Growing CTV opportunity

In the US, an estimated $13.4bn will be spent on CTV ads this year (up 48% YoY), with $6.7bn of that being purchased programmatically.  There’s a great timeline of 2021 CTV innovation on TheDrum covering everything from the pandemic-driven rise of ad-supported streaming and video on-demand, and the growing interest of Smart TVs to how CTV media buying/selling works.

My prediction is that more CTV will be transacted via OMP (Open Marketplace) in the years ahead due to growing supply volumes, and in line with advances around brand safety and measurement

paul gubbins, VP of CTV strategy at publica

Cara Lewis of Dentsu also writes in TheDrum about the evolution of TV advertising covering its fragmented landscape, use of data, and the importance of quality not just cost efficiency – a mantra that transcends TV advertising!

Buying against a cheap CPM ensures cost efficiency, but offers no guarantees to reach an audience that intends to purchase a product, download an app or head to a dealership. However, if we look to business outcomes and other currencies, we will reach our audiences more effectively.

Cara Lewis, executive vice-president, head of US media investment at Dentsu

With Amazon reportedly launching Smart TV sets in the US to expand its presence in CTV beyond its Fire TV stick and related offerings, Amazon’s huge amount of consumer data puts it in a strong position.  Amazon also entered Kantar’s consumer top 5 global digital platforms ad equity ranking for the first time, getting to 2nd place behind TikTok, showing how significant retail media has become, and how trusted by consumers the Amazon brand is.

Dangers of subscription fatigue

The pandemic has built a taste for subscriptions with Europe, for instance, seeing its subscription services market grow to $558bn, according to ING, with media & content services accounting for 34%.  Digiday’s Media Briefing this week referenced some stats from earlier this year around growing subscription revenue as a “large” or “very large” focus for nearly 60% with only 35% considering it a “large” portion of revenues.

However, journalist Alice Clarke thinks that the “internet is killing itself with a thousand micro subscriptions” suggesting that this could be pricing people out of the very communities media creates.  Alice argues that whilst subscriptions work well for sites & platforms with highly invested content, overuse of the model goes against Tim Berners-Lee’s original vision for the internet as an open platform for everyone.

I’m happy to subscribe to newspapers, suitably stocked streaming services and other things that take a lot of work and give good value for money. But with every random site and user putting itself behind a monthly subscription, the social internet as we know it will die while bleeding users dry (still selling their data)

Alice Clarke, Journalist

Whilst subscriptions are one post-cookie option, brands and publishers that can master ethical data practices will thrive in a post-cookie world e.g. human-led, zero party data collected via models such as surveys.  With 64% of consumers surveyed by YouGov saying they have little or no trust in the apps in regards to protecting their data, it’s imperative that consumers have transparency & control over use of their data and engage in the process, rather than passively consenting.

Allowing consumers to monetize their data creates a marketplace that both gives consumers control of where their data ends up, and allows brands to better understand their audience through more robust, connected data streams.

Could browser-level controls fix ‘cookie fatigue’?

Following recent criticism of the endless parade of cookie pop-ups from UK digital minister Oliver Dowden, the UK’s ICO has, this week, reportedly urged its G7 counterparts to implement browser/app/device level privacy preferences.  Information commissioner Elizabeth Denham is arguing that the current approach lacks meaningful controls over privacy as users just “agree” with pop-ups without engaging, whilst the process is costly to sites and can lead to poor user experience.

Other interesting listens, read and numbers

  • eMarketers ‘By the numbers’ podcast this week covered slowing subscription growth (e.g. NY Times added 140k new subscribers in Q2 – it’s lowest net gain since 2018), rebounding digital ad revenue, and M&A as a way of growing first party data assets.
  • Reddit continued with their non-programmatic approach with Conversation Placement ads, which sit within the conversation thread, enabling advertisers to buy based on interests/topics in the post.
  • Context can significantly impact ad memorability, increasing it by up to 40% according to Integral Ad Sciences and Neuro-Insight.

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