Connected TV (CTV) is the latest area of hyper growth in digital advertising. This is not news to anyone, but what most buyers underestimate is both the potential of this channel as well how companies can adapt to this rapidly changing space as user preferences evolve.
For context, first consider the broader shift that made users today spend more time on mobile (and, by extension, apps) than on any other screen. As smartphones went mainstream and as internet connectivity improved, people’s consumption of video, which is the preferred format for media consumption, moved from desktop to mobile web (albeit for a brief time) to mobile apps. This shift happened because of two reasons:
- Apps could stream premium long-form (more than five to seven minutes) video content (TV shows and movies) that were often not available on broadcast TV.
- People could watch these shows and movies whenever they wanted to.
But mobile apps cannot replicate the intuitive large screen experience of watching videos. This is where digitally connected TV devices and smart TVs found their natural fit with consumers. And so, naturally, many advertisers are looking at how they can reach their audiences via connected TV.
Accordingly, a CTV buying option with us is a natural extension of our in-app offerings that are used by tens of thousands of advertisers today as we continue to focus on helping app developers as our core offering. We recently launched our CTV offerings across devices like Roku, Fire TV Stick, Android TV and Apple TV, and now we also support ad buys on Samsung and LG smart TVs, with many more to come.
Now, just as we think of CTV as a natural extension of a user’s in-app time spend, we think there are four reasons why advertisers also should think similarly to reach their target audience.
1. The Rise of Digitally Connected TV
Video has been the most popular form of entertainment for the masses ever since television went mainstream but consumers are moving away from pre-programmed linear TV to connected TV. As eMarketer’s U.S. Connected TV Advertising 2019 report stated:
“The boom in CTV viewership and time spent is partially driven by cord-cutting. The gap between pay TV viewers and those who forgo traditional TV is closing. We forecast that by 2023, 56.1 million households in the US will be either cord-cutters or cord-nevers, meaning that they’ll access video entertainment through a digital package that doesn’t include pay TV. By comparison, only 72.7 million households will have pay TV in 2023.”
2. Accurate Audience Profiles
In advertising, success does not merely depend on how many people you reach but also on who you reach.
For example, this shift to digital video on connected TV apps (CTV) is driven largely by younger millennials and Gen Z audiences. Consider this note from eMarketer: “US consumers ages 18 to 34 spent 1 hour, 22 minutes daily with CTVs, and those ages 65 and older spent just 24 minutes per day, per Nielsen. For these age groups, CTV equates to 15% and 3%, respectively, of the total time they spend consuming media per day.”
Now, given that these two audience segments control or directly influence at least $1.5 trillion of annual spend in the U.S. alone, brands can be confident of reaching them over digital TV.
Audience reach aside though, CTV offers targeting capabilities similar to mobile apps where brands can use first-party and third-party data to reach out to audiences based on their location, interests, behavior, etc. This is in addition to contextual targeting options that allow ads to run against specific content categories (for example live sports, movies and news). For brands already using data for in-app campaigns, there is a minimal learning curve here.
3. Full Screen, Immersive Ads with Measurement
A brand marketer is always looking for proof that their ads are being watched and the target audience is fully engaged. This is why full screen video ads became the most popular choice for brands running mobile ads and as measurement has become easier and more accessible, marketers optimize for metrics like viewability and video completion rates as standard KPIs.
It is therefore easy to see how a connected TV screen in a living room is the perfect showcase for a brand. Ads occupy the entire TV screen so viewability concerns do not exist and advertisers get access to audiences that are fully engaged, perfectly primed to receive the brand’s messaging, given that, by definition, consumers are choosing to watching specific content on CTV at their times of choice
Moreover, measurement options available on mobile apps (like video completion rates, audience ratings, etc.) are also available on CTV for advertisers to leverage. Measurement is not just restricted to campaign performance but also extends to inventory quality. For example, InMobi Exchange uses DoubleVerify’s advanced fraud checks to scan and filter all of the CTV content available to buyers, similar to our solution for all of our mobile app inventory.
4. Ease of Extending Campaigns
Extending your brand’s campaign to CTV is easy if you are already running ads on mobile apps. InMobi Exchange supports CTV ad buys on Open Exchange and via PMP deals that can enable campaigns targeted to specific audience segments.
In addition, Advertisers can use the familiar VAST standard prevalent in mobile apps for their CTV campaigns as well, eliminating the need to customize creatives specifically for CTV.
Interested in getting started? Reach out today to learn more.