Another TV company is diving into TV Everywhere, with Scripps Networks Interactive now offering livestreaming of HGTV, Travel Channel, Food Network, DIY Network and Cooking Channel.
TV Everywhere platform provider Anvato is powering the livestreaming—and dynamic ad insertion, or DAI—on each network's website, along with the iOS and Android apps for HGTV, Food Network and Travel Channel.
The livestreaming was soft launched in June, said Matt Smith, chief evangelist at Anvato.
Scripps' embrace of all things TV Everywhere, including DAI—in which linear ads are replaced by advertisements targeted specifically at the nonlinear audience—shows how much has shifted in the TV Everywhere universe since networks first started experimenting with livestreaming.
"The last couple years, you've had brands big and small say, 'Okay, we're going to stream. Let's get it done and we'll figure out how to make money later,'" Smith said. "Scripps looked at this and said, 'This isn't just about extending the brand. This isn't just about putting our live channels on every other screen.' They also took the tact of, 'Let's look as this as a profit center, not a cost center.'"
That's due in large part to recent technology advances, particularly in DAI. "Ad insertion for streaming has been around a couple of years, but I don't think it's hit its stride until recently," said Smith. "We're seeing this unprecedented strategic shift to where people come to the table going, 'I've got the app built, I know what I want to do for the streams, and, by the way, I'm going to monetize it.' That last piece is critical. They're coming to the table armed with not only budget but also some numbers in terms of what they think they can make by using ad insertion over the next quarter to two to three. It's really exciting and really cool to see."
In DAI, networks can opt to replace the entire ad pod or just some of the positions (replacing only the local/regional ads, for example, but keeping the national ones intact).
After earlier confusion among consumers, more viewers are now aware of, and on board with, TV Everywhere. "Two years ago, the average consumer probably didn't know what TV Everywhere meant. But now they do—now they know what it means to go into the HGTV app and watch live, linear TV," said Smith. "And with the growth of mobile devices, people expect to be able to have TV in their hands."
The livestreaming and dynamic ad insertion on the websites and apps is only the beginning for Scripps' foray into TV Everywhere. "There's more coming," Smith said. "They're going to be reaching more platforms."
Going forward, there will be even more ways for Scripps and other networks to monetize their investment in TV Everywhere. "There's a little bit of disconnect in terms of TV programmers, content creators, and most importantly, the ad space. I don't think those three pillars understand how granular an ad we can deliver to a viewer," said Smith, explaining that because of DAI advances, viewers in different parts of the same city could stream the same program but see different ads targeted to their specific location.
"We're able to deliver ads down to the zip code level and sometimes even more granular than that," Smith said. "I'm not sure that the industry understands how effective ads can be for users on devices today. We'll get there, but the technology and the architecture exists today to do this."