To drive the growth engine in today’s fast-changing world, CMOs must keep pace of the rapidly evolving channels and technologies to engage audiences that are multiplying at a lightning pace across platforms and devices. Forward-looking CMOs are paying greater attention to the rise of over-the-top (OTT) audiences, which has emerged as the fastest-growing segment of video advertising views.
TV viewing has entered its sixth evolution with OTT
In our ‘place-shifting’ era, consumers pick a device, connect to the Internet and consume OTT content anywhere and at anytime they choose. According to The Diffusion Group (TDG), 78 percent of households have OTT subscriptions and they’re spending more time watching OTT than ever before.
NBC’s latest announcement to expand OTT with local affiliates further validates the ‘mainstreaming’ of OTT. Another study by Level 3 suggests that within the next five years, viewership hours of live-linear streaming OTT video could surpass those of traditional broadcast TV.
According to Nielsen, more than 60 percent of OTT viewers prefer to watch long-form and live-streaming content on a big screen. And it’s not just millennials. More than 60 percent of OTT viewers are age 25 to 54 years old – that’s more than 90 million viewers (source: eMarketer).
While consumers are clearly spending more time watching OTT, advertising on OTT is still a new, emerging frontier. So how can marketers keep up and make sense of it all?
OTT offers untapped potential but it’s highly fragmented
OTT blends the attribution of TV advertising with digital media’s precision, but it’s still the Wild West. OTT advertising is highly fragmented; some OTT ad inventory is sold as part of big upfront TV packages alongside traditional cable and broadcast ad time. Some inventory is sold by OTT service providers and platforms like Sling or Roku. And in some cases, these ads are purchased through ad tech middlemen, or programmatically.
So what does it take to shift more ad dollars to OTT advertising? It begins with helping advertisers and marketers navigate the highly fragmented space through a simplified buying process for OTT.
Our roadmap for effective, simplified OTT media buying
Don’t limit your reach – To effectively reach the rapidly growing local and regional audiences that are no longer viewing traditional linear TV requires working with many OTT providers. You can get rid of the fragmentation headache by picking a partner that will streamline your media buy across multiple OTT providers and platforms in one seamless transaction.
Reach premium audiences at scale – Reaching premium audiences is the best approach for brand safety and we should make it easy for advertisers to buy premium media at scale. Buying ad inventory on premium content on OTT platforms such as Premion addresses brand safety, viewability and fraud. You want to ensure that your ads run on trusted networks with authenticated viewers.
Expect transparency – Take control of your brand and work with partners who can provide you with the confidence to know exactly where your ads will appear. While some providers tout low CPMs, they are adding a significant amount of short-form advertising products into the mix, including user-generated content, to keep costs down. If you want brand-safe long-form premium content, be wary and ask questions.
These are exciting times for OTT — both for consumers and marketers. Consumers have much more TV viewing choice and control. And marketers that leverage smart OTT buying strategies in their media plans will reach more engaged and relevant audiences.
—Jim Wilson, President, Premion
As we head into this year’s NAB Show, there’s never been a more exciting time for the growth and investment in the future of OTT (over-the-top) content, advertising and related services.
Latest ComScore data reveals that more than 49 million homes — 53 percent of U.S. Wi-Fi connected homes — accessed at least one OTT service. Moreover, these households were active in viewing OTT content, doing so an average of 19 separate days during the month, and for 2.2 hours per usage day.
It’s also not just millennials. More than 60 percent of OTT viewers are age 25 to 54 years old – that’s more than 90 million viewers (source: eMarketer).
While we’ve reached a tipping point for OTT as more consumers are either cutting the cord or migrating away from traditional linear TV, we’re just scratching the surface with OTT advertising. It’s still a new, emerging frontier. According to Forrester, 2017 could be the year for OTT advertising.
For now, advertisers and marketers need help to navigate the highly fragmented space through a simplified buying process for OTT.
At NAB, we’ll be hosting our panel session: TEGNA Presents: Future of OTT Advertising: Meeting Customer Expectations with Advanced TV Experiences.
Our panel will feature innovators from Premion (Tegna OTT), Pluto TV, MadHive, ColorTV and CitySpark, who will share insights on OTT advertising strategies, monetization of content for OTT, how to meet customer expectations and the importance of data in Advanced TV experiences.
Our session will address:
- What strategies should advertisers adopt to reach this rapidly, growing audience?
- What’s the most effective ways and what kinds of campaigns work best to reach cord cutters and those migrating away from traditional linear TV?
- What are the challenges this fast growing segment faces as it scales?
If you’re attending this year’s NAB, I invite you to join us at our session on Tuesday April 25th @ 12:30pm for an engaging discussion on the future of OTT advertising.
—Jim Wilson, President, Premion
The mass exodus of YouTube by advertisers could cost Google as much as $750 million in revenue, according to analyst estimates. And with global digital ad spending reaching $195 billion last year (source: eMarketer), there is simply too much money and risk involved to gamble with user-generated content (UGC) or questionable content.
Advertisers should be focusing on brand-safe media, especially when it comes to video. And they should be paying attention to the rise of over-the-top (OTT), which is emerging as the fastest-growing segment of video advertising views. According to The Diffusion Group, OTT ad revenues are forecasted to rise to $31.5 billion by 2018 from $8.5 billion in 2015.
The YouTube controversy also highlights the challenges with programmatic advertising. While automated media buying offers tremendous efficiencies, ad platforms need to invest in more human oversight to police content more thoroughly to avoid the costly mistake of having ads end up appearing next to offensive content that’s detrimental to an advertiser’s brand. Given the size and scope of advertiser spending on YouTube, it’s unacceptable to blame the volume of video uploads for not having adequate review policies in place.
Advertisers deserve stricter assurances on where their ads will appear as brand safety is of utmost importance in maintaining brand integrity. As advertisers evaluate the effectiveness and ROI of their media buying in brand-safe environments, here’s my take on the top three considerations:
Focus on premium long-form OTT content – Reaching premium audiences is the best approach for brand safety and we should make it easy for advertisers to buy premium media at scale. Buying ad inventory on premium content on over-the-top (OTT) platforms addresses brand safety, viewability and fraud. You want to ensure that your ads run on trusted networks with authenticated viewers.
Demand greater transparency – Advertisers expect to have control of their brand and they need to know exactly where their ads appear. While some providers tout low CPMs, they are adding a significant amount of short-form, non-branded advertising products into the mix, including user-generated content, to keep costs down. If you want brand-safe long-form premium content, be wary and ask questions.
Enhance consumer experience with fewer, more relevant ads – Too often, consumers are bombarded with irrelevant (and repetitive) ads on their various apps and devices. The OTT and on-demand environment offers advertisers a far more targeted audience, where viewers see fewer, more relevant ads. To address repetitiveness, we need to strike the right balance between frequency capping not just on shows but on providers and networks. Furthermore, the emergence of precision audience targeting in OTT will further yield greater efficiencies in reach and relevancy.
The future of advertising is about reaching premium audiences. In our ever-increasing ‘place-shifting’ era, where consumers pick a device, connect to the Internet and consume OTT content, advertisers need trusted partners who are committed to transparency and deliver greater ad relevancy so that consumers will enjoy engaging in brand experiences.
—Jim Wilson, President, Premion