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  • January 3, 2022
  • By Navdeep Saini Co-Founder and CEO of DistroScale, parent company of DistroTV
  • Blog

How Legacy Publishers Should Harness the Power of CTV in 2022

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The adoption of CTV is gaining momentum every day, so it should come as no surprise that legacy publishers want to throw their hat into the streaming world. In the last couple of years, long-standing print publishers, like The Economist and The Washington Post, have launched their own streaming channels as an extension of their media offerings. We are living in an age in which innovation breeds success, so it just makes sense for publications to lean into the world of CTV and its guaranteed growth in the new year.

Let's explore how legacy publishers can not only discover, but effectively harness the power of CTV to grow their audience base and diversify their available content.

2021 Was All About Navigating the 'COVID Content Collapse.' 2022 Is About Harnessing It

Pandemic-induced behaviors and stay-at-home mandates led to an uptick in streaming TV services. CTV especially has become one of the fastest growing entertainment mediums in the nation, with investments in the category growing by a whopping 40%+ in 2020, and another 34% in 2021. In fact, CTV ad spend is on track to surpass $100B by 2030. 

With more consumers cutting the cable cord—and any and all ties to linear TV in some cases—we are well in the trenches of what we pegged at the beginning of 2021 as the 'COVID Content Collapse.' While 2021 was all about coming to terms with this new terrain and learning how to navigate the CTV boom, 2022 is about harnessing the medium to its full potential. Simply put, it is starting to feel less like a "nice-to-have" and more of a necessity for publishers to engage with the medium if they wish to grow their audiences and keep up with competitors.

Where We're Headed, and Why Publishers Shouldn't Fear the Unknown 

The good news here? It's tri-fold: there is a cost-effective way for publishers to go about expanding their services into CTV territory; most publishers already have all the content they need to get a unique channel up and live in no time; and, lastly, this is a prime way to boost audience engagement through content diversification. Let's unpack that a bit.

Yes, budgets are tight. For publishers, though, creating a streaming TV channel is relatively cost effective, thanks largely to the proliferation of FAST (Free Ad-Supported Streaming TV) services. When we think back to pre-pandemic times, publishers would have had to invest big dollars to effectively build, host, and distribute a new streaming TV channel through subscription-based apps. Today, publishers can get started at little to no upfront cost thanks to the many FAST services popping onto the scene today, and at the same time, they can also begin to immediately accrue recurring revenues off of the channel's viewership—win-win. 

More great news: the viewership is already there, in a sense! Publishers don't have to start from scratch when it comes to accruing a fan base. They have an existing audience of dedicated readers that they've likely worked hard to retain and grow for years, if not decades. Will it be a challenge to convert loyal readers into viewers? Of course; it won't just be a magic transition. But it's not nothing. 

Beyond the viewership, publishers also have most of the content they would need to get a channel set up and primed for successful longevity. They have their storyboards and their editorial plans likely already carved out. Anything currently in the editorial pipeline just needs to be replicated on the video production side. Which, considering that we live in quite literally a Zoom era, and video technology is not only prevalent on a mass scale but is largely intuitive to use, should not pose too much of a burden to publishers either—even if they're just starting out and new to the video content production scene.

At the end of the day, the goal in having publishers extend their content offerings to the CTV medium is to prime themselves for the future—to continue to grow their audience and diversify their content in a way that will have impact, and resonate. CTV allows for content diversification on a grand scale. Further, audience expansion will unlock additional revenue streams through creative advertising, for instance. 

Where Do We Go from Here?

Publishers, now is the time to take the leap. The CTV market potential is astounding. The way for legacy publishers to pioneer the future of content consumption is by tapping into the CTV medium and leveraging it for all it is worth. Leverage your existing resources to reap their full benefits. Grow your audience to new heights. Take the words you publish in the print and online mediums, and bring them to life on the screen. The endemic era is carving the path forward for the future of creative storytelling. Don't be left behind as CTV inevitably grows beyond what we know it as today.

[Editor's note: This is a contributed article from DistroScale. Streaming Media accepts vendor bylines based solely on their value to our readers.]

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