Leaders From LG, Samsung and Vizio Discuss Navigating CTV Advertising

The role that OEMs play is growing larger

Not long ago, TV manufacturers were mainly focused on making screens larger, thinner and higher definition. But with the advent of smart TVs, OEMs are playing a bigger role, acting as the discovery engine that connects consumers with content.

In Magnite’s latest episode of its TV100 series, PHD’s head of U.S. digital marketplaces Stacy Chan sat down with Serge Matta, president of LG Ads Solutions, Joe Melaragno, head of platform sales & agency development at Samsung and Travis Hockersmith, VP of platform+ at Vizio to discuss how OEMs are shaping CTV advertising.

Here are some key takeaways from their in-depth conversation and how we can expect to see the role of OEMs evolve as CTV matures.

Stacy Chan: How will the OEMs be able to help advertisers better understand the content they’re buying?

Serge Matta: We’re able to see what audiences are actually consuming and how they’re consuming it. We have proprietary ACR (Automatic Content Recognition) technology that runs across TVs in a privacy-friendly manner, so we’re able to provide glass-level performance insights relating to linear and CTV.

Travis Hockersmith: As the last touchpoint between content and consumer, our data is highly actionable. For example, we can target households that have yet to be exposed to an ad. We can reach an addressable audience with specific criteria, i.e., that they’re NFL fans or by show genre.

How do OEMs play a key role in search and discovery?

Joe Melaragno: If you think about the two modes when we’re streaming CTV, there’s the intent mode, where the audience has signed on for a new movie release. Then there’s the discovery mode, where ideally the viewer quickly finds a new program that meets their viewing preferences instead of scrolling through the same listings for 10-15 minutes. We’re really leaning into powering content discovery for users, and in turn, ensuring media owners get visibility for their new or original content.

How are OEMs differentiating themselves in consumers’ eyes?

Hockersmith: Hardware specs and price are so important to consumers, but what’s even more important is the operating system. Does it have all the content that viewers expect right out of the box? Do they have to use multiple remote controls, or is it a seamless experience? What brand has proprietary FAST or AVOD content that consumers get for free?

Matta: Absolutely. People are spending $2,000 to buy one high-quality TV. As a result, they expect more content on individual FAST channels; they want easy discoverability. OEMs are going to become more invested in premium content, quality inventory, audience buying, leveraging ACR and optimizing performance to meet those expectations.

What is your approach to non-traditional ad formats?

Matta: Audiences in different geographic locations have different viewing preferences. To think, for example, that U.S.-based content will resonate with folks in France or Australia, you’d be fooling yourself. As a result, there’s going to be more localized content produced. Ads are also going to be produced for local markets. With the Olympics coming up, that’s a focus for us.

Melaragno: It’s key to consider what different markets are used to. In the U.S., we’ve had ads supporting television since the ’50s, so the cable model with commercial breaks is familiar. Then you go into European markets, where maybe the No. 1 station in the UK has been BBC and pay-satellite has been really large. You have to find different ways of getting consumers to engage with ad-supported content.

What areas or opportunities are OEMs looking into next in the world of CTV advertising?

Hockersmith: As it pertains to licensing our data, the big opportunity that we see right now is empowering next-generation currencies to measure CTV performance. CTV is pushing more television towards impression-based measurement. As the legacy currencies in the market have been called into question, OEMs are enabling CTV advertisers to choose what currency they want to transact on across both linear and streaming environments.

Melaragno: Agreed. OEMs are really spearheading that conversation. I was on a call this morning with the head of investment at one of the large agencies who was looking to transact on some of these alternative currencies in the next upfront. That’s just one of the many roles OEMs are leaning into.

Sean Buckley is Magnite’s chief revenue officer for CTV and is responsible for the company’s revenue-related activities for CTV as well as demand relationships.