Marketers Don't Agree on What 'Advanced TV' Means, but Say They'll Spend More There Next Year

Is It Just Anything but Traditional TV?

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About 78% of advertisers say they have used some form of advanced TV in their marketing efforts, according to a study released Thursday by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, but then again most of them can't decide exactly what advanced TV is.

It's hard to blame them. "Advanced TV is everything that is TV, but isn't like TV as we've always known it," the IAB said in a 15-page primer for brands and ad buyers released last June. While targeted TV ads come to mind most often, anything beyond traditional linear could qualify, according to respondents in the new study.

Of the 255 brand and agency decision-makers who were surveyed, nearly 3 out of 5 weren't sure about the differences between advanced TV and web-connected TV.

"Advanced TV to me means just going beyond linear television," the study quotes an unnamed agency director as saying. "So really any sort of programming you would do where you would use TV as your medium, but it would have some sort of digital technology around it so that it can be either interactive or making TV more addressable and accountable than just your standard linear television."

Despite the fuzziness, or perhaps because of it, 68% of respondents said they are alrady allocating ad dollars from traditional TV budgets to fund some advanced TV activity, and 72% said they see advanced TV becoming an important advertising platform within five years.

And while the current median budget allocation for advanced TV is a measly $1.4 million, 70% of advertisers expect to spend more on the medium within the next year, the study found.

Still, there are concerns despite the eagerness to spend more in the space, starting with confusion about the technical processes (cited by 35% of respondents as an obstacle), high costs (33%) and a lack of transparency in the process (30%).

The IAB also said Thursday that it plans to establish a committee devoted to the subject of advanced TV.

The study was sponsored by Samsung and AT&T, both of whom have an interest in the growth of the sector. It was conducted by Advertiser Perceptions from June 29 to July 8. Those surveyed needed to be media decision makers at a company responsible for more than $1 million in total ad spend in 2014, the study said.