Connected TV Ecosystem Holds the Potential of Greater Return for Eager Advertisers

By: Gal Turjeman, CEO of Castify.ai

As viewership trends shifted towards consumers discovering their new favorite programming via free, ad-supported CTV apps, advertisers are quickly taking notice.

This boom in small and medium content creators flocking to CTV apps allows them to cut through the noise and reach their audience directly. This has been well received by viewers, allowing our analysts to recognize a 170% year-over-year uplift in the consumption of these programs between Q1 2021 and Q1 2022. Now, advertisers are beginning to pay greater attention to Connected TV, a once peripheral advertising platform.

Back in 2021, advertisers spent over $14 billion on connected TV platforms, with $24.7 billion in ad spending expected by 2024. In return, they gained access to incremental audiences such as “cord-cutters” and “cord nevers” and enjoyed a near 100% completion rate of their commercials. Consumers also won, accessing brand new libraries of content they are passionate about at no cost.

This exciting shift is ushering in a new era of creativity and OTT experiences, but are we as an industry ready to avoid the same mistakes that linear TV continues to make?

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Hooking advertisers into CTV advertising

A recent milestone was surpassed where CTV ad impressions passed mobile impressions, bringing into question the ad spend standards that have been in place for the last number of years. This is in part due to more robust viewer data but also a result of more creators attracting quality viewers.

Some advertisers may be wary of what CTV applications have to offer. That’s why it is up to the industry to show how we have something linear TV, radio, and even some streaming services don’t – audience segmentation and targeted advertising. Beyond that, CTV has a growing audience, each with their own interests and looking for new content.

Advertisers are aware of the diminishing return of their ad spend but feel required to view linear TV as an anchor to their advertising strategies. This is despite its falling reach, lack of data, and low completion rates. While this advertising channel has its place, linear TV advertising is reaching fewer people, creating a prime opportunity for CTV and OTT streams.

Showing the collected data from viewers along with consumer habits that expect 82% of US households to have a connected TV or OTT device by 2023, the opportunities for content creators and advertisers seem endless. Yet, this momentum is far from a sure thing, leaving it up to the industry to learn from the mistakes of the connected sectors around us and prove how we’re better.

Grabbing the attention of advertisers can only be achieved through first-party data with 3rd parties verifying what companies see. The consumer side of the equation is in a healthy place for now. Despite user acquisition and content discovery remaining a challenge, viewers and publishers are already finding each other.

But, what can each player do to work towards greater cooperation in locking in key revenue streams?

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Keeping advertisers hooked

Is this a fad? How can the industry ensure that consumers continue exploring for new content? Are advertisers ready for a greater shift?

A full ecosystem approach is needed to give a voice to exciting new small and medium content creators. It also welcomes more established players who can invest in making their OTT channels a mainstay. This will be a team effort made up of:

  • Manufacturers– As the price of smart and connected TVs drops, more consumers will opt for TVs that offer greater services and apps. This is similar to the global transition from traditional phones to smartphones that occurred during the 2010s. Beyond features, consumers are considering not only the make of the tv but how rich is its content offering.
  • Creators– By talking to their base and growing their audiences, creators can use CTV to engage their viewers, speaking directly with content that piques their interest without the publication lag that exists when creating shows for larger organizations.
  • Advertisers– Working with creators, advertisers now have unprecedented data to target key audiences, understanding their viewing habits and interests while enjoying an astounding 100% completion rate.
  • Distribution providers- Bringing the full ecosystem together, distribution providers like Castify.ai and others, can handle the heavy lifting for creators and advertisers alike. Creators receive a platform where they can publish new content and have it distributed simultaneously, with the same experience, across all CTV platforms, regardless of manufacturer.
    Advertisers can then access the demographic data collected by these distribution providers. This will empower them to focus their ad spend and better calculate ROI, using hard metrics to justify their record-breaking spending.

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Working together benefits everyone

The change in viewership is positively reflected across the full ecosystem. Each stakeholder holds data that is unobtainable without an industry partner.

Armed with viewer insights, application management platforms must work as the go-between, connecting providers with advertisers. Streamlining this process, management systems can seamlessly publish updates across connected TV apps where they use demographic data to match advertisers with viewers. In return, advertisers use the data to further target their key demographics while content creators learn more about the habits of their viewers outside of the app.

The continuous loop that’s created benefits all, bringing the digital revolution to TV and helping apps and creators scale, while advertisers bring greater ad spend to flourishing publishers. It’s a win-win, if we can make it so.

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