Connected TV has been on marketers’ radars for a while but was in the early-adopter stage when the pandemic hit. Changes in consumer behaviour since then have advanced CTV by years, with significant implications for advertising, not least because TV has now become addressable. There is still much work to do. A good user experience requires unification of supply, with advertisers able to see bid opportunities and performance across all forms of TV, and we need the ability to measure incremental audience lift. The industry must also avoid hyper-targeting for the sake of it, or rushing to find a common currency by adopting the lowest common denominator.
Transcribing video data into text format makes online television more accessible to the estimated 466m people who are deaf or hard of hearing globally. It also helps content rank higher on search engines and get found in social media, both of which rely on text for content discovery and can harness captions and video metadata tags. ‘Any-context’ speech recognition technology can automate the captioning process , removing a major hurdle to wider use of transcription. Automatic speech recognition now understands meaning, accents and dialects without the need for human correction.
The New York TV station WNBT printed the first TV guide, known as a ‘Program Card’; in 1941 with a warning that “All programs are subject to change without notice.” That issue remains to this day and there are lots of reasons that programme start and end times differ to what even the best EPG says. This is not just about sports games over-running, but efforts by schedulers to avoid the start of their show overlapping with the end of a successful programme on another channel. Now unreliable EPG timings are causing a new headache for TV services that need to base their catch-up service on EPG times.
With consumers watching more digital video in 2020, due to Covid-19, brands and agencies should consider how they introduce connected TV to their strategy, if they have not done so already. The high-growth, high-CPM CTV market instils great confidence in finding target audiences, but identity remains a challenge. ID owner data deals will be one direct approach for handling this. Meanwhile, tools that identify sentiment associated with news subjects enable advertising near Covid-19 news and features in a positive context.
Ad units on Pay TV AVOD, OTT and CTV are now a common line on many media plans created for brands that traditionally have focused on linear television. The work of manually gluing together linear and non-linear ad inventory to act uniformly is therefore more pressing, as well as more challenging, for ad agencies and TV networks alike. The march is on to streamline and unify linear and non-linear ad executions across platforms and this article explores the issues associated with forecasting, delivery and measurement.
Will Internet delivery replace satellite and DTT? Will linear TV be replaced by an app-driven experience? The DVB does not have the answers yet, but we think we have a role in providing them. DVB is carving out a role as the organisation that understands media delivery and seeks to provide best-in-breed technologies with open interfaces to facilitate a multi-vendor approach for hybrid and broadband media distribution and consumption. DVB-I is not just a service discovery specification; it is a whole Internet-centric philosophy that encompasses how you might package, discover and distribute media services on the Internet. The shift towards this new philosophy has caused many things to change inside DVB, and they are outlined in this article.
The remote control is an underappreciated front in the #StreamingWars and both Pay TV operators and OTT set-top providers should pay it more attention. A recent consumer survey asking ‘Which content navigation features are most important to you? showed the Channel Guide leading the way, followed by Remote Control and Search in joint second place, well ahead of Recommendations.
Connected TV provides the promise of a platform that can deliver on both long- and short-term marketing goals concurrently, where you can tell brand stories in a different way. Advertisers can extend traditional TV campaigns with curated Smart TV advertising content that encourages activity and engagement. SEAT and PHD in Germany have demonstrated what is possible, using lean-in experiences to build brand equity as well as drive activation. Brands should consider ways to engage TV audiences that complement, and reach beyond, the traditional 30 second spot.
For consumers, the age of Covid-19 means less physical interaction and so an increased reliance on screens, which means brands should dial-up their digital video activity. But as they extend their presence across the videoscape, and more inventory appears, they need multi-pronged measurement to ensure budgets are used efficiently, and that includes checking whether ads are viewable, played to completion, brand safe and free from invalid traffic. We need a way for brands to avoid unwanted associations that is more nuanced than keyword blacklists, and ways to unify disparate tags and assess different environments in a more consistent way.
With over two-thirds of UK adults consuming more media than prior to the lockdown, and the majority paying more or as much attention to advertising as they did before, marketers have an opportunity to communicate key messages aligned with changing consumer trends. But they require deep insight into consumer moods, behaviours and expectations to underpin cross-platform TV campaigns.