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Programmatic TV Services

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Programmatic TV Services

So, WTF Are Programmatic TV Services?

Programmatic TV helps brands develop relationships with their customers. Programmatic TV services are a tech-based, automated way to buy and serve ads to viewers using more data-driven insights. This includes the types of ads that people see on the Internet, on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, on Connected TV devices, and more.

Gaining a better understanding of this topic requires you to learn more about several related concepts. One of the most natural questions to ask is “what is OTT?” Short for “over the top,” OTT is a term used to describe content that is delivered not via a traditional cable connection, but the Internet. This can be in the form of a computer, or the form of a set-top box, such as an Apple TV or Roku.

What is CTV? Short for Connected TV, CTV refers to any device connected to a television that supports the aforementioned OTT programming. In addition to a streaming box like the Apple TV or Roku, this can also include certain types of gaming consoles like a PlayStation or Xbox, as well as “smart” televisions themselves. Therefore, the answer to the question “what is Connected TV?” is just any device that will stream OTT content.

In terms of OTT vs TV, the former brings with it a wide range of different benefits – chief among them being the fact that you get to watch what you want, when you want, with no exceptions. Indeed, this is one of the major advantages in the war of linear TV vs Connected TV. With linear TV, if you want to watch a program you have to be home at the specific moment that it airs (unless you DVR it, of course), but with Connected TV, you will have this content on hand regularly. 

From a marketing perspective, this type of addressable TV vs OTT also creates clear benefits. With addressable TV, a marketer can define their audience based on actionable, real-time data. They can then use that insight to serve different ads to specific audiences that make sense given the context of whatever someone is watching. This creates more personalized and relevant experiences, thus increasing the chances that someone will make a purchase moving forward.

Programmatic Advertising - The Meat Of Digital

All of this transitions into a related concept – the idea of programmatic TV vs addressable TV. People tend to refer to these programmatic advertising ideas interchangeably, but in truth, they are two separate ideas.

The addressable TV definition, as stated, involves the ability for an advertiser to define their audience based on first, second, and even third-party data services. The programmatic TV definition involves the use of automation to take that data and use it to buy and deliver ads that run against relevant television programs. However, addressable TV is a subset within programmatic TV as that’s why it is so successful for advertisers.

From that perspective, one plays into the other – especially in terms of benefits – but they’re not talking about quite the same thing. Regardless, programmatic advertising is by far the most growing channel at the moment – a trend that shows no real signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Connected TV Definition - WTF Is It!?

The biggest form of programmatic TV is Connected TV. The Connected TV definition, as mentioned, includes any device that either connects to or is embedded within a TV to deliver streaming content over an Internet connection as opposed to traditional cable or satellite providers.

Someone can own an Apple TV and watch current programming without having a cable subscription – that’s the main difference between Connected TV vs linear TV. Having said that, not all streaming content falls under the umbrella of Connected TV by default. Something like YouTube definitely wouldn’t be considered Connected TV, for example, because its content is user generated and submitted, there is no uniform format or quality. Instead, you would be talking about channels like HBO Max, Hulu, or even Apple TV+. In the discussion of Connected TV vs OTT, it’s always important to make this distinction.

WTF - What is Connected TV Advertising?

At this point, the question must be asked – what is CTV advertising and how does Connected TV advertising work?

Using data collected from real users, CTV advertising brings marketers several distinct advantages, all at the same time. Chief among these are the superior targeting capabilities that they unlock. The more you know about who someone is and what they like to watch, the easier it is to serve them with more relevant (and thus more persuasive) advertising.

Additionally, CTV advertising brings with it objectively measurable results. Unlike traditional linear TV advertising where you’re never really sure if someone watched an ad or got up and left the room until it was over, you know exactly how much of a piece of content someone watched. This allows you to see which of your ads are having the intended impact and, more importantly, which ones aren’t. It’s an incredible chance to optimize a media buying budget and it’s one that you’re not going to get through other means.

CTV advertising exposes brands to an audience that is still growing all the time. Hundreds of millions of people use CTV devices all over the world and the pandemic has proven that this shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Connected TV Platforms

All told, there is a wide range of Connected TV advertising platforms to choose from depending on your needs. Just a few include but are certainly not limited to ones like:

  • Hulu
  • HBO Max
  • Peacock

Two of the biggest player in the place are undoubtedly Hulu – the former being an example of Connected TV channels, while the latter being one of the Connected TV examples of a larger service provider.

One of the most important things to understand, however, is that no two Connected TV companies are created in quite the same way. The advertising requirements for a platform like HBO Max can be different from Hulu, for example. They each have their ad formatting requirements, length specifications, and more – making it sometimes confusing for a business to know which type of ad will perform best on which Connected TV platforms. However, a golden rule of the industry follows Hulu specs, as they require the best quality for their platform and therefore all platforms.

This is a large part of the reason why it’s always recommended to partner with a Connected TV media agency as opposed to trying to do everything yourself. Full-service experts and agencies that specialize in Connected TV advertising will be able to work hard to understand your specific brand message – at which point they’ll be able to get it out to the widest possible audience. Connected TV advertising companies know what types of content perform best on which platform, allowing them to leverage the full power of their expertise to your advantage. They’ll show you a Connected TV advertising example for every use case so that you can make the most informed decisions possible regarding where you’re spending your important advertising dollars.

Connected TV Advertising Trends in Recent Data

When did television come out? Even though the concept of TV dates back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries, television as we know it began after World War II when it officially usurped the radio as the most popular form of entertainment in most households. It’s truly staggering to think about how things have changed since that time – and CTV advertising examples are a significant part of that evolution.

According to one recent study, about 42 million homes in the United States alone watched television content via some type of streaming device in 2020. That may seem impressive, but it’s nothing compared to the 204 million people who are expected to embrace CTV by as soon as 2022. Based on those connected TV advertising statistics, it should come as a surprise to nobody that about 60% of digital buyers are expected to move more and more of their traditional TV budget into the world of connected TV by the end of the year. 

Regardless of which way you look at it, the benefits of CTV advertising are as plentiful as they are important. In addition to superior targeting and more actionable insight, they also give marketers access to an audience that is getting bigger all the time. Connected TV advertising trends are changing all the time, yes, but one thing remains the same. This is the type of opportunity to connect with an audience in an organic, meaningful way that perhaps only comes along once in a generation – and it’s an opportunity that most brands simply cannot afford to pass up. Luckily, thanks to CTV advertising companies, you don’t have to.

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