The Linear Buyer's Guide to Connected TV
The evolution of TV
Once upon a time, the only choice consumers had for watching TV was through over-the-air broadcasters, or cable and satellite services. But with the rise of high-speed internet came an explosion of apps, over-the-top devices, and Connected TVs, opening up a new world of anywhere, anytime access to premium TV content — and brand-new opportunities for innovative advertisers.
Today, linear TV is still a great mass reach play, but Connected TV is catching up quickly, especially in the current crisis. TV viewing is projected to increase by as much as 60% with more consumers working from home, so marketers seeking more precise targeting, data-driven measurement and insights, and better control can find success with Connected TV.
What is Connected TV?
A Connected TV is any TV that connects to the internet — whether it’s a smart TV with internet built in, or through a Connected TV device or game console like Roku, Google Chromecast, Apple TV, Sony Playstation, or Microsoft Xbox.
Connected TV gives viewers access to a wide variety of TV shows and movies from brand-safe premium providers and networks, providing an experience similar to watching traditional TV commercials. But Connected TV offers a number of benefits that make it better for both marketers and consumers:
- Data-driven decisioning and precise targeting. Don’t hope you’re reaching the right audience. Know you are by putting your data to work.
- Reach and frequency management. Show your ads just the right number of times, so your audience doesn’t tune out.
- Real-time optimization and control. Make updates to your campaign on the fly, any time.
- Cross-device extension. Retarget audiences across their various devices.
- Low barrier to entry. Activate campaigns at any time, at scale, without having to strike your own deals.
Adding Connected TV to your linear strategy
Even though the TV world is going through a monumental shift, the tradition of the upfronts remains. But the growth of Connected TV has created an environment where any company can get involved.
Today, a portion of most upfront buys is dedicated to inventory that is being digitally streamed. Many brands and agencies are telling their TV partners they want that digital portion to be executed programmatically. This entails meeting as a group to discuss how the digital portion of a buy can be transacted, potential decisioning/audience targeting tactics, and auction dynamics/pricing model.
Some brands and agencies are using data to assess how much to set aside from their upfront budgets for programmatic Connected TV. They’re taking the data assets they care about most — first- and third-party data — forecasting it against all the inventory that is available programmatically and setting that money aside from their upfronts to maximize their ability to accurately target audiences.
Some even take it a step further by leveraging this data to influence which partners they’ll work with in a traditional upfront capacity — using it in negotiations to make sure they’re investing in the networks that connect with their audiences most.
Who should consider Connected TV?
We believe all advertisers can benefit from adding Connected TV to their marketing strategy — but you should adapt your strategy depending on your experience level.
Brands with experience in linear but new to Connected TV
The opportunity: Reach cord-cutters who aren’t being reached through your linear buys.
The approach: Mirror your linear buy in the Connected TV space and include additional inventory that isn’t accessible through the upfronts.
Brands with a holistic video approach that have tested Connected TV
The opportunity: Maximize value of Connected TV for those who have tested previously.
The approach: Allocate a portion of your budget to Connected TV and run outside of linear buys to get the most advanced capabilities offered instead of running non-programmatic TV with very little targeting.
Brands with no linear or Connected TV
The opportunity: Create a testing ground for your campaigns without a huge investment.
The approach: Take advantage of the flexibility and data-driven tools of programmatic to determine the best content and programs to reach your audience — making every dollar work as hard as it can, retargeting your audience across other devices and channels, and using real-time reporting to build upon this initial phase.
Want to learn more about how content owners and advertisers should be thinking about Connected TV this year? Contact Rise, and watch The Trade Desk’s video series, In Human Terms, featuring CEO and Founder, Jeff Green.