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SPO Program Planning in the Programmatic CTV World: Why You Should Start Now

Team InMobi
Team InMobi
3 min read
Posted on April 12, 2021
SPO Program Planning in the Programmatic CTV World: Why You Should Start Now

As connected TV (CTV) viewership rises, so does programmatic CTV media buying. And as is the case with any other form of digital advertising, as more advertisers seek to reach viewers of more and more top OTT and CTV channels programmatically, supply chains grow more complex – and this in turn means that supply path optimization (SPO) becomes even more pertinent. 

For a more detailed look at what SPO stands for and what it means for mobile marketers, be sure to download your copy of InMobi’s SPO guidebook today


Why CTV Advertisers Need SPO 

While CTV advertising sees major growth, advertisers in the space are beginning to wrap their heads around its nuances and challenges; programmatic CTV advertising is a unique beast in its own right. 

  • Viewing Apparatus: As we noted before, how people access connected TV can vary widely and encompass everything from gaming consoles and set-top boxes to the television itself (smart TVs). Each option presents its own nuances and distinctions that advertisers need to keep in mind. 
  • Screens: Even within one viewing option, the screen itself will differ. In theory, just about every television set from the past decade (regardless of size or dimensions) could function as a connected TV set. This means that advertisers may need creative that works with a wide variety of screens in order to ensure ads are rendered properly and look good. 
  • Operating Systems: One of the nice things about the mobile advertising space is that there are only two operating systems (“OS”) to solve for: iOS and Android. In the CTV space, however, just about every smart TV and set-top box manufacturer has their own CTV OS that come with its own nuances, especially around tracking and measurement.  
  • Inventory: The number of OTT apps in the CTV space pales in comparison to the total number of apps om mobile devices. This limits the scale for CTV advertising. It gets more complicated as some of the major OTT apps have few to ad tech SDKs in place rendering an open bidding environment almost impossible in this scenario. 
  • Programmatic Ecosystem Players: Since the programmatic CTV space is relatively new, there are only a few demand-side platforms, supply-side platforms, ad networks and exchanges currently operating in the space. This means that reselling is common. Plus, advertisers may need to work with all-new vendors when launching CTV advertising. 
  • Transparency and Fraud: The combination of the relatively recent ability to buy into CTV inventory outside of direct dealsand the growth in advertising interest has created a perfect storm of fraud. According to DoubleVerify, fraudulent CTV traffic increased by 161% between just the first four months of 2020. After all, CTV lacks the safeguards currently in place in the mobile in-app advertising world, like sellers.json and app-ads.txt. This will likely change in the immediate future as the programmatic CTV ecosystem matures, but right now it’s an issue that advertisers can’t afford to ignore. 

As a result of all of these points, it’s critical now that advertisers looking to spend programmatic on CTVs need to have an SPO plan sooner rather than later. Since the programmatic CTV landscape is even more complicated than any other digital supply chain, advertisers need to understand how their CTV transactions really transpire and what’s happening behind the scenes.  

Of course, this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. After all, CTV is not nearly as popular as other mediums. But if the CTV programmatic ecosystem is going to mature and become a trusted advertising option, then SPO needs to be part of the equation. 

For a more detailed look at SPO, be sure to download our latest guide on the topic


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