer activity, such as website visits, app downloads, SMS responses and calls to a call centre (including incremental activity).

Realytics provides a platform that helps buyers optimise their media plans by harnessing a previous understanding of how TV advertising impacted business outcomes, and this is also wrapped into the BEE solution. Thus, advertisers are given a better understanding of the frequency needed to generate web activity, the number of impressions needed to deliver X% of incremental reach, and also the consequences of over-exposure of a household to the same campaign.

Guillaume Belmas, CEO of Realytics, believes the French market provides an outstanding model for how to deploy addressable TV successfully, due to the exceptional pan-industry collaboration that enabled rapid take-off. As we reported previously, his company has just authored the second edition of its ‘Addressable TV in France’ white paper series, outlining progress and next steps.

One of those next steps is improved measurement and attribution, and with a large part of French TV consumption still found on the set-top boxes of service providers like Orange, SFR, Free and Bouygues Telecom, operator partnerships carry significant weight. Discussing the market needs generally, Belmas says: “There are still improvements to be made on reporting addressable TV advertising.

Guillaume Belmas, CEO, Realytics

“Everyone has been focused on making targeted TV a reality and signing deals, but in the last few months both the buyside and sell-side agreed that we now need more proof of the efficacy of campaigns.”

He observes that usage of smart TV sets and connected TV apps is low in France compared to the rest of Europe.  Catch-up TV and BVOD are overwhelmingly consumed via set-top boxes, and this means measurement efforts must include a core focus on the service provider set-top box.

“The first goal of BEE is to measure exposure and reach, because one of the buyside priorities is to understand how they avoid audience duplication as they spread their money across advertising on linear TV, catch-up and addressable. Then there are questions about the performance of the different ‘channels’: does my linear TV perform better than my addressable TV campaign, and what about the BVOD campaign?

“Our history is as a TV attribution company, so we can show if campaigns are driving web traffic or other outcomes. One of the big questions for brands has always been, ‘How many impressions do I need to trigger an activity like a website visit or app download?’ That is a crucial insight if you want to fix the ideal frequency for a campaign. Before, we could not answer these questions, but now we can.”

Within its wider product portfolio, Realytics has its own TV detection technology that will flag in real-time when an ad has aired, using fingerprinting, but the focus with BEE is using set-top box data to determine exposure, and this is the basis for showing de-duplicated reach across the different ‘channels’ being measured and therefore the incremental reach that addressable TV can deliver.

“Some of the top questions that buyers want answered are: what is the duplication per channel, how do I optimise to avoid duplication, which is the second or third ‘channel’ I should buy [for example, adding BVOD onto a linear campaign first, or using addressable first and then BVOD], and what is the ideal combination of those channels?”

With BEE, buyers can focus on exposure to gain these reach and incremental reach optimisation insights, but there is also the option to investigate performance as a second stage, and this is when Realytics’ TV attribution solution is fired up. “Not everyone is concerned with ‘drive-to-web’ but everyone is concerned with reach and frequency,” Belmas explains.

Realytics expects to expand the footprint where its exposure and attribution technology can be used.

Realytics has a central role in the French addressable TV advertising market, especially through its work with Bouygues Telecom. In addition to providing enhanced capabilities for measuring exposure and effectiveness of addressable TV advertising with the telco, its Adkymia DSP is part of the TVMOTIK alliance and tech stack designed to rationalise buying of linear TV and catch-up addressable TV inventory from multiple broadcasters in Bouygues Telecom homes. This alliance also involves Equative, which contributes campaign development, ad decisioning and scheduling capabilities.

TVMOTIK is based upon the principles of technical harmonisation (including use of AF2M/SNPTV requirements for linear TV) and therefore interoperability, and is designed to rationalise buying across multiple channels for advertisers, providing a one-stop-shop. It includes technology services and sales support. It is viewed as a way to lower the barriers to entry for TV channels of any size if they want to make their inventory available for addressable advertising (on Bouygues Telecom STBs).

Last year, in another project, Realytics worked with SNPTV (the advocacy group for TV and audiovisual advertising media in France), to investigate the effect of using linear TV and addressable TV together. One of the main points of the study was to determine if addressable TV delivers incremental reach on top of linear.

As indicated above, the Realytics product portfolio spans ad detection, ad exposure confirmation, programmatic buying enablement and TV attribution. The Adkymia Demand Side Platform can be used to buy both linear and addressable TV campaigns programmatically and Realytics is also using eight years’ worth of data (and 7 million spot impressions in Europe) to feed AI processing that optimises media buying to maximise drive-to-web impact via this DSP.

Realytics helps advertisers to synchronise their TV and digital campaigns, like timing their paid search (and especially their bidding in order to reach top search spot) to coincide with television ads. This is viewed as a key optimisation that can help ‘drive-to-web’. Online impact can be attributed to TV at a granular level, including on a per-channel (TV distribution channel) or per-day basis. The key principle guiding this technology is the idea that the first impact of TV advertising is usually seen in search.

The company also supports retargeting of exposed TV audiences in digital, including on Facebook, and targeting of non-exposed audiences within digital. There is also the ability to find audiences in the digital space who are lookalikes for the TV exposed audience.

As part of smartclip and RTL Group, Realytics is taking a pan-European view of the cross-platform and addressable TV markets and Belmas believes that in markets where HbbTV is being used by broadcasters to enable addressable TV in free-to-air homes, via television sets, it is realistic to believe we can unify addressable TV planning and buying to cover this and the Pay TV operator STB inventory.

In terms of measurement and attribution, the data available from a telco/Pay TV home is much richer than anything Realytics can get from an HbbTV household, but publisher (broadcaster streaming) data would be one foundation stone for exposure, and other data sources including ACR could be harnessed.

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