With the Covid-19 pandemic ongoing, this year the Connected TV Advertising Summit will be a virtual event, on the afternoons of September 21st and 22nd. Registration is complimentary and one lucky attendee will win a drawing for a Roku living room makeover including a Roku TV, wireless speakers, wireless sub-woofer and one year Netflix subscription, all generously provided by Roku.
There will be plenty of opportunities for audience participation and interaction with speakers. My goal for the CTV Ad Summit is to make it a robust learning and networking experience for all participants. Sessions will be a mix of keynotes, research presentations, interviews and panel discussions.
The pandemic has further accelerated CTVs’ rise, with recent estimates that 80% of U.S. TV households now have at least one CTV, and that there are over 400 million CTVs deployed in the U.S. alone. Distribution on CTVs is critical to all recent SVOD and AVOD service launches and were a key focus of presenters at the recent IAB NewFronts. As consumption has shifted, CTVs have begun accounting for around 50% of all video ad impressions.
Even as advertisers are moving spending over CTV, many questions still remain, especially around measurement, cross-platform buying, pricing stability, distribution, control/access to user data, business rules and more. CTV has grown quickly but a lot is still being figured out. We’ll dig into all of the critical opportunities and challenges over the 2 afternoons of the CTV Ad Summit.
Many thanks to our CTV Ad Summit's 8 partners who have been amazingly gracious and supportive. Our Presenting partner is Deloitte; Gold partners are Extreme Reach and SpringServe; Silver partners include Beachfront, SpotX, Roku and Xandr and Branding Partner Verizon Media. Please contact me if you’d like to learn more about sponsorship opportunities.
Complimentary sign up now!
Yesterday YouTube TV raised its monthly rate by 30% from $50 to $65. It’s the fourth rate hike in just the past 2 years, as YouTube TV moved from its introductory rate of $35 to $40 to $50 to the new $65 per month. As recently as March, 2018 it was still possible to sign up for $35 per month and be grandfathered into that rate for a short period.
I’ve been a mostly satisfied YouTube TV subscriber since the early days, and of course, the rate increases have been painful to absorb. The fundamentals of YouTube TV as a pay-TV alternative that were appealing from day one have changed little - strong cross-platform access, unlimited DVR, 6 concurrent users, etc. What has changed is the growth in number of TV networks carried; indeed yesterday’s rate hike was tied to the launch of a group of ViacomCBS networks, just as the previous hike was tied to the addition of Discovery networks.
I’m pleased to present the 520th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. With the pandemic currently surging in multiple states, we hope all of our listeners are staying safe and healthy.
This week was the IAB NewFronts and I watched some or all of about a dozen of the presentations which are directed toward ad buyers. As usual, I was impressed with how well the presenting companies told their stories, through remarks by executives, talent, creators, partners and others. Presenters highlighted compelling usage data, ad formats and effectiveness, often juxtaposed against traditional TV.
On this week’s podcast we discuss key takeaways and common themes. The migration from linear TV to OTT video was already well underway, but the pandemic has accelerated the shift, making NewFronts presentations even more important, especially for advertisers trying to reach cord-cutters and cord-nevers.
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (24 minutes, 32 seconds)
As part of the IAB NewFronts, YouTube held its reimagined Brandcast virtual event today, emphasizing its TV viewership, incremental reach and originals as part of a broader pitch for ad buyers’ budgets. Brandcast attendees were able to customize their selection of videos by content genre and then learn from YouTube executives and talent about specific programming and monetization initiatives.
As it has done in the past, YouTube highlighted how the platform is used by viewers to create personalized experiences, helping advertisers better connect with passionate viewers on TVs. YouTube cited Comscore research that it had the largest ad-supported reach among cord-cutters and cord-never on connected TVs and the highest viewing hours among AVOD services. YouTube said it reached 77% of AVOD households in March and accounted for 41% of all AVOD watch time in March in the U.S. YouTube cited Nielsen research that it reached more 18-49 year-olds in March than all linear TV networks combined.
In conjunction with this week’s NewFronts, IAB has released new survey results, again demonstrating the power of connected TV (CTV). According to the survey, conducted by Advertiser Perceptions, for ad buyers planning increased spending on CTV in 2020, in a multiple response question format, 53% said those additional funds would come from a shift from broadcast TV and 52% from cable TV (53% also said funds would come from an overall expansion of budgets).
I’m pleased to present the 519th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. We hope all of our listeners are staying safe and healthy.
The IAB NewFronts are next week and over two dozen different companies will be presenting. There is a ton of market momentum going into the NewFronts, with the pandemic having shifted viewership to both SVOD and AVOD services. Advertisers are taking note and per a new IAB survey, 59% of ad buyers are planning to increase connected TV ad spending in the second half of 2020, by 25% or more.
Colin and I discuss this and other recent data supporting why OTT and CTV advertising are poised to benefit going forward.
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (22 minutes, 36 seconds)
Heading into the NewFronts next week, the IAB has released its third survey of ad buyers since the pandemic began, finding, among other things, that 59% of respondents plan to spend more on Connected TV and OTT in the second half of 2020. Another 22% said they aren’t planning any change and 18% said they plan to decrease spending.
Ad buyers were more bullish on CTV/OTT than any other digital channel though 56% said they plan to spend more on digital video that isn’t on CTV, with 25% saying no change and 19% saying they’ll decrease spending.
GroupM, the world’s largest ad buyer, is forecasting total TV advertising in the U.S. will drop by 7% in 2020 and another 12% in 2021. National TV will drop 11% in 2020 and gain 6% next year. Local TV will bear the brunt in 2020, dropping 34%, due to slowing retail and automotive advertising. But when one-time political ads are added in for 2020, GroupM sees a 1% total increase in local TV advertising.
However, it is forecasting a “modest” 3% decline in advertising revenue for TV “digital extensions” (which it defines as both “digital ad revenue realized by traditional media owners for their traditional properties and the pure-play digital media owners with directly competitive products”). GroupM includes Hulu, Roku and others in the digital extensions category. And for 2021, GroupM sees TV digital extensions advertising increasing by 15%. GroupM believes that TV digital extensions spending will add up to around 14% of national TV ad spending in 2020.
A joint solution announced by two Comcast companies, FreeWheel and Comcast Technology Solutions, will enable programmatic advertising for set-top box video-on-demand (VOD) inventory. TV networks, content providers and pay-TV operators will be able to use the solution, which taps FreeWheel’s ad targeting and decisioning along with CTS’s Ad Store for real-time creative distribution.
The companies said in a release that “creative conditioning of advertisers’ video creative requires special considerations in the STB VOD advertising environment” have hindered programmatic approaches that are common in connected TV and OTT. Richard Nunn, VP/GM of Advertiser Solutions at CTS said “until today, it has not been possible to effectively monetize this content in the same programmatic fashion as other video inventory.”
I’m pleased to present the 517th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. As always, we hope our listeners are staying well.
This week Colin and I discuss how new “virtual linear” channels will translate into more viewer engagement and advertising in connected TV. We start the discussion reviewing new data from Innovid and Pixalate showing healthy gains in both CTV ad impressions and programmatic spending.
Adding to the momentum will be virtual channels, which are essentially on-demand playlists of themed programming. Many CTV platforms are adding these free, ad-supported channels. Colin points out a new partnership between Endemol Shine and Vizio for four unscripted virtual channels. Roku was also in the news this week, launching 40 virtual channels with various programming partners. Virtual channels are also a key feature for Peacock. Colin and I expect the trend to gain momentum.
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (21 minutes, 51 seconds)
Global connected TV ad impressions were up 36% year-over-year during the week of May 24-30, according to new data released by Innovid. The growth rate is above the prior week’s growth rate of 27%, but below the 4-week CTV average of 44%. It is still well above other devices; during the same period, mobile video ad impressions were down 26% year-over-year (compared with a 5% drop for the prior week) and PC/desktop video impressions were down 20% (compared with a 12% drop during the prior week).
Roku is highlighting its ability to support “agile investment plans” by advertisers as it rolls out Upfront presentations to attract more ad spending on its platform. Roku is focusing on delivering advertisers enhanced agility, control and value as they navigate huge market uncertainty.
Dan Robbins, Roku’s VP of Ad Marketing and Partner Solutions, told me in an interview that the shift to streaming, acceleration in cord-cutting and the pandemic’s suspension of live sports and stay-at-home guidelines have led to “each advertiser facing a different reality.” In particular, Dan said more agility is the “number one request” Roku is getting from advertisers. Roku’s goal is to help align advertisers’ spending with actual media consumption. He noted that half of 18-34 year-olds’ consumption is now streaming, requiring different strategies by advertisers targeting this age group.
I’m bullish on ad-based free streaming channels on Connected TVs. eMarketer projected the CTV ad market would grow to $14B in 2023, double the 2019 figure. Why is the Free Ad-based Streaming TV market, or FAST, so hot?
Because after a decade of flubs by TV OEMs, they’ve finally nailed it. Many licensed Roku. Others, Android TV. Samsung iterated to get steadily better. LG’s Web OS was good from the get-go. And Vizio’s revamped SmartCast gained accolades at CES. This is in addition to the blockbuster success of OTT set-tops like Roku and Fire TV. Another factor? The rapidly maturing live linear streaming tech stack. It is far less glitchy and buffery than a year ago even, and costs are dropping.
It adds up. Unboxing a TV is a new game. Just connect to Wi-fi and watch hundreds of free channels of news, sports and entertainment within seconds. No roof climbing. No scanning. No input switching. No cable guy.
And more are coming. The Consumer Technology Association projected 41 million new TVs will be shipped in the US this year. Nielsen says we have 120 million homes. Just spit-balling here, but every three years we’re sending another new TV -- with hundreds of free streaming channels -- to every home in America?
So why should we curb our enthusiasm?
YouTube launched “YouTube Select,” replacing and expanding its prior Google Preferred solution, which was a curated selection of top YouTube channels. In a blog post, Vishal Sharma, VP, Product Management for YouTube Ads said in a blog post that YouTube Select will also include “emerging lineups” which are “up and coming or niche channels” in categories like beauty and fashion, entertainment, technology, sport and other.
With the new program, YouTube is expanding the quantity of content it is curating and ensuring as brand safe, further targeting connected TV viewers. YouTube said it will give advertisers the option to “only serve ads on videos that have been machine classified and human-verified.” Brand safety is a critical consideration for traditional TV ad buyers who have been a target audience for Google Preferred.
In challenging times for marketing, creative quality is more important than ever. Today, most advertisers (63%) are adjusting messaging to meet the moment, including increases in mission-based (+42%) and cause-related (+41%) marketing, according to a recent IAB survey.
Here are three best practices to adapt streaming creative while consumers shelter in place.
After a period of relative consistency, connected TV’s share of ad impressions has varied widely in recent months, according to Extreme Reach’s Video Benchmarks Report for Q1 ’20 and through May 11th. CTV ad impression share stayed in a tight range from 47%-51% for each quarter of 2019. But in January they dropped to 41%, in February to 35%, in March to 36% and in the first two weeks of April to 29%. However, in the period from April 15 to May 11, they rebounded to 42%.
Topics: Extreme Reach
NBCUniversal used its One Industry Update livestream to emphasize that improving the viewer and advertiser experience remains a top priority. Laura Molen, President, Advertising Sales and Partnerships, said “this moment has only accelerated our efforts to make the ad experience more engaging for consumers and more effective for advertisers.” She continued, “I know we talk a lot about commercial time - and we’re still committed to bring that number way down.”
The postponement and cancelation of every major sports league has created an entirely new reality for marketers and broadcasters alike. Sports have emerged as the absent center of the media landscape, one that has come to symbolize the disruption from COVID-19 in our industry.
It makes it easy to forget that, before the sudden pause, the value of live sports was coming under serious scrutiny. The NBA’s TV ratings were down dramatically. The Olympics, March Madness, MLB, and other marquee sports properties are demonstrating similar trends. Super Bowl ratings this year had inched upward - but it was the first time that had happened in five years, and the multi-year downward trend for the landmark game is unlikely to change course.
Across the board, traditionally reported sports TV ratings were down, and it all begs the still-pressing question: should networks and advertisers freak out?
Topics: 4C Insights
Roku has launched OneView Ad Platform, a demand side platform (DSP), enabling ad buyers with a set of self-serve tools to create and manage campaigns across screens and ad formats. The move positions Roku to further increase the value of viewing data from its 40 million active accounts to help ad buyers allocate their TV, OTT and digital spending more effectively. As Dan Robbins, VP of Ad Marketing and Partner Solutions told me in a briefing “OneView Ad Platform is informed by TV but built to be omnichannel.” Launch partners include Drizly, Experian, Intuit TurboTax, Lexus and others.
New research from Hub Entertainment Research has found that the average number of TV services used per viewer reached 4.8 in April 2020, vs 3 in 2018, a rise of over 50%. Hub includes all TV services in the mix - pay-TV, SVOD and AVOD. Hub found that more viewers are using SVOD services, and those that are use multiple services. 74% used either Netflix, Amazon or Hulu in April, 2020 vs. 70% a year earlier. And 46% of viewers used two or more of these services in April, 2020 compared with 43% a year earlier.