Media Brand Safety Future of TV

Mondelez, True Digital, Publicis and PubMatic on how CTV can be boosted in APAC

By Charlotte McEleny | digital editor

PubMatic

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June 14, 2022 | 9 min read

Digital video viewers in APAC are set to exceed two billion in APAC in 2022, according to eMarketer, setting the scene for CTV spend to be a sound investment for marketers and publishers alike.

As marketers look to spend more in this channel, concerns around scale, transparency and accountability are still topics that need to be addressed.

For the final piece in a series by The Drum and PubMatic about the impact of auction packages on digital media, we asked a series of experts how new technology and strategies can be a booster to the CTV market.

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When consumers watch TV, they don’t differentiate between linear TV and CTV – they expect the same experience on both

What are the biggest challenges hindering the growth of CTV from your perspective?

Sachin Dsouza, director of programmatic supply, APAC, Publicis Media

CTV viewership is growing rapidly across the APAC region. With most marketers adopting an omnichannel strategy to reach consumers, and with APAC being a mobile dominated region, CTV and video are key channels to engage with audiences.

Besides the biggest OTT providers and broadcasters, as video content diversifies across an ever-growing set of channels, the ability to reach that midsize CTV/OTT publishers, therefore reaching that incremental and unique audience, is key. Ensuring addressability and transparency while also growing scale in this environment, is the challenge.

Vijay Kunduri, regional vice-president, OTT/CTV, APAC, PubMatic

Consumers are continuing to embrace CTV across APAC – driven in part by pandemic induced consumption habits. Having said that, from an advertising perspective, CTV is still nascent for several reasons. These include the diverse nature of our region, in terms of CTV providers, languages, government legislation and devices being used to consume content. Additionally, challenges like the lack of audience verification standards, viewability and transparency have been hindering further adoption and growth of CTV.

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Anuj Dahiya, global digital head, Mondelez International

While we are seeing consistent shifts in consumer viewing habits from linear TV to CTV, there is no doubt about the fact that CTV shall be the new dominating vertical in the months/year to come.

However, with every new platform or technology there are strings of challenges attached and likewise with CTV there are questions around: audience targeting for personalization (unlike digital advertising), cost premium attached versus the regular digital video advertising and the corresponding ROI and measurement is still in nascent stages to determine the impact on business KPIs.

David Alexander Sky, director of advertising solutions, True Digital

Smart TV adoption in Thailand has been slow but there are promising growth trends for CTV. However linear TV is still king in this market. Cord-cutting trends are in motion but there are still challenges delivering video campaigns at scale, particularly once you start targeting particular profiles and data sets. CTV requires different video resolution creative files compared to mobile, so this has been a challenge convincing agencies to create different versions for different devices.

Can auction packages go some way to solving these challenges?

Sachin Dsouza, director of programmatic supply, APAC, Publicis Media

Auction packages enable us to have control and curation over the inventory we buy on the open exchange. The improved curation along with verifiability, allows us to provide our clients with the assurance of buying quality at scale.

Vijay Kunduri, regional vice-president, OTT/CTV, APAC, PubMatic

Yes, pre-built and custom auction packages can help address some of the issues around transparency, because they allow media buyers to determine inventory parameters they’re comfortable with. Auction packages give advertisers the ultimate flexibility to secure premium inventory at scale, with less time spent in negotiation and troubleshooting. They benefit publishers too – they have full visibility into which buyers are purchasing their inventory, and benefit from more control over their audiences, inventory and data.

Anuj Dahiya, global digital head, Mondelez International

Auction packaging definitely brings in more transparency and measurement to the entire ecosystem, which enables marketers to have a better understanding of their audiences and the cost they need to invest behind reaching out to those targeting audiences, besides eliminating waste and ad fraud.

Auction packaging would offer a winning combination of audience and context-based buying involving transparency of data to analyze on-demand video inventory and impact optimization tactics. The consumer shift from linear TV to CTV is also driving the need to move from a content-led approach to an audience first approach, which requires the ecosystem to be transparent.

David Alexander Sky, director of advertising solutions, True Digital

Auction packages would be a great way to solve scale issues and allow for premium inventory to be shared easily across DSPs. It would also allow for easier access around event-driven campaigns eg Christmas and national holidays, and large sporting events.

What more can be done as an industry to support the growth of CTV?

Sachin Dsouza, director of programmatic supply, APAC, Publicis Media

Supporting midsized OTT/CTV publishers will be key to having a diverse ecosystem of inventory, in addition to reaching engaged audiences in niche contexts and environments.

Vijay Kunduri, regional vice-president, OTT/CTV, APAC, PubMatic

As budgets shift into CTV, they’re predominantly coming from linear, so collectively we need to ensure the CTV experience for both consumers and media buyers is consistent with linear.

When consumers watch TV, they don’t differentiate between linear TV and CTV – they expect the same experience on both – which, across most of Asia, means free content supported by advertising; the classic ‘commercial break’. So it’s really important that CTV publishers invest in the right technology and work with the right partners so that the ad experience for consumers is as good as or even better than on linear. Without the right tech partners viewers might see ads buffer and play back-to-back which is a bad experience for everyone. But with the right tech, delivery can be as seamless as it is on linear, and even better because ads can be more targeted and relevant.

By the same token, media buyers who are used to buying linear expect a similar ad buying experience. This means agreeing on a common set of standards and measurement criteria that are comparable to linear measurement. And media buyers need better transparency into what they’re buying – on linear, media buyers know exactly what content they’re buying against, but this sort of transparency is often missing on CTV, leading to reservations from brands. Passing content object data signals and utilising automatic content recognition technology will go a long way to solving for this challenge.

Lastly, some education is still needed about the benefits of programmatic for CTV. Most CTV is still bought direct rather than programmatically, but for the format to see real growth, media buyers and publishers need to start realizing the efficiency and scale benefits that programmatic technology can offer.

David Alexander Sky, director of advertising solutions, True Digital

Collaboration between all players in the market – buyers, sellers and tech partners – to help CTV evolve as an advertising medium. The more the market can come together and help each other understand the challenges from each side, the faster those can be overcome and the transformation can continue at a faster rate.

From our conversations with clients, CTV is still a bit unknown, clients are only “dipping their toes in” or running trial style buys at this stage and not buying regularly and with confidence just yet. One common question we get is ‘what is the call to action on a CTV ad?’ Perhaps in the future we will begin to see more brand recall style post-campaign studies to help buyers understand just how effective their campaigns performed and who interacted.

Particularly when convincing TV buyers to shift budgets into CTV, there needs to be some sort of GRP pricing equivalent and combined reach reporting in the market, which I believe is coming from Nielsen.

Read the first article in the series to hear more about how auction package adoption is rising, as well as how this is boosting mobile marketing, in the second article of the series.

Media Brand Safety Future of TV

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PubMatic (Nasdaq: PUBM) is an independent technology company maximizing customer value by delivering digital advertising’s supply chain of the future. PubMatic’s sell-side platform empowers the world’s leading digital content creators across the open internet to control access to their inventory and increase monetization by enabling marketers to drive return on investment and reach addressable audiences across ad formats and devices. Since 2006, our infrastructure-driven approach has allowed for the efficient processing and utilization of data in real time. By delivering scalable and flexible programmatic innovation, we improve outcomes for our customers while championing a vibrant and transparent digital advertising supply chain.

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