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Future of TV Brand Strategy Open Mic

What does the future look like for CTV in the UK?

By Catherine Cribbin, Head of partnerships

IAB UK

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January 23, 2023 | 6 min read

For The Drum’s 2023 Predictions Deep Dive, IAB UK turn to their members for insights on their top predictions for the UK CTV market.

A couple watching and streaming connected TV aka CTV content

Connected TV (CTV) advertising is becoming an increasingly established part of media plans, offering advertisers the chance to bring their brands to life on the big screen in tandem with greater targeting capabilities. As we start a new year, we asked a selection of IAB UK members in the CTV space to give an insight into what trends and developments are defining the CTV market, helping advertisers to effectively harness the medium in 2023 and beyond.

The industry’s priority needs to be enabling viewer choice

Dave Castell, general manager of inventory & partnerships, The Trade Desk: UK viewers report spending 40% more time watching streaming and catch-up content compared to 2021, according to our research, and that shift in behavior is only going to rise. But with prices across the board creeping up – and TV subscriptions are no exception – consumers are taking a hard look at their outgoings. The industry’s priority needs to be enabling choice – giving consumers options on how, when and what they watch. This in turn will create the very best TV ecosystem for brands, advertisers, content owners and consumers.

There are still big questions about the best way to scale

Sarah Botherway, director, partner development, Index Exchange: While global trends in CTV – such as the dominance of major subscription services and the emergence of ad-supported alternatives – play a role here in Britain, our market is also unique thanks to our influential local broadcasters. Many of these broadcasters have started to build out their own ad platforms to power their digital revolution and reach new viewers - such as ITV Hub, All4, and My5. As they face ever-increasing challenges from international subscription giants, there's still big questions about the best way to scale - like whether a single platform would see better results. Either way, the UK CTV market is going to become very interesting as competition heats up while more and more consumers go digital.

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Better measurement to connect the dots

Jay Fowdar, VP of international client success, Samba TV: Despite the fast changes, complexities and fragmentation associated with CTV, the one consensus is that everyone is interested - I’m confident we’ll reach a point where CTV will be ‘always-on’ in media plans. But what needs to happen is better measurement to connect the dots of shifting viewership behavior, to break-down a siloed approach of CTV planning and to have accurate, reliable data and insights to carry out a seamless audience targeting strategy.

Over half of CTV ad spend via programmatic in 2022

Elisa Schwuchow, senior director, buyer growth & revenue, Verve Group: The UK market follows the global trend where CTV advertisers tend to buy more programmatically. As per eMarketer, more than half (53.5%) of CTV ad spending came through programmatic channels last year, and that number is on the rise. In fact, they forecast that three-quarters (74.4%) of CTV ad dollars would flow programmatically in 2022. And, the UK market remains the largest programmatic advertising market in Europe, according to Statista.

Consumer data protections continue to influence addressable media. Third-party cookies and mobile ad IDs are disappearing. Luckily, linear and streaming TV do not have to rely on third-party cookies or mobile ad IDs. Ad budgets will tend to be reallocated to partners that are able to drive marketing outcomes without cookies and identifiers.

The future of CTV in the UK is ad-supported VOD

DJ Agahi, managing director, UK, Sabio: In the TV landscape of cable, streaming platforms and internet media, the wide variety of services offer a diverse selection but ultimately create more confusion and disruption in the curation of one’s video content. Traditional TV viewing audiences now seek more affordable and flexible alternatives. Thus, cord cutters are adopting streaming, accelerating the growth of CTV and making it the fastest growing video advertising platform. Streamers realize that “free” doesn’t limit choice or sacrifice quality while reducing costs. The future of CTV in the UK is ad-supported video-on-demand, providing advertisers a unique opportunity to reach precise audiences more effectively.

Buyers will become accustomed to the data insights CTV offers

Sam Wilson, managing director, CTV EMEA, Magnite: Connected TV streaming has rapidly evolved in the past five years. This pace of change is set to continue as the industry evolves beyond traditional subscription-based offerings to predominantly ad supported models. This is good news for advertisers as CTV audiences show a more positive attitude to personalized advertising, with 70% of UK CTV viewers saying they are more likely to pay attention to them.

This noticeable shift is fueling the democratization of the buy side. In the future, we will see more brands tapping into the power of big screen advertising; an option which may not have been economically viable for them before. Additionally, buyers will become accustomed to the data insights CTV offers. They will benefit from reaching relevant audiences and understand performance through real-time reporting - ultimately improving the user experience.

Future of TV Brand Strategy Open Mic

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The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB UK) is the industry body for digital advertising, committed to building a sustainable future for digital advertising. We do...

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