SpotX Releases 2021 Global Trends Report for Video Advertising

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Growth in Addressable TV, Programmatic, Supply Path Optimization, and Data-Layered Campaigns Among Predictions by Industry Leaders

SpotX, the leading global video advertising platform, announced the release of its “2021 Global Video Advertising Trends” report. The findings aim to help ad tech leaders, marketers, and agencies prioritize their 2021 plans by sharing predictions and trends for the upcoming year.

“With the incredible growth of digital TV and streaming in the past year, it’s evident that we are in the midst of the ‘connected decade,’ especially as viewership and adoption of connected TV and OTT continue to skyrocket,” said Mike Shehan, co-founder and CEO at SpotX. “Record numbers are tuning in, and at this rate, cord-cutting households are on track to eclipse traditional pay TV by 2024.”

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SpotX gathered insights from industry leaders at Acxiom, AMC Networks, CCI, Discovery, DISH Media, GroupM, Samsung Ads, The Trade Desk, TransUnion, and more, to share their predictions about what’s next for TV and video in the upcoming year. The report stipulates that in 2021, programmatic budgets will surge with the rise in CTV streaming, as well as advancements in addressable technology that are finally bringing linear inventory into digital buying workflows. Everyone — from media owners to advertisers to smart TV manufacturers — is focused on the potential for audience data to improve inventory values, enhance campaign performance, and deliver more relevant consumer experiences.

Key findings of the report include:
  • The accelerated shift in consumer viewing habits will expedite the development of a post-cable ecosystem. New subscription offerings from legacy giants are pulling more traditional TV households into the digital future. In this fragmented and rapidly evolving marketplace, success for brands and media owners alike hinges on their ability to strategically focus their attention and investment.
  • Ad spend is following these new consumer habits and will flow into OTT and CTV faster than expected. The shift in budgets from linear to digital will kick into high gear over the next year. Now that advertisers understand how to activate data for efficient audience targeting while still achieving scale in OTT, we’ll see more advertisers recalibrate their media plans toward digital. CTV advertising in particular will grow rapidly in the US and European markets, while mobile adoption in Asia will encourage increased OTT spend.
  • Device manufacturers have new opportunities to build their ad businesses, increase market share, and influence the viewer experience. Historically low prices of smart TVs are leading to faster worldwide consumer adoption. The connected capabilities of these smart TVs also enable manufacturers to collect glass-level measurements and package that data for advertisers. As more consumers access streaming apps directly through the TV rather than auxiliary streaming sticks or boxes, OEMs have an opportunity to own a greater share of the user experience. Within the coming years, OEM players may, in fact, generate more profit from their data and advertising offerings than from their physical device sales.
  • With programmatic, addressable linear TV is ready for scale. There is a massive opportunity to apply digital technologies and audience data to make broadcast ads targetable and more relevant. The category is finally taking off, with more inventory available and the programmatic pipes built out, expect to see more linear TV budgets transacted digitally. For programmers, this means tapping into the growing pool of programmatic TV spend that is expected to reach $6.69 billion by 2021 in the US, up from $2.77 billion in 2019.
  • Data-layered campaigns will continue to become more prevalent with an increased focus on accuracy and measurable opportunities. OTT’s digital nature, and its critical mass of viewers across demographics, allows advertisers and media owners to activate data-driven campaigns at scale. In 2021, great progress will be made in standardizing measurement across CTV devices. Once all devices have standard identifiers and data management platforms (DMPs) increasingly support these identifiers, brands will be able to improve targeting and measurement across platforms.
  • Expect a surge in programmatic guaranteed campaigns. While advertisers used to treat TV and OTT ad buys separately, they are increasingly considering them together, and the trend is clearly moving towards all TV being transacted digitally. The efficiencies of programmatic buying and the opportunities to apply data to reach specific audience segments are huge benefits that are accelerating the shift of traditional TV budgets to digital channels.
  • Both the sell and buy sides will more thoroughly evaluate partners as supply and demand path optimization requirements increase in priority. This past year illuminated the need for brands and media owners to build more resilient value chains. Strategic leaders on both the sell and buy sides are looking to cull their vendor list and focus on fewer, trusted partnerships.

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“As we move further into the connected decade, incumbents and new entrants alike will invest in the future of video, while new technologies will quickly emerge to support the evolution,” said Kelly McMahon, SVP, global operations at SpotX. “Our goal with the ‘2021 Global Video Advertising Trends’ report is to provide media owners, advertisers and TV manufacturers with the actionable insights they need to position their marketing strategies, align investments, and capture growth in 2021 and beyond.”

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