Industry professionals, leaders, and innovators recently gathered in New York’s Penn District for Advertising Week New York 2023. Over four days, individuals across the advertising ecosystem shared valuable insight and dove into thoughtful discussions concerning the industry’s future.
Otniel Calderon, Digilant Sales Engineer, attended the conference and noted a significant focus on advanced TV*. As advertisers work to connect with consumers across critical channels, he’s shared five key takeaways covering everything from platform improvements to redefining the value of this channel. Let’s dive in.
1. “Premium Content” is Rebranding
Historically, premium content, and therefore premium ad buys, entailed getting your brand placed within the newest TV releases or blockbuster films. Recently, however, advertisers have noticed that these new and shiny releases don’t necessarily yield top-tier results. So, if “premium content” isn’t garnering premium results, what is premium?
Premium content is now in the eye of the beholder: the consumer. Take a recent example from Netflix; the USA Network show Suits first premiered in 2011 but has recently skyrocketed in popularity, earning the top spot in TV streaming for 15 weeks straight as of November 2, 2023. While this program aired over ten years ago, based on viewership numbers, it warrants a premium ad buy. In the age of streaming, premium no longer excludes older content; instead, it welcomes it.
With different streaming services, consumers have more control over the content they consume, providing more opportunities for advertisers to reach niche audiences. Programs related to specific topics or interests may not be commercially “premium.” However, the ability to target networks and programs directly tailored to your target audience is nothing short of a premium ad buy.
In short, advertisers need to rethink and re-prioritize generic “premium” content in favor of content that their respective consumers classify as premium.
2. FAST is Quickly Making an Impact
Hulu, Netflix, Peacock, Disney+, and the like have been the center of TV news for years. And while they all still warrant significant time and attention, there’s a new TV player in town that advertisers would be remiss to overlook. Enter: Free Ad-Supported TV, otherwise known as FAST.
Coined “Cable 2.0,” FAST offers nearly 2,000 FAST free, ad-supported channels to consumers. Viewers are flocking to this linear-like viewing experience primarily because FAST is an economical choice. With 72% of U.S. consumers saying there are too many subscription services, subscription fatigue is on the rise, as households can only pay for so many plans. And, as it turns out, most consumers are not averse to relevant ads, especially if the ads are personally relevant and they enable access to additional content.
Regarding relevant ad buys, FAST is just the answer advertisers are looking for. As mentioned previously, there is a need for a “premium” rebrand as FAST is currently not perceived under the premium content umbrella. However, many FAST channels often represent a specific show or genre —- for example, channels dedicated to Ted Talks, Friends, holiday classics, or Bob Ross. Advertisers have an excellent opportunity to target hyper-niche groups that may be more difficult to reach through streaming services.
3. Data Clean Rooms Provide a Solution for Gaps in Cross-Platform Connectivity
As the consumer journey grows more dispersed across platforms and devices, advertisers call for better cross-channel connectivity to maximize performance, measurement and audience targeting. From an advanced TV perspective, this challenge lends to one of the most significant gaps in advertisers’ channel adoption. Many advertisers agree that measurement falls short, leading to data fragmentation. Admittedly, there is still work to be done to bridge the gaps between platforms and the linear world. However, experts are confident we’re near cross-media conversion as data clean rooms answer for cross-platform data communication.
These clean rooms combine data from all services — including offline data — which is then anonymized and aggregated into user and demographic groups. The data remains encrypted, making it impossible for anyone to access personally identifiable information (a future-proof solution as we near the official depreciation of Google’s third-party cookies in late 2024). Approved advertisers can use this data across platforms for deterministic audience targeting, measurement, and engagement.
For advanced TV specifically, this identity tracking not only makes it easier to track the user within the TV landscape but also pushes the results and analytics back into a clean room to use across and understand the customer journey better.
4. You Guessed It – AI Makes Waves in TV Advertising
What would a trends prediction roundup be without the mention of AI? While conversions tout AI implementation across many areas of advanced TV, the most common theme was using it to improve the user experience — for both consumers and advertisers. We’ve outlined two examples of these improvements below.
- In an ongoing effort to reframe premium experiences, AI is here to help. This technology and machine learning can more quickly and better identify viewer’s interests, behavior, and demographics. This will help advertisers uncover new audiences and create more curated and personalized ad creatives to speak directly to viewers. It is a win-win for all as better-targeted ads create more relevant ad experiences, causing less disruption during the viewer experience.
- Frequency capping will be a major priority in 2024, especially as more brands turn to FAST channels to run campaigns. Advertisers often need help effectively capping their ad frequency in the fragmented space. AI and machine learning will help determine the more precise frequency that resonates with audiences.
5. The Future of CTV is Shoppable
Retail media and shoppable ads have grown tremendously as online shopping continues to dominate. This year saw 218.8 million online shoppers in the U.S., with projections climbing upwards of 230.6 million people by 2026. To stay in step with digital buyers, innovators in the retail space highlighted current and future shoppable content available to advertisers through advanced TV.
Amazon and YouTube used the 2023-2024 NFL season to test shoppable ads as they released interactive opportunities that allow consumers to shop directly within the ad creative. NBC will be the next platform to test the waters as they plan to release shoppable content within their streaming service, Peacock.
These interactive experiences will help increase consumer engagement, reaching them wherever their attention lies.
At Digilant, we recognize the complexities that come with advertising on advanced TV channels. Learn how Digilant, and our advanced TV offerings, can help you achieve your campaign goals and objectives by contacting us here.
*At Digilant, we use advanced TV as an umbrella term to describe non-traditional, not over-the-air broadcast TV that enables advertisers to use data to distribute, target, and measure advertising campaigns, encompassing CTV, addressable TV, OTT, and more. To learn more about advanced TV, download our recent guide The Essential Guide to Advanced TV Advertising here.