Is Connected TV the Future of Advertising?
What is Connected TV?
A Connected TV (CTV) refers to any TV screen that can stream digital video. Digital video is content that is transmitted over-the-top (OTT). Whether through built-in Smart TV capabilities, a dedicated external streaming device, or even a gaming console, Connected TVs are finding their way into more consumer’s homes than ever before. Whilst Connected TV presents huge convenience benefits for consumers, the CTV phenomenon is also revolutionising the TV advertising market.
For live events and linear television channels, cloud playout software can be utilised to broadcast content from the broadcaster/content provider to the desired outlet. This could be via an app on a Smart TV, or directly through satellite transmission.
What are some popular examples of Connected TV platforms?
It’s likely that you have at least one Connected TV in your household, if not more. There are four main categories, with some popular examples:
Smart TV sets:
- TCL – A popular choice in the US with a wide range of 4K Smart TVs
- Samsung – Crystal UHD 4K & 8K TVs with Smart capabilities as standard
- LG – From budget 4K Smart options all the way up to 88” 8K
- Panasonic – Full HD LED Smart viewing at a mid-range price point
- HiSense – Value range of Smart Ultra HD TVs
- Philips – A range of UHD Smart TVs with Google Assistant and Alexa integration
- Vizio – 4K UHD Smart TVs at a range of prices and sizes
- Sony – The infamous Sony Bravia range has a range of impressive Smart TVs
Operator set-top boxes:
- Facebook’s Portal TV – Camera-focused set-top box from the social media giant
- Huawei – Popular set-top box manufacturer
- Airtel Digital TV – Pioneers of DTH television in India
- Freebox – Popular telecom & TV bundle boxes in France
- Xfinity X1 – Comcast’s answer to IPTV set-top boxes
- Sky Q – Subscription-based TV entertainment service
- Virgin TV Box – Pay TV / cable television service
- BT TNOWTV – 4K streaming box with voice search capability
- V – Subscription IPTV service
- Amazon Fire TV – Mass-adopted streaming device from Amazon
- Roku – Revolutionary streaming device for OTT
- Apple TV – Digital media player from Apple
- Google Chromecast – Small dongles for
- Nvidia Shield TV – AI upscaling and a host of other innovations from Nvidia
- TiVo Stream 4K – Android powered streaming player
- Playstation – A host of live and on-demand apps available
- Xbox – The Microsoft store also benefits from a huge range of OTT apps
- Nintendo – The Nintendo eShop supports some, but not all entertainment apps
Generally the categories of Connected TV overlap, with households having more than one TV connecting to the internet or various devices on different TV sets. Despite this, there are clear favourites. In the UK, for example, whilst 41% of homes had an internet connected games console, only 11% owned a dedicated streaming ‘stick’ (Ofcom, 2020).
Connected TV for advertising – what are the benefits?
The CTV phenomenon presents real opportunities for innovation within the advertising landscape. Whilst traditional TV remains at the forefront of advertisement, increased consumer uptake of CTV allows advertisers to take a cross-channel, integrated approach, bridging the gap between traditional and digital media channels. By leveraging consumers’ digital identities, practitioners can create targeted, interactive ad products that, whilst reaching the masses usually associated with television, also benefit from the flexibility associated with the digital landscape.
Ultra-specific targeting and segmentation will ensure that advertiser budget is better spent when serving ads, and the consumers receiving them will benefit from better relevancy. CTV also supports the serving of high quality ads in a variety of different formats, improving the overall consumer experience. Many viewers of CTV are considered ‘premium audiences’; whether they are watching pay-per-view sports or using expensive subscription video on demand platforms, advertisers can present higher value and more attractive ad placements.
Have any brands/providers suffered at the hands of not implementing Connected TV quickly enough?
Growth of CTV in the US is immense, typified by around 80% of US households having at least one CTV device. This trend is set to continue as stay-at-home orders over the past year have sparked a rise in consumer content consumption. Major CTV manufacturers now have the ability to leverage their scale across the world to gain access to inventory from TV and video content providers. This, in combination with their own data to sell against this content, creates a powerful new directory of premium video inventory.
On the other hand, CTV in the European marketplace is largely underdeveloped. Compared to the US, commercial broadcasters maintain a strong proportion of audiences, creating barriers to unlocking the full potential of CTV. This is largely due to a more limited access to premium video inventory. Despite being on the back foot to their US counterparts, European broadcasting and advertising companies, along with trade bodies,and support from conglomerates like Google, Roku and Fincons Group have established the European Connected TV Initiative. The initiative focuses on moving the technology forwards and finding solutions to the difficulties faced in the CTV industry.
For broadcasters, navigating the Connected TV landscape can feel a bit confusing. How can you make the most of this new wave? What are your options when it comes to integrations? PlayBox Technology has been connecting the dots for broadcasters for over 15 years. We specialise in playout and streaming technology, getting your content from A to B, and we work with a number of partners to assist our clients in making the most out of a Connected TV presence.