If you’re attending this week’s TV of Tomorrow Show in San Francisco, we invite you to join us on Wednesday, June 28th at 9:10am for our panel discussion “Blockchain Technology for Programmatic OTT Advertising.”
The panel will feature Premion President Jim Wilson and MadHive CEO Adam Helfgott, plus other blockchain and ad-tech experts from MediaVest, Ericsson and IBM iX, who will all share insight on how Blockchain can transform the advertising industry. Topics will include predictive analytics, cross-platform data portability and security, standardized segmentation and targeting, transparency and more. The panel will be moderated by Tim Hanlon, CEO of The Vertere Group.
You can see the complete lineup here.
By Brian Hunt, Premion, Corporate VP of Business Development
This month, I participated in panel discussions at CableFax’s TV Innovation Summit and the Next TV Summit. At both events, industry leaders convened to share perspectives on our fast-evolving TV landscape. The common discussion theme at both events is that linear TV is still a huge business but the pace of OTT is growing much faster than many anticipated.
In fact, OTT now leads the way in terms of online ad view share, according to a new report from FreeWheel. The report cites that advertising view composition and growth on OTT devices surged 45% year-on-year and it notes that OTT has ballooned from 2% to 32% in a four-year period with heavier investment by publishers and programmers.
Amid the excitement for our transforming TV industry, there is still more education and investment needed to build out advanced capabilities for OTT to truly scale.
Let’s start with how we define OTT. Our industry uses various terms to describe the targeting of a video advertisement to someone watching TV over the Internet. Is it OTT, cord-cutters or Connected TV? While all three terms are correct and used interchangeably, they have subtle differences.
- OTT or Over-the-Top is an FCC term that refers to how consumers receive their primary video signal meaning that it’s ‘over the top of the cable/MVPD plant.’
- Cord-cutters is an industry term used to describe consumers who once were cable subscriber and now have decided to get their primary video signal(s) via the Internet, so they have ‘cut the cable cord.’ And according to Moffett Nathanson analyst Craig Moffett, cord cutters spoke loudly in the first quarter cutting 762,000 cable subscriptions.
- Connected TV is more of technical term used by advertisers, content owners and video ad serving companies to define ads that run on smart TVs or Internet-enabled devices that deliver TV programming and advertising.
So while there’s no right definition, there is a right path forward for driving growth in OTT. Here’s what to watch for in the advancement of OTT advertising.
IP delivery of advertising offers greater opportunities for targeting – IP delivery of content is increasing exponentially, which means that the ability to have digital-like targeting via IP delivered ads is going to increase. Both Nielsen and comScore are actively working on their measurements in this new world. Unlike digital advertising, the key difference is that Connected TVs do not have cookies. This means that the targeting must be done via tags to IP addresses.
Solving the complexity for advertisers to reach cord-cutters in local DMAs – The increasing fragmentation of media and our OTT networks makes it hard for advertisers to reach the right local audiences. There needs to be a simpler way for aggregating disparate OTT inventory in local DMAs. We are helping to address this issue at Premion with our demand-side OTT ad platform. We’ve aggregated OTT ad inventory from leading OTT providers and top content owners and we’re offering this in local DMAs to advertisers.
Ad supported OTT services are growing and thriving – The future of television will be over the Internet and it will be ad-supported. With more premium video content being made widely available across platforms, more ads are being served through Connected TV apps and OTT devices. Just look at the growth of Sony’s Crackle or TubiTV, which recently touted that its audience grew by a 9x growth rate in monthly active users in 2016.
OTT is clearly solidifying its position with advertisers in their media plans. We are excited to be collaborating with our partners to lead the industry forward. We’re investing in new capabilities to improve standardization and deliver advanced targeting and engagement for our advertisers.
CaIl if you’re attending this week’s Cablefax TV Innovation Summit in NYC, we invite you to join us on Thursday, June 8th @3PM for Bye Bye Bundle: Thriving in an OTT World.
The panel will feature Premion Corporate VP of Business Development, Brian Hunt, along with key executives from Univision, Bloomberg TV and Proskauer, who will all share insights on the OTT landscape and implications for advertising, licensing and ROI. The panel will be moderated by Lynne Costantini, President of Costantini Media Advisors.
by Jim Wilson, President of Premion
LinkedIn, May 16, 2017
At this year’s NAB, I hosted a panel session with fellow panelists Raoul Marinescu, Head of Sales at Pluto TV; Adam Helfgott, CEO of MadHive; Giancarlo Maniaci, CEO at ColorTV and David Haynie, CEO at CitySpark. Stacy Huggins, CMO of MadHive moderated the panel.
The session explored the future of over-the-top (OTT) advertising and what it takes to shift more ad dollars to OTT, how to monetize content, how to meet customer expectations and the importance of data in AdvancedTV experiences.
Here are the five key takeaways from our thought-provoking discussion:
Education is the biggest barrier right now for OTT
Some refer to OTT as only video that is delivered by a streaming device through a television rather than content that is streamed through a tablet or a smartphone. Some agencies refer to OTT video as AdvancedTV, whether it’s short form or long form. Some even lump OTT into Cable VOD, which are clearly two different offerings targeting different audiences. Although OTT viewership is growing rapidly, there are differences of opinion about it. At Premion, we define it as premium, long-form episodic streaming video outside of a cable subscription. We also access our inventory through direct partnerships while others source from exchanges.
Furthermore, a number of agencies are still grappling to figure out where OTT lives within their own internal structures. In some instances, we see the buying coming out of TV while others treat it as digital. With greater education and investment in OTT digital capabilities, we hope to see it own its own place inside of agencies.
Improve content discovery and curate local experiences for consumers
The good news for consumers is that with streaming OTT apps, you can pretty much watch whatever content you want, whenever you want. The bad news is the experience in trying to find it. We are seeing the rollout of enhanced content discovery features such as voice-activated search that’s helping to improve the consumer experience.
Giancarlo Maniaci at ColorTV pointed out that aside from making sure that you are driving traffic to content properties, customer retention is key and it requires constantly curating content to deliver a more personalized experience for the consumer.
For CitySpark, David Haynie highlighted the opportunities to curate highly relevant, local experiences for OTT audiences. CitySpark can match up content based on what users are watching. For example, if someone is watching a rock-climbing show, they can be served up hyper-local rock-climbing events in the area.
Frequency capping is the industry’s dirty little secret
Our panelists agree that cross-network frequency capping is an important issue that needs fixing, as it remains one of the biggest annoyances for OTT viewers today.
MadHive’s Adam Helfgott says that, “frequency capping is an inventory problem as the same inventory is being made available across multiple providers. While it may be frequency capped on one platform, it’s difficult to know if the same ad is capped on a second platform.” MadHive is working on a meta-data open data management platform to better track and solve this issue.
Need to standardize OTT media buying
To shift more ad dollars and to simplify the OTT media-buying experience requires our industry to come up with and agree on new standards. Raoul Marinescu shared that for Pluto TV, standardization is a top-of-mind issue and right now transactions could be device specific or on Pluto TV’s platform.
To address this issue, we need to build standard audience segments that are portable across the ‘walled gardens’ of OTT providers, but this is a huge undertaking and it will take the cooperation of many to solve this.
Data is the lifeblood for OTT’s future
For OTT advertising to scale, we need to invest more in data, advanced targeting and measurement solutions.
Our panelists shared excitement for the future of OTT, in which there would be a centralized way to target and marry data sources together to have proper attribution back to each data source. Programmatic, data-driven IP-delivered advertising is another way to achieve the long-tail scale needed.
At Premion, targeting is the lifeblood of our business. We deal with local and regional advertisers and they depend on having quality data so they can spend their ad dollars wisely. And they need lots of inventory to scale a campaign that moves the needle.
While it’s still early days for OTT advertising, we are collaborating with our partners to find new ways to address frequency capping across networks, improve standardization and deliver enhanced targeting and engagement vehicles.
By leveraging what we’ve learned from our past and collective experiences, we are helping the industry make sense of it all and drive OTT forward.
by Jim Wilson, President of Premion
LinkedIn, April 21, 2017
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.
by Jim Wilson, President of Premion
LinkedIn, April 4, 2017
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.