If we could wind back the hands of time to 20 years ago, chances are that folks would be baffled by the terms “cord-cutter,” “binge-watching,” and “streaming.” Today, thanks to the growth of connected TV (CTV), you’re likely quite familiar with them (and if not, boy—do we have a resource for you!) With more and more people watching digital video, it’s no surprise that CTV viewership has skyrocketed, and that advertising spend has closely followed.
With the rise of this new and increasingly popular channel, it makes sense that advertisers have questions: How extensive is the inventory? Can CTV ads be targeted? And, does embracing CTV advertising mean adding another point solution to our existing stack? Today, we’re digging into these questions—and more—as we explore some of the key benefits of connected TV advertising.
Ready to learn why CTV should be part of your strategy? Let’s dive in.
It’s no secret that digital video is booming: By 2024, the average US adult will spend more time with digital video than traditional (aka linear) TV. But does that mean that the days of advertising during live sports, TV shows, and movies is gone?
Absolutely not. While time spent watching linear television might be decreasing, time watching video on connected TVs is increasing. As more and more content is offered via over-the-top (OTT) services—from TV shows, to blockbuster movies, to Thursday Night Football—people are increasingly turning to CTVs to watch content that used to only be available via cable, broadcast, or satellite. In other words, it’s not that people aren’t watching TV anymore—they’re just accessing the content in a different way.
And just how many people are tuning into CTVs for their digital video content? In 2021, 218.3 million people in the US were monthly CTV users, and by 2024, that number is forecast to exceed 230 million. Though levels of CTV adoption vary—from cord cutters, to cord shavers, to cord nevers—viewership is consistently increasing, especially among younger generations like Gen Z and millennials.
The big takeaway? For advertisers looking to engage with consumers where they’re viewing video—and often on big screens, to boot—CTV has a lot to offer.
Just as connected TV viewership is increasing, so too is the content offered via over-the-top (OTT) services. From Netflix and Disney+ joining the ad-supported tier game, to platforms like Amazon and YouTubeTV offering live sports coverage, CTV advertising inventory is extensive.
How can advertisers tap into these vast offerings? There are a couple of different ways to access CTV inventory within a DSP: via open exchange, and through private marketplace (PMP) deals. BasisTV+, for example, offers inventory that reaches 93% of US smart TVs. Here are a few key things to know about each buying approach:
We’ve discussed how CTV advertising is a great way to connect with audiences where they’re watching video, and that there’s a lot of inventory to choose from. But what about when it comes to getting your ad in front of the right consumer?
This is yet another of CTV’s strengths. Though only some linear TV advertising is addressable, all CTV advertising is. This means that marketers running CTV campaigns can use data to target audiences based on a variety of factors.
Here are a few of the (many!) targeting strategies that can be used within a CTV campaign:
And when it comes to contextual targeting? There are so many ways to segment and layer data contextually that it gets its own list:
Once targeting parameters are in place, advertising platform features like real-time reporting allow marketers to use data to optimize tactics and minimize wasteful ad spend.
More than ever, today’s consumers expect a personalized and intentional ad experience. Using targeting strategies like the ones we covered above is one way to achieve this; another is creating an omnichannel experience for potential customers.
Think about the last time you bought a product that you first saw in an ad. Perhaps it was an Instagram ad, a banner that showed up while you were searching for something on Google, or a video ad that rolled in the middle of that Hulu original you were binge-watching on your smart TV. Whatever the case, it’s likely that, after you were exposed to that product via one advertisement, you saw one—or more—subsequent ads on different platforms that kept the product top-of-mind, until you finally clicked “add to cart.”
Omnichannel ad experiences are those that target consumers across devices, with the intent of moving them further down the purchase funnel. After all, people spend time on a variety of devices, for a wide range of purposes, and advertisers want to reach them in a way that’s impactful. Connected TV fits wonderfully within an omnichannel approach: advertisers can strategically reach their target consumers via CTV, and then retarget on the same device or through other channels like search, social media, and more.
And if you’re worried that embracing CTV means adding another piece of complexity to today’s already-complex-enough digital media environment, here’s the great news: a strong DSP will allow you to tap into this inventory without having to use a different platform. BasisTV+, for example, allows advertisers not only to run CTV campaigns, but also to enable cross-device targeting features. With more than a thousand advanced TV targeting parameters and comprehensive real-time reporting, advertisers can use data and metrics to create a holistic, omnichannel experience for consumers.
Savvy marketers connect with consumers when and where they’re spending time. With nearly 84% of all US households using a connected TV in 2022 and with time spent watching on CTVs approaching two hours per day, CTV is a crucial part of any omnichannel advertising strategy.
Want to learn more about how to make the most of the connected TV advertising opportunity? In our CTV guide, we cover CTV advertising best practices and strategies, how to optimize campaigns, and so much more!