Technology is driving a need for more flexibility in the TV advertising industry. Consumers now expect to be able to research, compare, and buy products with a few clicks, and advertisers need to keep pace. To reach their increasingly tech-savvy audience, TV advertisers should prepare to be more flexible in how and when they deliver their messaging.
Research shows that the average adult watches nearly 35 hours of TV per week. This figure includes traditional live TV as well as on-demand TV platforms such as cable Video on Demand (VOD), connected TVs, and mobile TV, where a consumer can choose from a menu of shows. As average viewing time grows, TV networks and advertisers are realizing the importance of tools such as Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI) and addressable advertising, which can deliver relevant ads across all TV platforms quickly.
Previously, ads might be embedded into the video stream on cable VOD and could not be changed quickly, leaving some ads irrelevant to the consumer. But with DAI, TV networks have the ability to change their cable VOD advertising at a moment’s notice. TV networks have realized that traditional live TV and on-demand are both a vital part of the business, and that addressable advertising — which can show different ads to different households watching the same program — is another vital tool to make ads more relevant.
But now that multiple TV platforms are here to stay, TV networks need efficient systems that can traffic an ad as well as send, playout, and report back data on all TV platforms. Some TV networks are deploying systems to help manage this complexity. Still, individual systems can go only so far. Each system must talk to the others so that the advertiser can get a full picture of how the campaign works across every platform on every TV network. Some of the technical standard challenges are being solved through ad serving protocols such as the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers Advertising Specification Standard (SCTE-130) and the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) latest Digital Video Ad Serving Template (VAST 4.0). However, these integrations can take months to implement and are cost-prohibitive for some companies. It is important to note that EIDR (The Entertainment Identifier Registry) and Ad-ID are critical identification standards for programming and advertising assets which help with cross-platform frequency capping and category separation, but deployment of these standards is still not ubiquitous.
So while TV networks now understand and desire ads on multiple platforms, there are a lot of hurdles to overcome before the industry can efficiently replace an ad on all TV platforms on all TV networks. The good news is that in the short term there are companies like Canoe Ventures to help with quality control and platforms like Comcast’s Freewheel and Google’s DFP that offer a suite of campaign management software tools. The long-term goal, however, is that the latest ad serving standards and identification standards be ubiquitously adopted and deployed.
Head of Business Development, Sales & Marketing