Spring: Flowers bloom, temperatures warm up and the TV Upfront season hits once again. Just as newsworthy these days is the chatter about the digital newfronts as they indicate an intriguing shift in advertiser behavior in our continually evolving content landscape. So what does this mean for Connected TV, a hybrid blend when it comes to both TV and digital advertising?
The most glaring question being asked about in regards to the Connected TV marketplace is what advertisers are doing to address the medium and if dollars are already shifting from traditional TV budgets into connected TV.
The short answer to this question, is that I think we have a bit of time on our hands before we see any sort of major budgetary shifts. I say this in the most bullish way possible, but there exists numerous obstacles that must be overcome in order for large ad dollars to shift from the still effective tried and true towards an embryonic yet rapidly growing medium. The most out in the open of these challenges at current is a lack of awareness and education of the medium itself, device proliferation not yet at scale, as well as device adoption rates still on the low side. I believe we are several years out, before we really see these areas fully addressed. Behind these big challenges, lay smaller side issues that also must be overcome I.E. standardization, fragmentation challenges, and translation issues between converging industries.
What we are beginning to experience however is an increasingly strong interest (and in my opinion need) to begin heavy experimenting and testing within the space.There is a striking call to action to do so. Connected TV holds a vast potential superiority over traditional television buys in many ways. We can track, target and create true two way interactivity within connected television platforms in ways that do not mortgage the benefits of the traditional 10 ft screen. We still maintain ads that can be viewed by groups to create immersive and emotive experiences, but can do so in highly advanced ways that marry the strengths of the TV world with that of digital universe.
Now is the time that agencies can begin to play in this new sandbox and create strategy, benchmarks and studies to allow them the knowledge and experience they need to lead the space. With technology and consumer behavioral patterns moving forward at an exponential pace, brands and agencies will need to have the adaptability and agility to transition very quick from the experimental phase into a value driving position.
The other large catalyst that will shape ad budgets moving towards Connected TV is not just the general proliferation of devices, but more so, robust content experiences that are not on offer to consumers with traditional TV. When we see these begin to expand and drive consumer value, we will see a huge response to take Ad budget away from traditional TV as we follow consumers where they have the ability to be best engaged.
Consumer Value begets consumer engagement, consumer engagement begets media investment. In short there is a vast amount of room for novel content experiences to disrupt the landscape and I believe we are moving in this direction.
Zachary Weiner is CEO of emerging TV consultancy CTV advertising and the Co-Founder of the Connected TV Marketing Association (ctvma.org) follow him on twitter at @itvadvertising