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  • Alan Walz

Securing Commercial Reach and Attention in the New Television and Video Landscape

Updated: Oct 7, 2021

Today, as quality video content and engaged audiences are increasingly migrating to new platforms, the proportion of advertising opportunities are not. We’re now in a world with Netflix, Amazon and the rapid expansion of other subscription-funded, ad-free and reduced-ad platforms, plus cord-cutters, ad skipping, ad blockers, ad fraud, and increased multi-tasking. This is only the beginning.

In this changing environment, commercial reach and attention is at a premium. While the revenues for content providers are increasingly less dependent upon ad supported models, for marketers and their agencies, it’s not content but the value of an actual commercial exposure that’s “King”. Rather than being commoditized, as increasing demand outweighs a narrowing supply, the premiums on this value will grow exponentially.

Digital video will increasingly provide new opportunities, however there’s a much wider disparity in the types of digital content and audience ad engagement compared to linear television. Some estimates report that overall less than 20% of digital video ads are watched for more than two seconds, however this estimate is inclusive of ads in content that ranges from the limited, highest quality, full-episode premium scripted programs to widespread,

short-form user-generated content.

Linear television, on the other hand, continues to provide the quality environments and brand safety required by marketers, along with more than 75% of all viewing minutes to video across all devices. Highly-engaged audiences are measured using a national currency based on their exposure to ads, not programs, and marketers find trends in both sales and brand awareness continue to relate most directly to changes in their television campaigns. As linear TV audiences migrate to content on platforms that are less supportive of ads, it’s rather ironic that the value of linear television will become even more distinctive and sought-after for its ability to deliver quality commercial exposures. However, as audiences fragment, linear television has to be mined differently.

Today’s media buyers and sellers need quicker tools and access to smarter data in order to make better informed and executed decisions that drive results. There’s no doubt the pace of growth in digital advertising continues to benefit more directly from the technologies that enable easier ad buying and data-driven schedule management, rather than a result of further audience growth. Linear television, along with other non-digital media, must become more technologically automated and data-enabled to insure their distinctive values are not mitigated by the complexities of legacy technologies and processes to plan, buy, steward and react. Meanwhile, it’s essential for marketers and their agencies to rework video-everywhere plans based on commercial audience reach and engagement, evaluating all media assets, compare users’ behaviors, available metrics and currencies before adding or making substitutions.

The revolution across television and video truly is only beginning. As this new landscape unfolds, along with many challenges will be unprecedented opportunities to create, transform and expand the businesses of media buying and selling, fueled by advances in technologies and data that will make innovations possible.

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