TV COMPETITION ENSURES BRANDS ARE THE REAL WINNERS
By: Marissa Jimenez, President of Finecast US
The future of TV and the content that keeps it in business have been at the forefront of innovative conversations for as long as either has existed. From the days of selling a full year’s slate of advertisements at the TV Upfronts all the way to 2021 – when Discovery+ fought their way onto the streaming war battlefield – each evolution of the wheel is simply a new opportunity for marketers to ask, “What is next and how should it be leveraged?”.
CES is no different – both this year and in years past. 2020 discussed the means to keep streaming content relevant while 2021 marked the new era of streaming and its staying power. CES 2022 saw the usual power players like Roku OS and Amazon Fire TV taking their (well-deserved) victory lap around continued surge of users utilizing their platforms while newcomers like Hisense proclaimed its VIDAA OS is on track to have 100 million users in 2022. However, the big story out of CES 2022 was the amount of companies embracing Addressable TV and Programmatic capabilities as almost an olive branch to marketers – providing them access to audiences that are becoming even more fragmented in their viewing habits and mediums.
NBC Universal announced its inaugural first-party advertising identity platform at this year’s conference, allowing advertisers and marketers to track and monitor consumer interactions without cookies or device IDs. They join their competitors such as WarnerMedia – who has tapped a group of partners that will collaborate to count viewers across linear, digital and connected television. These new capabilities aim to provide better cross-device tracking and inclusion of Connected TV in the measurement and attribution space. They also could serve as potential solutions for reach/frequency management across multiple devices (CTV, Desktop, Mobile, Tablet, etc.). While these companies are asking marketers to take them at their word for the impact these capabilities will have – it is a strong flag to plant in the ground as media groups are kicking off the competition with each other on their targeting and measurement options. This does, however, present a new set of challenges for marketers who need to buy across all of them.
As more companies become players in the Addressable and Programmatic TV space, marketers will be less beholden to singular gatekeepers – such as Nielsen – that provide a partial understanding of their audiences. As the TV industry becomes more scattered and siloed - the entrance of new, competitive audience tracking players is imperative to ensure that brands are able to understand what and where their audience is watching in order to provide them with relevant advertising. The days of planning against all TV as separate entities (linear, connected) are gone – the new name of the game is one audience, one buy, one report. Working through a single legacy partner is no longer sufficient.
TV will continue to evolve and become even more complicated – as will the different options available to track and reach viewers. Marketers can continue to capitalize on the unbeatable reach of TV by remembering they do not need to meet complexity with complexity. The easiest way to engage with these new players is to build media plans that address multiple audiences through an easily-replicated process via a single access point. With the addition of new players to challenge legacy ones – the power is truly in the hands of the marketers to determine which partners will best serve their brand in reaching the right viewer at the right time in the right place.