Ad Buyer’s Notions of `TV' Converge

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NEW YORK & EDINBURGH, Scotland—A recent survey of media buyers in the U.S., the UK, German and Australia found that buyers are taking a more converged view of television in their campaigns and planning, with more than 75% of respondents agreeing that TV is now defined as linear and streaming platforms, and more than 70% believing that all forms of TV should be sold on impressions, according to a TVSquared report.

That marks a major global shift in thinking from the past when digital was sold the basis of impressions while TV used ratings. It also highlights a move towards using impressions that has been embraced by major TV and measurement companies in recent months. 

“The State of Converged TV: A Look at Global Trends & Adoption” report surveyed nearly 1,000 buyers in the U.S., UK, Germany and Australia and analyzed billions of ad impressions across 20 converged TV campaigns active on TVSquared’s ADvantage platform. 

Across all four markets, the findings from the study indicate that buyers are approaching linear and streaming in similar ways, and that the current and future states of converged TV are putting a spotlight on the need for new currencies and holistic, cross-platform measurement, the report said. 

TVSquared’s converged TV campaign analysis revealed that, on average, the audience overlap of linear and OTT/CTV campaigns is approximately 30%, meaning that, on average, 70% of the audiences reached via streaming could not be reached with linear alone. Findings also indicate that brands should be committing at least 10% of TV impressions to streaming in order to achieve at least 15% incremental reach.

Data from the U.S. survey also highlighted the need to move past legacy models and toward a more holistic, transparent converged TV marketplace, the researchers said. 

They found that 89% of buyers cited the ability to holistically manage linear and streaming campaigns as an important factor when deciding to invest in converged TV.

More than 90% said transparency of metrics across linear and streaming channels and publishers was critical in order to devote ad spend to converged TV.

While 86% cited the need to achieve cross-platform TV measurement and attribution as a top priority; 57% stated that “accuracy of cross-platform TV measurement and attribution” was also a top challenge, the researchers said. 

Very large majorities (94%) also indicated that the ability to measure incremental reach of streaming beyond linear was a critical factor for investing in converged TV.

Additional U.S. survey findings also indicated that advertisers are trying to break through silos that have long existed between digital and traditional TV advertising. Among buyers leveraging converged TV strategies today, TVSquared found that linear and streaming are being treated in a more similar way than previously believed.

A third of buy-side respondents ranked attribution and outcomes (for online and offline activities) as a top key performance indicator (KPI) for converged TV, marking a big difference for linear, which has traditionally been used for reach. 

Half of the respondents said reach and frequency were equally as important for digital TV buys as linear, and incremental audience reach was ranked as one of the most important metrics by 43%, the report said. 

More than 40% of buyers are managing both linear and streaming channels for performance/outcomes weekly, and between 10-15% are doing it on a daily cadence.

Even for linear, 33% of marketers are optimizing campaigns for performance and 32% are optimizing creatives on a weekly cadence, which closely matches streaming at 35% and 31%, respectively.

“The TV ecosystem is now rooted in cross-platform, and we must deliver a transactable currency that allows us to count and ascribe value in a similar way – across linear and streaming – to ensure TV budgets continue to grow,” said Jo Kinsella, president, TVSquared. “Reliable, transparent measurement across campaigns will ensure that marketers’ total TV investments and impression allocations are effective at achieving audience reach and outcomes across TV everywhere.”

A copy of “The State of Converged TV: A Look at Global Trends & Adoption,” is available here (opens in new tab).

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.