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Connected TV - What Next?

It’s no secret how ConnectedTV consumption has accelerated in the last year or so, with the Global Pandemic leading to a significant uptake in both penetration and time-spent watching content on the device. In the US, YouTube is the most-used digital video platform for OTT watchers, with March 2020 seeing an 80% increase in watch time year-on-year. However, the questions remaining are: how do publishers adapt their offering to make best use of this consumption, and how might agencies advise clients on the best way to utilise it for their campaigns?

Unsurprisingly, Google are leading the way in their attempts to further bridge the gap between CTV advertising and typical consumer behaviour. The imminent release of a new feature expects to make their YouTube CTV ads more shoppable. Upon the click of your TV remote, or console controller, you’ll be able to send a website link or other call-to-action straight from the CTV advert you’ve been served, through to your mobile device. This serves to remedy the challenge of not wanting to disrupt the viewing experience, while ensuring that YouTube CTV advertising isn’t seen solely as a branding platform. The new feature is strategically aligned to Google’s recent push of products, such as YouTube for Action, which are designed to drive consideration and ultimately sales uplift.

Other CTV publishers are finding their consumption growing and now need to ensure they maximise their ad offering.

Samsung saw streaming overtake linear TV on their Smart TVs in 2020.  Samsung offers the flexibility to target users based on the programmes that they watch. As an extension of your linear TV activity, or as a way to follow a similar approach without the steep budget requirements of linear, this affords considerable advantage. However, in order to constitute more than a “portion of spend in a programmatic buy”, they and other players, such as Rakuten, must answer the challenge: what can you offer that YouTube can’t? To emphasise their relative merits, they must show how they can feed into a larger AV plan.

Here at the7stars, the growth of CTV fits beautifully into our established viewpoint on AV. Rather than formulating AV plans in silos across TV, BVOD, YouTube and so on, we determine our approach to video based on audience consumption. Is our audience going to care whether the advert is on demand or on linear TV? Or are they going to care that we’re not delivering a 30-inch landscape video to their mobile device? Spoiler; emphatically not. CTV, and the new products being developed, support our “AV by Device” approach to planning. We look at how viewers behave and deliver assets across the screens, putting consumer experience first, and then measuring and optimising accordingly.

CTV further blurs the line between AV channels. For advertisers who are receiving recommendations that are suited to video consumption in 2021, this is only going to benefit plans once measurement catches up.