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Unleashing the potential of advanced TV

A recent MiQ survey in Singapore found that 75% of respondents prefer free or ad-supported content over ad-free content

Advanced TV has been top of mind for marketers and brands as they try to understand how to leverage its potential. A 2019 Limelight report found that between 2017 and 2019, consumer viewing on smart TVs or connected devices increased by 26%. Stay-at-home orders under Covid-19 have only accelerated this trend.

From January to May 2020, data from Xandr’s platform reflects a 110% increase in CTV impressions sold and a 50% increase in video impressions sold in the Apac region alone. Further, Asia is predicted to be one of the fastest-growing countries for online video globally. By 2024, the industry is expected to hit $52bn, doubling from 2019, growing by 4.5% annually compared to 2.5% in North America.

To capitalise on shifting consumption habits, brands need to understand both the challenges they are facing as well as the opportunities that lie ahead as Advanced TV and all that it encompasses becomes the viewing method of choice for consumers around the world.

New channels bring new challenges

Today, creating media plans has become increasingly fragmented and a multi-screen strategy should be considered. Within this space, understanding advanced TV, which represents broadcast quality content delivered outside of traditional, linear means, has become increasingly critical to successful campaigns.

Advanced TV formats can be consumed on a number of devices, ranging from connected TV (CTV) – or a television that is connected to the internet via an external device like Apple TV or Roku – tablet, or mobile.

Some of the key formats to understand include:

  • OTT – OTT, or over-the-top TV, refers to TV-like video content delivered over the internet, bypassing the TV infrastructure.
  • SVOD – SVOD, or subscription video-on-demand, provides users with a premium, ad-free experience in exchange for a fixed monthly subscription fee. Examples include Disney+, Netflix, Apple TV+.
  • AVOD – AVOD, or advertising video-on-demand, is similar to SVOD, but offers either a free or reduced-price version that includes ads. Streaming services like iflix and Viu are included in this category.

The rising number of streaming platforms gives consumers more choice than ever, posing two very prominent challenges for advertisers. Firstly, they need to ensure that they are still able to execute campaigns as ad-free models like SVOD become more popular. Secondly, they must ensure their messages are continuing to reach audiences across the increasing number of screens and devices in a meaningful way.

Opportunities in the new landscape

Leading marketers maintain that advertisers with higher share of voice during difficult times (such as a recession) ultimately benefit through increased connection with consumers. With Disney+ and Apple TV launching in our region this year, consumers have a huge amount of choice when it comes to ad free content. However, research shows that consumers still understand the need for advertising. In fact, a recent MiQ survey in Singapore found that 75% of respondents prefer free or ad-supported content over ad-free content via a subscription service. Moreover, three in five respondents also said that advertising in the content they consume is a necessary trade-off to get free or cheaper content. This sentiment is echoed globally, with almost four in five respondents from around the world agreeing. There is a fantastic opportunity in our region to support the growth of quality, ad supported content. It is no surprise that during lockdown consumption of AVOD services such as Viu, iflix and iQIYI rocketed alongside SVOD as consumers exhausted their Netflix libraries and looked to new pools of content to dip into.

Further, as television content is increasingly connected to the internet, there is an opportunity for adverting campaigns to become more accurate and precise. Internet connection – the foundation to CTV, OTT and VOD models – means there are increased data points and insights into the consumer journey. This, in turn, means that brands have the opportunity to reach more relevant and interested audiences, ultimately increasing the ROI on their media spend.

What buyers need for the future

It is abundantly clear that the future of TV will not rely on just one delivery model. From traditional linear TV to CTV, OTT and the increasing number of SVOD and AVOD services, content will continue to be consumed across a number of devices and platforms.

As a result, buyers, along with the entire advertising ecosystem, will need to shift strategies to align with the evolving habits of target audiences. For technology platforms specifically, this means providing solutions that offer unified planning, measurement and activation standards across screens.

While tools like Virtual Australia, or VOZ, Australia’s cross-platform planning and reporting tool, have already been introduced to the market, we only expect this concept to grow and expand as technology platforms continue to power intelligent and customised campaigns across all screens via compelling data and premium content.

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