Save your FREE seat for Streaming Media Connect this August. Register Now!
  • April 7, 2023
  • By Rose McGovern AVP, Digital Client Success and Operations at DIRECTV Advertising
  • Blog

In the Accelerating Shift from Linear to CTV, Advertisers Must Prioritize Progress Over Perfection

Article Featured Image

With streaming viewership recently surpassing cable for the first time, CTV is becoming a top priority for advertisers. As consumers continue to shift the way they watch TV – toggling between live TV and VOD, linear and digital – advertisers must adapt to meet the moment or risk being left behind by the viewers they need to reach.

With more ways than ever to reach consumers, advertisers must make sure that they are creating a truly consumer-first approach and should look no further than the massive shift from desktop to mobile as an example of how to navigate the evolution of consumer habits.

Lessons Learned from the Desktop to Mobile Shift

Before there was the mobile phone, advertisers spent most of their money and attention on desktop and display. Today, the mobile phone is now virtually everyone’s primary screen, with Americans spending a third of their waking hours on mobile devices in 2021. Even though consumers quickly shifted their attention to mobile, marketers initially dragged their feet on evolving their strategies and spend to include this new platform.

As mobile phones took over, marketers found themselves holding back because they weren’t able to measure holistically or attain attribution through models that were designed for desktop. Targeting, measurement, standardization and brand safety were all areas of concern for advertisers who were not quite ready to make the jump. While those were all realistic concerns, marketers who waited for ideal measurement and standardization missed the full audience reach. We’re seeing the same pattern with advertisers again on the journey between linear and CTV.

Prioritizing Progress Over Perfection

We know that today’s consumers are streaming at high numbers, and while CTV ad spend is expected to grow 14.4% this year, marketers must learn from recent history and meet their evolving audiences without hesitation. From an advertiser perspective, the rise of CTV is very similar to the launch of mobile – when advertisers only had impressions to rely on without measurement or attribution. So while viewers are watching TV in any format – it’s all TV to them – marketers hesitated to invest due to the lack of sophisticated data and insights.

When these types of industry shifts happen, the response should be to prioritize progress over perfection. By waiting for measurement and standardization to be perfect, advertisers are missing out on major opportunities to reach larger audiences in impactful ways. With so many players in the industry today offering unique insights and solutions, advertisers must identify strategic partners who can provide insights, data, and the right metrics to show the impact CTV advertising has.

Bridging the Gap Between Linear and CTV

Like desktops, linear TV still holds value for advertisers even though streaming now holds a large piece of the pie. According to Nielsen, linear TV, and ad-supported streaming services actually reach nearly the same amount of people across ages .

When advertising across linear and digital, addressable can be used as a unifying strategy to reach an audience holistically across multiple channels. By combining linear’s scale and digital’s targeting, marketers can hone in on specific audience segments and key demos while improving efficiency and reach. This allows marketers to reach millions more viewers while controlling audience overlap and effectively measuring outcomes. It’s clear that traditional TV has changed, and the world of CTV is growing quickly, but marketers shouldn’t stall to meet the audience where they are.

Success Lies in Continual Progress

As the industry continues to change, the key for advertisers is to prioritize progress over perfection and take lessons learned from the desktop to mobile shift into their ongoing journey between linear and CTV. Too many marketers have missed out on reaching much larger, more diverse audiences because they waited too long to embrace the unknown of mobile and CTV.

Today, the most successful advertisers are the ones who prioritize industry progress and are not afraid to embrace new technology and shift their dollars accordingly. And while campaign strategies are unique to each brand, those who clearly understand where their audiences are – whether on linear, streaming or both – will reap the benefits. If marketers repeat their own history and hold out for perfection, they risk being left behind and missing out on the very consumers they need to reach.

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

Streaming Covers
for qualified subscribers
Subscribe Now Current Issue Past Issues
Related Articles

How Advertisers Can Try to Avoid Getting Stuck in VPPA Limbo with Their CTV and Video Data

Mitch Eisenberg of Alliant discusses how a 35-year-old piece of legislation—the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA)—is sparking lawsuits and sowing confusion within the CTV and video ad space, and he outlines some safe and practical strategies that marketers can take to navigate the VPPA and reach the audiences that matter most to them.

YouTube Tests Its Advertising Sway--Side-Stepping Standards, Winning Budgets

YouTube may be too big to ignore. The question for advertisers might be - is it so big that it doesn't have to play by the rules? Hunter Terry of Lotame discusses many of the unusual and unexpected advertising advantages that YouTube currently possesses and what that means for the overall CTV advertising industry.

Gen Z’s New Frontier: Elusive Generation Inspires Innovative Marketing

Gen Z's preference for streaming and digital devices has driven the growth of Connected TV (CTV) as advertisers focus on delivering personalized and authentic ads through CTV to target this generation. Gijsbert Pols of Adjust discusses how advertisers are shifting budgets towards CTV due to its advanced metrics, real-time data, and ability to engage Gen Z with tailored content, making it a key driver of advertising growth.

Why Ad Monitoring on Real Devices Is Essential for OTT Performance

Yoann Hinard, COO at Witbe, outlines why ad monitoring on real devices is essential for OTT performance

Debunking the Top 7 Myths About Broadcast TV Advertising and Marketplace Buying

Broadcast TV has long been the most effective medium for building brand awareness. Still, it's considered notoriously tricky to buy, often thought of as reserved for major brands with big budgets. But Brian Thoman of WideOrbit says that new marketplace technologies are making broadcast TV easier to buy than ever before, and in this article, he debunks the top 7 myths about broadcast TV advertising and marketplace buying.

CTV Halo Effect: The Revolutionizing Impact of Cross-platform Performance Marketing

Andrey Kazakov, AppLovin's VP of Demand, discusses how the CTV Halo Effect is paving the way for advertisers to access new marketing avenues, expanding both reach, accessibility, and creating new opportunities for cross-platform campaigns while opening more ways to guide consumers through the conversion funnels and drive high-value, down-funnel conversion events.

CTV Success Requires Solving its Biggest Hurdle: Audience Confusion

Brittany Powers, Head of Advanced TV at Alliant, discusses the issues with streaming and CTV advertising around who is in charge of dictating and executing audience targeting strategies, and she outlines a path forward for brands, agencies, and streaming platforms.

Warner Bros. Discovery Announces New Measurement & Attribution Partners to Provide Campaign Effectiveness Insights for Advertisers

The global media & entertainment company welcomes six partners to demonstrate full-funnel impact of advertising campaigns across portfolio of premium entertainment, sports, news & lifestyle brands

Data Will Guide Media Execs Through Economic Uncertainty

Mark Moeder, CEO of SymphonyAI Media, discusses why a "wait and see" approach is a toxic combination for media executives sitting on troves of data.

Contextual Targeting: TV Advertising's Next-Level Move

Modern TV advertising is in a growth phase. Advertisers face new challenges as the landscape shifts from broadcast and cable to a new world of AVOD and FAST. Asrah Mohammed of Waymark discusses contextual targeting, a strategy that could help navigate this new landscape.

The New CTV Challenges of Advertising Metrics

The first article in a series sponsored by Progress Partners and its Executive-in-Residence program addressing the big questions the streaming industry is grappling with regarding advertising metrics.

Beer, Betting, and Streaming, Oh My! A Super Bowl Advertising Analysis

Super Bowl ads, while a relatively small sample, are a decent indicator of trends in overall advertising demand. John Link from AdImpact reviews the last three years, and the trends are clear: a few categories like Crypto and Covid-related PSAs are waning, largely being replaced by new categories like Sports Betting and Streaming, and there is more competition in established categories like QSR and Beer.

Will CTV Ever Be a Buyer’s Market?

Despite a worldwide ad spending slowdown, CTV is expected to continue its meteoric growth into 2023. While CTV is so popular it's immune to spending cuts, it still has issues, especially regarding brand safety, suitability, and data transparency. Mario Diez, CEO Peer39, discusses the challenges currently facing CTV.

Why Broadcasters Need a Swiss Army Knife to Fix Video Advertising

Greg Morrow of Bitcentral looks at how publishers now need a "swiss army knife" of tools to realize their advertising potential. With content spread across so many distribution points and in different forms, publishers now need to integrate a separate toolset for each one to thrive in today's market.