The Biggest Opportunity Facing the Booming CTV Market

Build your connected TV advertising on the foundation of linear TV and digital

We love TV. Seven months into the pandemic and people have shown us one thing: The biggest screen in the home is still the best place to get content.

While advertisers are rightly excited about the future of connected TV (CTV), with viewership up 50% over the last six months, it’s important to note that linear TV was also up 10% in the same period of time. And pre-Covid, CTV was only 8-10% of the volume of the total TV market in the U.S. A big increase off a small base is exciting, but no one in the industry should be saying linear TV is dead—even with declining cable subscriptions. 

In my first three months at Amobee, I had over 60 informative conversations with senior brand and agency leaders. These conversations led me to something really important: The current approach to CTV by the ad tech industry does not meet the needs and complexities of planning—for both reserved direct deals and real-time programmatic bidded inventory

The only way for us to get CTV advertising right is to acknowledge that CTV doesn’t stand separate from linear TV—but rather in concert with it.

It’s no longer about linear TV vs. CTV, or premium reserved inventory vs. programmatic bidded. It’s the and: linear TV and CTV and digital—including social. Marketers need to reach consumers wherever the message and experience can be most compelling and drive the best business outcomes based on their needs.

This requires planning that can manage across all four of these media. Without holistic planning, the marketer can’t allocate or buy effectively. The consumer has already converged their watching; it’s up to the marketer to join them.

I recently spoke to some of my dearest industry friends—four of the most innovative and forward-looking women in advertising—to see how they’re leveraging the “CTV moment” and integrating their media investments to benefit from the scale, targetability, and on-demand flexibility of CTV. Here’s what I learned:

How has Covid-19 impacted your linear TV and CTV planning process?

Having solutions like CTV, where we can be more targeted and precise, makes a big impact. So, it’s really about being agile and following our consumers so we’re there at the moments that are going to matter most.” —Nicole Kane, head of precision and digital marketing, MolsonCoors

“[Covid-19] suddenly accelerated key trends that were already shaping the marketplace but on steroids. It’s been a year of agility. We were already seeing a lot of success with video across screens…so the role of CTV has become more important in that context.” —Yin Rani, CEO, MilkPEP

Has this year’s upfront reset affected how you negotiate and plan?

“We have the fortunate ability to work with so many great partners in the upfront space and linear is still driving so much of our business. So, it’s a matter of extending what is already working, and our partners have been fantastic about giving us more flexibility, fluidity, opportunity, and opening doors to different content and inventory sources.” —Danielle Gonzales, president and chief client officer, Starcom Worldwide

“The need for flexibility is going to be paramount in negotiations for next year. We need to be able to follow consumers. We need to be able to be flexible in moments like this, and who can predict when the next moment like this might happen?” —Shenan Reed, SVP, head of media, L’Oreal

What tools help you plan and measure linear TV and CTV campaigns more efficiently?

“In the future, and like what you guys at Amobee are building, it’s about having data behind the scenes in these tools that is timely, and accurate, as well as granular … So we’re looking for solutions that can truly measure the incremental reach that we’re getting when we look at different sets of channels.” —Kane

“One thing I’ve really appreciated, and we’ve done a lot of experimenting with Amobee’s different products, is the ability to do linear, online video, as well as CTV…connecting any video option or choice and being able to understand what’s happening, how people are viewing, and what’s changing.” —Gonzales

How can you create a positive consumer experience via CTV?

“Our CTV strategies, right now, are focused mostly on incremental reach. We want to plan less around demographics and more around where she is going … in whatever medium she chooses, without constraints. Tools like this [Amobee’s CTV Allocator] would be beneficial for allowing us to plan for that fluidity” —Reed

“It’s about understanding your consumer and trying to personalize the experience for them where you can … and in order to do that you need to find these people who are cutting the cord or are cord-nevers … and make sure we have the incremental reach that we need, as well as manage frequency so we’re not hitting them so many times that we’re starting to annoy them with our message.” —Kane

There’s a divide between linear TV, online video, social video, and direct sold and programmatic CTV. Am I crazy or right in thinking it should all be connected?

“You are both crazy and right, Jack, as per usual. The need for full convergence, frankly, goes beyond video. Sitting in the C-suite, this is one of the places where the structural industry and technology barriers lag far behind consumer behavior, and they lag far behind what a CFO expects from me when I’m trying to manage investment, and so we have some catching up to do.” —Rani

As advertisers we are craving for the industry to get there faster, so the more we can push, the more we can beg, the more we can use our dollars to influence getting those pipes connected, the better. Honestly, if you truly believe that your platform will continue to perform, you’ll be willing to put your time and effort into putting your data in that space.” —Reed

Want to see where your CTV knowledge stands? Take our quiz and find out.

As chief commercial officer, Jack Bamberger is responsible for leading Amobee’s enterprise platform, television, social and email sales; marketing; data analytics, solutions specialists and international businesses. A digital media, traditional media and marketing expert with more than 20 years of experience, Jack offers a potent, unique mix of digital and linear media expertise in senior roles at top media and technology companies, global agencies and with social media innovators.