There’s no question that consumer media consumption continues to change. The lines between TV and digital have been blurred for some time now – as traditional TV subscriptions continue to decline, the latest changes continue to make this blurrier. Linear, streaming, CTV, video on demand, AVOD, SVOD, and now FASTs – things are getting complicated! No matter where eyeballs are flocking to, one thing won’t change: buying and selling on audiences to reach the right people across all the platforms where they are.
Where we’re at today
As traditional TV is becoming more digitized, viewers can watch what they want, when they want, but it requires some work to find this content across various apps and platforms. Younger, Gen Z viewers have actually indicated preference for the old ways of TV, when content was served and no searching was required.
Together, Free Ad-Supported Television (FAST) services (like Pluto and Tubi) and platforms (like TikTok, Twitch, and YouTube) are enabling the lean-back experiences that viewers are increasingly craving. A recent Nielsen Total TV & Streaming snapshot shows that three leading FASTs – Pluto TV, Roku, and Tubi TV – comprised 3.3% of TV time in May 2023, showing steady month-over-month-over-month increases. Among the platforms, TikTok’s seamless, streamlined user experience has invited comparisons to TV, where users can quickly get pulled into content, but across other popular video platforms like Twitch and YouTube, all forces point to autoplay and other features that reduce the friction between viewers and a queue of content, mirroring lean-back experiences.
What this means
We’ve discussed the fragmenting landscape for television consumption in the past.
We see two opposing evolutions here: In streaming, viewers’ behavior is to engage only by watching what they want to watch. In contrast, FASTs and platforms gaining in popularity in part due to leaning back, further complicates the picture for buyers and sellers, as the ecosystem must account for ever-shifting consumer preferences and behaviors.
TV buyers and sellers should be tracking placements on an audience basis, rather than networks, platforms, or programs. When campaigns are analyzed and placed on an audience, marketers can find and target the person they want, no matter what FAST channel, platform, other app, or TV channel they may be viewing.
How buyers should react
With the digitization of TV, we are getting to the point where we can track and measure every consumer action, and serving the right ad to the right person is more possible than ever. Targeted, relevant ads yield a stronger return for all partners across the equation.
Leveraging identity helps to make this possible:
- Using identity as the basis for people-based marketing helps your buys to target the real people that are the right audiences for your campaigns.
- Within data collaboration for marketers, identity can enable improved outcomes like better targeting and audience suppression, powering better consumer experiences.
- An identity spine also helps buyers to create a holistic view of their campaigns, enabling real-time adjustments and maximizing efficiency.
- Identity also helps TV publishers build their first-party graphs and enhance their available inventory for purchase.
This also compliments cross-screen. For example, toy companies historically bought and booked TV from October through Easter – now they can leverage audience enablement for first-party data and third-party data to target potential toy buyers through all milestones in a year.
How sellers should react
Premium inventory is still the most precious and protected asset on the supply side. This makes it even more important to ensure that the bands of inventory are analyzed and monetized properly in order to attract the proper dollar value.
Amidst this fragmented landscape, publishers’ opportunities to deliver the right audiences at the right time, and create the most value for all parties, is more important than ever. Identity and cross-screen measurement for data collaboration enable publishers to value and sell audiences across all buckets of inventory. Additionally, data collaboration for cross-screen measurement and analytics enables buyers to achieve the results they’re looking for. As buyers and sellers prioritize tracking placements on an audience basis, it’s critical that they have the data collaboration capabilities to understand their investments everywhere their audiences are.
To learn more about how to maximize convergent TV in 2023, download LiveRamp’s ebook here.