The real-world impact of digital video and TV convergence is evident in recent numbers. Based on the latest Winterberry Group advanced TV research, U.S. shelling out for addressable linear and CTV advertising is likely to grow to $47.8 billion in 2026, up from $17.3 billion in 2021.
This staggering 176% increase on the next five years is driven by the fragmentation of viewers and the expanding capabilities of it ecosystem. No more beholden to panel-based age and gender guarantees, brands is now able to bring their audience-first digital ways of the silver screen. Along with new activation capabilities, brands are intrigued by the promise of better quality TV measurement that may give a more accurate knowledge of a campaigns impact than possible in the linear past.
Hurdles holding back advanced TV (ATV) include convoluted pathways to purchasing media, too little standardized identity frameworks and persistent measurement gaps. However, probably the most significant challenges is due to the core of why is ATV so appealing to advertisers: audience data.
Understanding current data challenges in ATV
Despite recent measurement currency shakeups, it industry has been leveraging exactly the same data sets and metrics for a long time. Meanwhile, digital natives use test-and-learn strategies and data science fueled by way of a variety of data sources.
As TV and digital get together, it’ll be crucial for brands to possess broadly accessible, consistent and actionable data sources for planning through measurement. That’s still false today, and its own causing problems for brands in two significant ways.
First, there’s often no standard definition of an audience inside a brand or across its multiple agency partners. Linear TV teams use one data set to define audiences, frequently bought against gross rating points. Any audience expansion efforts then utilize the same approaches.
Meanwhile, digital buyers use different methods to define an audience. They focus on a digital-first buying approach, then utilize it to expand their reach to other addressable TV channels. Based on which team is tasked with owning advanced TV buying, there may be very different definitions of goals and success, creating more confusion about ATV channel strategies.
Secondly, as teams start moving between programmatic and ATV platforms, exactly the same audience data is frequently unavailable. Digital platforms have a huge selection of data sets open to buyers, while newer advanced TV pathways frequently have a select few. The maturation of digital versus ATV must be considered when you compare just how much data can be acquired within each.
While a huge selection of data sources might not be essential to drive a brands ATV strategy, marketers aren’t limited by a purchase data option or a car data option. Digital teams understand why intuitively, but this can be a new thought process for all those with traditional TV backgrounds. In the end, traditional TV buyers are used to actioning on more limited data sets.
Overcoming data barriers to ATV success
Addressing these complex challenges starts with brands being conscious of the audience definition disconnect between linear and digital buyers. Marketers must factor this into how ATV plans are developed, staffed and executed.
Marketing teams are developing more awareness concerning the data open to plan, buy and measure against in ATV. One technique is through cross-team sessions, where marketers gather traditional TV and digital buyers in order that all sides understand the entire scope of available opportunities. This permits the brand to define audiences more granularly than in a normal linear buy and establish KPIs and expectations for that context.
Finally, marketers are encouraging ATV partners to integrate more preferred data sources. Brands and agencies consistently utilizing the same data because they do because of their video, display, social and audio channels could make ATV section of an omnichannel, audience-first approach.
Increased understanding and data access through the entire ATV campaign lifecycle significantly help brands. Brands will deploy consistent audiences across channels, utilize different data sets than competitors, access future-proofed data and create a more refined knowledge of incrementality. Altogether, the proper audience data strategy delivers increasingly robust TV measurement and a better knowledge of campaign performance. Even though many factors get into an effective ATV, brands that align campaigns around an audience-first strategy are winning with viewers sufficient reason for stakeholders.
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