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TV Media Planning Future of TV CTV

How can advertisers successfully harness connected TV?

By Catherine Cribbin, Head of partnerships



Opinion article

September 28, 2023 | 6 min read

For The Drum's Deep Dive into The Media Convergence, IAB UK asks members of their Connected TV group to share expert advice on this rapidly evolving space.

A remote control pointing at a connected TV aka CTV

Spend on connected TV (CTV) advertising has grown by around 40% in the UK every year since 2017, according to IAB Compass, with the market predicted to roughly double by 2026 to £2.31bn. So with advertisers’ investment following people’s viewing habits, what do brands need to know to leverage the channel effectively? We’ve asked members of our Connected TV Group to share their essential advice for CTV success - spanning everything from team structure to letting content guide your approach.

Follow audiences’ ‘my-time’ approach

Adam Lynch, (director broadcaster partnerships, global media sales, Microsoft): “We know that CTV is continuing to grow in user adoption and usage - both with legacy broadcasters and newer streaming services. All of the data points to the general population shifting their viewing habits away from an appointment to view to more of a “my-time” approach and advertisers need to follow that. Depending on your definition of CTV, broadcasters still dominate the reach argument (especially if you include BVOD) so having a broadcast + AVOD as your CTV approach is sensible to best get that +1 coverage for an audience you’re aiming to target as an advertiser.”

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Activate the missing middle of engagement

Penélope Lima (head of supply strategy global, VDX.TV): “If we look at CTV as the progeny of TV and digital media’s convergence, we can see it as a channel that forges an alliance between the two and enables smoother omnichannel activations. CTV offers big-screen impact plus personalization, interactivity and household targeting. Not only can it drive upper and lower-funnel goals as needed, it can activate the missing middle of engagement and purchase intent, which is often where the magic happens.

"As Ofcom’s latest Media Nations report highlights, a “TV” strategy that doesn’t include CTV is in danger of missing much of its audience - certainly Gen Z, but also increasingly older ages groups too. There was a drop of 10% in broadcast TV viewing among people 65+ in the last year alone.”

Strong supply partnerships are crucial

Michael Lampard (senior solutions engineer, MiQ): “It can be challenging activating CTV in today’s fragmented media landscape so building strong supply partnerships is crucial. This is a nascent market full of walled-gardens; no two publishers have the same audience capabilities and with no third-party audiences, the best way to avoid wastage is a geo-contextual approach using a mix of offline and online datasets.

"That being said, the results speak for themselves. We’ve seen amazing innovation in measurement and targeting that proves CTV can offer unrivaled cost per incremental user on the big screen – especially for marketers aiming to reach younger demographics averse to linear TV.”

Content as your guiding principle

Richard Brant (senior director, advanced TV UK & international, Vevo): “Making content your guiding principle will help define what way a CTV purchase will fit into your plan, while also transcending fragmentation, maintaining quality, and maximizing the reach opportunity. TV has come a long way with new digital attributes, but we can’t treat CTV exactly like digital. With the ability to start drilling further into audiences, it can start to bridge the gap from upper to mid-funnel if used properly. However, if pitched directly as part of a digital plan, it’s easy to lose sight of the opportunity and it will get lost among the video longtail.”

Merge experts from different areas

Kristine Lopez (VP of CTV, Smaato - part of Verve Group): “CTV is the convergence of linear and digital advertising blending the leaned back user consumption of linear with the fine grained control inherent to digital. CTV budget and optimization decisions don’t fit in yesterday’s digital or linear buying teams. Instead, merge experts from both areas to oversee this powerful way to (measurably) reach (addressable) consumers with the flexibility to adjust in flight.

"Evolve and build teams that understand the mechanics in which CTV operates so they know when to operate within the constraints of the ecosystem and when to push back and break them.”

Cracking the challenge in cookieless CTV environments

Jay Fowdar (VP international client success, Samba TV): "For many brands, linear TV commands the majority of media budgets for reach and storytelling. As audience attention shifts away from linear, CTV presents an opportunity to extend that brand experience. To create successful integrated omnichannel campaigns, advertisers have to crack the identity challenge in cookieless CTV environments. They must innovate to find those incremental audiences and unify messaging across every screen, platform and advertising medium.

"One solution is utilizing first-party ACR data at a postcode level to inform cross-media planning, bridge the gap between linear and digital for a more cohesive and effective omnichannel strategy."

TV Media Planning Future of TV CTV

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