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What shift? Top advertisers and media agencies think linear TV viewing (and spending) will only increase

Last week, Videology - the programmatic video and TV software company – released the results of a new study it commissioned from Forrester entitled, “TV And Digital Video Evolve As Complementary Allies.” The study was designed to take the pulse of buyers and sellers about the current video and TV advertising landscape.

The results, with the rise of cord cutting, over the top platforms, and mobile viewing, are fairly surprising.

Surveyed participants included 100 decision-makers from US advertisers, agencies, and media companies and they were asked their thoughts about the next three years:

- 73 per cent predict an increase in the consumption of full-length shows online

- 77 per cent predict an increase in smartphone video viewing

- 79 per cent predict more time will be spent watching smart TVs with a direct internet connection

The results were introduced at Videology’s Upfront/Newfront event last week and were discussed by a panel that was moderated by Michael Kassan (chairman & ceo, MediaLink) and that included Ben Jankoski (group head, global media, MasterCard), Kern Schireson (evp, Viacom Media Networks), Doug Ray (U.S. ceo, Carat), and Eric Solomon (svp, product leadership, Nielsen).

If the panelists were surprised that respondents predict such a large increase in time spent watching connected TVs, they were not surprised that 72per cent of respondents expect video buying to become more programmatic.

Also last week, Mike Shields of the Wall Street Journal reported that AT&T is partnering with Videoloy to introduce programmatic linear TV buying to a select group of advertisers across its U-Verse and DirecTV households. 

Programmatic TV, however, presents a new set of challenges. As Ray noted, with TV becoming more addressable, buyers and creative agencies will want to create many more sets of ads to reach different households. But it may be worth it; Jankowski said MasterCard would be willing to pay more of a premium to reach these newly identifiable audiences.

It is clear that buyers and sellers will more easily be able to reach target audiences, but soon it may not matter whether they do so via linear TV or other mediums. 71 per cent of buyers and sellers predict TV and video buying will merge and as Kassan said, “We need to stop saying ‘TV’ and just say ‘video.’”

The video and TV merger is already happening in some ways, but it will only be fully realized as long as there’s accurate cross-device measurement tools.

Solomon spoke of the ways Nielsen’s Total Audience Measurement and Media Impact products were working toward accomplishing this; Schireson mentioned the opportunity that the recent Rentrak and comScore merger presented and also described the ways in which Viacom was approaching storytelling and creating rich experiences across all available platforms.

Below, additional results from the Forrester study, which can be downloaded here:

- 72 per cent expect that video buying will become more programmatic in the next three years

- 71 per cent think advertisers will shift dollars from linear TV to digital channels in the coming years, up from 65% in 2013

- 76 per cent believe technology will be a crucial component for success, an increase from 66 per cent in 2013

- Surveyed participants cited their top challenges in digital video were managing different technologies and formats for ads on each device (69 per cent), understanding cross-platform viewing behavior of audiences (54per cent) and measuring campaign performance (54 per cent).

- 50 per cent cited concerns around video ad fraud or bots negatively affecting their ad buying spend

- 47 per cent cited concerns around video ad viewability negatively affecting their ad buying spend

- Almost one-third of buyers said that difficulty with measurement would have a negative impact on their video buying in the future. Advertisers (44 per cent) were more than twice as likely as agencies (21 per cent) to agree that measurement concerns caused them to hold back.

Featured by The Drum