The global pandemic may have temporarily shut down Hollywood and live experiences, but it hasn’t dampened consumer appetite for entertainment. Streaming video in particular has surged in popularity as audiences stayed home, with consumption up 60 percent across connected TV and other digital streaming services.
This new wave is taking place at a time when consumers were already rethinking their media habits. Users are leveraging devices and connected TV, or CTV, to pair with or even enhance what they’ve traditionally watched in a linear environment, challenging marketers and content creators to find the right media mix to meet the changing needs of their audiences.
Still, the accelerated pace of change does not mean brands and marketers need to cut the cord on traditional TV spend altogether. Television audiences are more fragmented than ever and will tune into different video channels and formats depending on the situation. For example, they might stream a show on mobile while bored on public transit, then turn on cable news at home. To reach these viewers wherever they are, advertisers are investing in CTV as a complement to their linear TV ad spend. In fact, more than half of buyers are shifting ad dollars from broadcasting (53 percent) and cable (52 percent) to CTV, according to the IAB U.S. 2020 Digital Video Advertising Spend Report.
The reason for the growing interest in CTV? It brings the seamless planning, precise audience targeting and advanced measurement capabilities of programmatic to TV campaigns, allowing marketers to activate campaigns quickly and provide nimble optimization capabilities. That’s especially important as we approach an upfront season like no other.
With the combination of a lack of “anchor programming,” the current economic outlook and an influx of new streaming outlets, there are fewer upfront commitments and a robust scatter market. In fact, $10 billion is predicted to shift from the standard upfront schedules in 2020 to the scatter market, where flexibility, ease of campaign planning and nimble optimization strategies are increasingly important. Buyers need more control and flexibility to navigate this new landscape, and CTV offers just that.
The events of the last few months have been major catalysts for change, and brands must be strategically nimble to integrate the new channels and formats consumers are engaging with into their own media mix. At Verizon Media, for example, we’ve gotten creative to efficiently activate and package our premium content supply for buyers. Through our 30 owned-and-operated premium brands, we’ve opened publisher partnerships and packages to help brands navigate new opportunities in native, digital-out-of-home (DOOH), video, CTV and more.
Right now, brands need to shift their thinking to understand how linear and CTV can complement each other in new and creative ways. At the same time, smart marketers must be willing to move quickly to take advantage of these new opportunities during the current disruption to business as usual.
CTV can offer buyers the flexibility they want, including budget allocations and optimizations, granular targeting, speed of buying and cost efficiency. For more traditional marketers, CTV is a creative solution to increase the effectiveness of a linear buy. And for all marketers, taking advantage of new opportunities is essential in order to survive and even grow in this time of unprecedented change.