During the Broadcast Upfront week there was much talk about digital vs traditional media. Given the importance of the event to broadcasters, the hype was all about TV being king and where premium content lives. While the ad sales folks duke it out for spend, advertisers are left to wonder if the advanced TV conversation is really here to stay.
Most people in the industry agree that premium content is paramount, but is traditional linear TV truly the only place to get said content? As a simple example, The Trade Desk recently looked at how viewers can consume content of ‘The Walking Dead’. We came up with 14 ways to watch. That includes linear TV, linear VOD and streaming opportunities from apps to full episode players. This fragmentation is confusing for a consumer. Even more pronounced though is the complexity to the marketer. Of the 14 ways to consume, only about half are ad supported.
The presentations during the Upfront all but confirmed that confusion by admitting the need to improve the viewer experience. To do that, they’ve begun to introduce shows with as much as half of the previous ad load. That is valuable to the viewer but has implications for an advertiser by restricting supply that much further. That restriction increases the complexity for marketers even further because marketers need to be more precise with where they are placing their ads.
While marketers have separate and distinct goals for each advertiser, most metrics revolve around the key metric of moving product. With that in mind, marketers would do themselves a disservice by ignoring any consumption method. It’s all about complementing the buy. More simply put, it’s about appropriate media mix to achieve the intended goal.
Traditional TV has a misconception about programmatic. When they hear the term, it triggers the thought of real-time bidding and a race to the bottom for their pricing. For marketers, though, it is about information and data. With viewership spread across multiple devices, it is important to leverage data to target appropriate audiences. That data allows the marketer to measure pure ROI and track metrics that are important to them.
Why programmatic or advanced TV? It is about efficiency and efficacy for both the buyer and the seller. For a buyer, it allows for the precise targeting and measurement needed to navigate the continued complexity of media. For a seller, it allows for better forecasting and much needed yield management.