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BTR: Bridging the Gap Between Connected TV and Traditional TV Emerges as the Key to Improving Linear Content Campaign Accountability and Performance

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SILVER SPRING, Md. - Amzeal -- The growing popularity of Connected TV (CTV) among consumers has created a significant challenge for linear content marketers striving to maximize viewership -- and financial performance -- of high-priority programming. It is prompting senior executives in the content distribution industry to explore, develop and deploy new strategies that capture the attention of targeted consumers -- regardless of the platforms used to enjoy digital entertainment.

As a result, significant strategic attention is being focused on specific initiatives to leverage CTV's reach by utilizing emerging technologies -- including machine learning -- to better target appropriate audiences, according to Laura Stinnett, VP of Advanced TV Advertising at TiVo, in a podcast interview for journalists.

"We're living through a period of a major transformation in the video content distribution and advertising ecosystem. According to the latest research from the Kantar Group, the proportion of US households with video streaming services has grown to 88%. This equates to almost 113 million households across the country that are currently streaming content," says Stinnett.

This, however, does not mean that the future of linear programming is bleak. While streaming activity continues to grow, the streaming market has reached a stage of maturity in which those same consumers are also rationalizing their budgets and reducing the number of services to which they subscribe. Moreover, it is a trend taking on significant traction as the economic outlook becomes less certain.

It is why free ad-supported streaming -- or FAST -- channels are experiencing rising adoption. These platforms carry few economic implications for household budgets, posing interesting hurdles for the TV advertising community, especially those responsible for promoting TV shows in today's fiercely competitive content market.

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"The truth is that audiences today are taking advantage of the growing number of platforms available to them. They move back and forth in a very fluid manner because technology has evolved to the point that makes it fairly easy to traverse the landscape and move -- nearly friction-free -- between traditional TV and streaming," she observes.

A Brave New World

It has created a new world for content owners, adds Stinnett. As the market becomes more fragmented, finding viewers for content and keeping them engaged has never been more difficult. The sheer amount of content being produced and how viewers can consume their desired experiences is redefining the relationship that content creators and owners have with their audiences.

"According to FX Content Research, over 550 original series aired in 2021," she noted. "That is pretty overwhelming. Cutting through the morass of options to help marketers find and engage the right audiences for their content in today's context is where the battle for the hearts and minds of consumers is being waged to maximize linear content viewership," says Stinnett.

It calls for programming executives to push beyond traditional engagement channels by promoting their content across an array of experiences streamed to CTV viewers.

However, meaningful success in elevating incremental viewership of specific linear programming will require marketers to address essential issues around transparency and measurement in the Wild West-like environment that characterizes the current digital entertainment landscape.

"Most marketers want to ensure that their advertising is aligned with premium content. They need more transparency in reporting metrics. This is easier said than done," she explains.

Every device -- and feature of a device, including hardware and software -- has its own ID. The problem is that it has been almost impossible to unify standards across the industry to capture and account for these variables to ensure accurate measurement and reporting,

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"It is a monumental issue because, in addition to the fact that there are over a thousand over-the-top (OTT) content services, the average household uses between three and four devices to access the array of content offerings," says Sitnnett.

And then there is the issue of fraud.

"While CTV has a lower ad fraud rate than other video platforms -- making it a safer place to advertise -- we are seeing and hearing more and more about fraud across the CTV and OTT landscapes. This points to the need to develop better ad quality regulations and standards," she says.

Overcoming these barriers, however, is possible with the application of emerging technologies -- like artificial intelligence and machine learning -- and the development of big-data analytics capabilities.

A Case in Point

TiVo recently worked with CBS to plan and run a CTV campaign for one of their new shows.

"Using machine learning with first-party TV viewership data, we identified consumers who would be most inclined to watch the new show. TiVo harnessed advanced analytical capabilities and big data to plan highly targeted campaigns across the CTV landscape to capture first-party data-driven insights from our nationally representative TV Viewership Data. This multi-sourced repository collects information from over 20 multi-channel video providers across the US. The incremental reach that CTV provided to the CBS program was substantial," she recounted.

The case study, concludes Stinnett, presents an important proof point on how digital advertising can offer clear and immediate metrics on CTV advertising to promote linear content. It proves that real-time return on investment analysis -- with detailed and independently verifiable reporting -- can be achieved to optimize the performance of entertainment marketing campaigns.

To read the Q&A or listen to the full podcast interview with Laura Stinnett visit:
https://bit.ly/TiVosLauraStinnett

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