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The Future of CTV Will Be Powered by Commerce Media Data

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There are two rising superpowers in the digital marketing space right now, and they’re not competing. They’re converging. That’s fantastic news for marketers.

Thanks to the growing convergence of CTV and commerce media, the “shoppable” future of TV that has long been promised is upon us. In 2024, the average U.S. adult is spending nearly a full hour more with digital video each day than they are with traditional TV, a shift in power that has enabled enhanced data capabilities for advertisers. At the same time, U.S. commerce media spending has skyrocketed to nearly $60 billion. Alongside this spend, advertiser awareness of the value of first-party shopper data has grown, driving commerce media spend driven deeper into CTV.

Integrating CTV and commerce media strategies offers advertisers an unparalleled opportunity to enhance brand visibility, engagement, and conversion rates across the consumer journey. However, taking full advantage of this growing opportunity requires an awareness of both the partners that are driving this convergence, as well as the emerging CTV formats that will create truly shoppable experiences. Let’s dig deeper into both areas.

A Fast-Evolving Partnership Landscape

The converged commerce media-CTV landscape has changed dramatically in a very short amount of time. Since spring 2023, commerce media-CTV partnerships have multiplied. For example:

The above partnerships are just the tip of the iceberg. From an advertiser standpoint, making the most of the converged TV landscape could involve partnering directly with major retailers that are offering CTV advertising solutions out of the box. Alternatively, they can work with sell-side technology partners that are bringing together retail audience data with premium CTV inventory to enable campaigns across multiple platforms.

The Shoppable Future of CTV Formats

In addition to a growing array of partnerships that will integrate commerce media data into the purchasing of CTV inventory, advertisers are going to see new opportunities emerge to bring more shoppable CTV experiences to fruition. For example:

  • Scrollable CTV ads: According to BrightLine, scrollable CTV ads (i.e., ads that users can explore by clicking and scrolling to explore products and services) are already delivering outsized results for brands with an impressive 1.4 percent engagement rate.
  • Integrated shopping platforms: New platforms are being integrated directly into smart TVs, allowing viewers to shop products seen in shows, advertisements, or live broadcasts instantly. These integrations make the process seamless, as viewers can purchase items using their remote control without needing a separate device.
  • QR code integration: Many broadcasters are now embedding QR codes into their content, which viewers can scan with their smartphones to access product pages instantly. This method bridges the gap between traditional TV viewing and online shopping, making the process more interactive and immediate.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) enhancements: AI is being used to enhance the shopping experience by providing personalized recommendations based on the viewer's watching habits and preferences. This technology can also automatically identify and tag products shown in TV programs or ads, making them easily accessible for viewers to purchase.
  • Voice commands: With the rise of voice-controlled assistants in smart TVs, viewers can now find and buy products using voice commands. This hands-free approach simplifies the process of searching for products seen on TV, improving accessibility and convenience.

As these enhanced ad opportunities become more widely available, advertisers are understandably asking whether the associated higher CPMs are worth the price. While the cost of entry might appear higher, even a surface-level analysis of the resulting value should be enough to overcome advertiser hesitancy.

Leveraging CTV and commerce media data together can enable brands to improve their media efficiency and brand outcomes by aligning spend with customer value rather than impressions. Traditionally, buyers have planned their TV campaigns based on broad age and gender demographics and related CPP and CPM currencies. CTV, on the other hand, enables brands to evolve beyond traditional CPM-centric and demographic-based targeting toward richer value-based bidding. This enhanced targeting lets advertisers direct their investments toward engagements that will offer the highest ROI.

The convergence of CTV and commerce media provides an opportunity that brands have long coveted: the ability to create more cohesive omnichannel campaigns. By leveraging commerce media data, brands can engage customers both on their TVs at home and on their smartphones or computers when shopping online, simultaneously reinforcing brand messaging and driving conversions. But it can only work when buyers break down the silos between their brand and performance strategies and plan for CTV and commerce media together.

This is what happens when superpowers unite.

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

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