The Intersection of Identity and Innovation in the Connected TV Advertising Revolution

By Arjun Arora, Head of Global Partnerships AdTech at Sigma Software Group

In the ever-evolving realm of media and advertising, Connected TV (CTV) has emerged as a beacon of innovation and growth. The Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) 2024 report on digital video advertising spend and strategy in the United States paints a picture of a sector on the cusp of dominance, with digital video set to outshine linear television in ad spend share. This seismic shift is driven by the audience’s pivot towards a rich tapestry of AVOD (Advertising-based Video On Demand) and FAST (Free Ad-Supported Streaming TV) services, which in turn is reshaping the advertising spend landscape.

The Surge of Digital Video in the Advertising Ecosystem

The U.S. digital video advertising market, inclusive of CTV, social video, and online video (OLV), has reported a commendable 15% year-over-year growth. Projections for 2024 indicate a further 16% increase in ad spend, a pace nearly 80% faster than the total media sector. This remarkable growth trajectory is a testament to the increasing value and effectiveness of digital video as an advertising medium. With ad revenue for digital video expected to reach $63 billion in 2024, accounting for a 52% share against linear TV, the CTV space is particularly noteworthy. Ad spend for CTV has already exceeded $20 billion in 2023 and is predicted to grow by 12% in 2024, highlighting its burgeoning significance in the digital advertising space.

CTV’s Distinctive Role in the Identity Ecosystem

CTV distinguishes itself within the digital landscape with its unique app-based ecosystem, which has thus far circumvented the identity challenges faced by desktop and mobile platforms. Despite the ongoing discourse around cookie deprecation, CTV’s reliance on Device IDs and Household IPs for programmatic ad targeting remains steadfast. OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) managing proprietary advertising businesses continue to utilize these signals, adeptly navigating privacy regulations such as GDPR and CCPA without compromising identity resolution.

Advancements in Identity Mechanisms and the Emergence of AI

The industry’s proactive approach to the anticipated obsolescence of third-party cookies has led to the development of alternative IDs. Platforms like ID5, The Trade Desk’s UID2, and Yahoo’s Connect ID are expanding into CTV media, aiming to ensure data and targeting signal parity between CTV and the online world. These innovative solutions are enhancing the value of contextual data and show-level metadata for targeting streaming audiences.

CTV devices, typically stationary within households, serve as a reliable foundation for deterministic identity graphs. These graphs are crucial for agencies and brands to effectively target their screen-agnostic ad buyers. The likelihood of all CTV ad spots becoming biddable in the near future emphasizes the importance of identity in the addressable TV ecosystem. As privacy regulations become more stringent, there’s a growing belief that traditional identifiers linked to individual users or households may become obsolete. In this context, AI-driven solutions that analyze content consumption patterns and forecast optimal content and app placements could emerge as the new norm for identity in CTV.

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The Expanding Horizons of CTV and Programmatic Advertising

The CTV landscape is not just expanding; it’s diversifying. The proliferation of AVOD and FAST services is creating a more fragmented viewing environment, which presents both challenges and opportunities for advertisers. To navigate this complexity, programmatic advertising is becoming increasingly sophisticated. Demand-Side Platforms (DSPs) are leveraging advanced algorithms and machine learning to target audiences more precisely, taking into account a multitude of factors such as viewing habits, content preferences, and even time of day.

The Role of Data and Analytics in Shaping CTV Strategies

Data is the lifeblood of modern advertising, and nowhere is this more apparent than in CTV. The ability to gather and analyze vast amounts of data is enabling advertisers to create highly targeted campaigns that resonate with specific audiences. This data-driven approach is not only more efficient but also more effective, leading to higher engagement rates and better ROI for advertisers.

The Consumer Experience in the Age of CTV

As CTV continues to grow, the consumer experience is becoming increasingly personalized. Advertisers are not just looking to reach viewers; they’re looking to understand them. By leveraging data and analytics, advertisers can deliver a personalized experience that aligns with viewers’ interests and viewing habits. This level of personalization is not possible with traditional linear TV, making CTV an attractive option for advertisers looking to connect with their audiences on a deeper level.


The convergence of digital video’s growth and the evolution of identity mechanisms in CTV heralds a new era for advertisers. As they navigate this changing landscape, the insights from credible industry bodies such as IAB and Prebid, combined with an understanding of the identity ecosystem, will be instrumental in crafting effective advertising strategies that resonate with audiences and comply with privacy standards. The future of advertising in CTV is not just about reaching viewers; it’s about understanding them, engaging with them, and delivering a personalized experience that aligns with their viewing habits and preferences.

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