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New Connected TV Insights from the ANA and Innovid

August 4, 2021

By Bill Duggan

Connected TV is exploding! There are approximately 75 million unique, addressable CTV households in the U.S. (out of an approximate total of 128 million). Per the latest estimates from eMarketer, CTV ad spending in the U.S. will be over $13 billion this year, and then more than double that amount by 2025. That represents extraordinary growth, but it's not surprising given that CTV takes the best aspects of linear TV (sight, sound and motion), and blends that with the best of digital (targetability, interactivity and measurability).

ANA recently partnered with Innovid on a new study to help marketers better understand the opportunities CTV offers and simplify the intricacies of measurement. Twenty leading advertisers participated with CTV campaigns running between January and April 2021, with a total spend of $35 million. The findings about unique reach and frequency were particularly interesting.

An ANA report released in May, Media KPIs That Matter, identified unique reach as one of the most important KPIs for media. It's a vitally important metric for brand building, and one marketer quoted in that study called it "an engine for growth."

A key finding of the new Innovid/ANA work is that the depth of unique reach for CTV has yet to be unearthed. Across the new study, the average campaign reached only 13 percent of the available U.S. CTV households. An important recommendation: Brands should put more media weight (impressions) behind their CTV campaigns to reach more viewers. We found that upwards of 100 million impressions should be allocated to reach at least 40 percent of the available U.S. CTV population.

There is a myth that CTV has a frequency problem and that consumers are being continuously bombarded with the same ads. The new Innovid/ANA report found that CTV's frequency problem is highly exaggerated: Average campaign frequency was surprisingly low over the life of the campaigns in our study -- just 4.6 across all campaigns. The reality is that CTV's frequency issue stems from the fact that the same supply is being sold by different providers.

Capping frequency by publisher in isolation has proven insufficient to appropriately manage exposure levels. Brands must manage frequency from a consistent point of origin. For example, that could be an ad serving platform where frequency can be evaluated consistently and holistically versus getting frequency metrics from each individual publisher. A key recommendation: Manage frequency holistically via a centralized platform, then use a combination of frequency management and frequency distribution to identify where overexposure can occur.

As noted, 20 leading advertisers participated in this study, including Anheuser-Busch, Whirlpool Corporation and General Motors. Perspective from media practitioners at those organizations on connected TV reach and frequency follow:

  • Laurel Van Tassel, U.S. director of digital media at Anheuser-Busch: "Connected TV allows AB the opportunity to prioritize net new reach and frequency caps. We see upwards of 20 percent more unique reach, which then limits excessive frequency. Better frequency controls ultimately produce a more efficient cost per household."
  • Kakone Phommachack, manager of media center of excellence at Whirlpool Corporation: "CTV provides the opportunity to target those who are still cable subscribers, cord-trimmers, cord-cutters and cord-nevers. The overall video audience pie is growing with cord-nevers and shifting between subscribers and cord-trimmers and cutters, allowing for reach scalability. Finding that incrementality is the main task for optimizing unique reach."
  • David Spencer, manager, emerging media and partnerships at General Motors: "If you ignore CTV, you eliminate 25 percent of your audience (as cord-cutters are 25 percent) that absolutely cannot be reached in linear TV. Excessive frequency in pockets is a problem for CTV but let's not pretend that also isn't a problem in linear. There are mechanisms you can put into place to help combat the frequency issue. Part of solving the problem is tracking it. Tracking has been a bigger problem than being able to solve it. Right now, there are a number of things that can be done to manage frequency in the CTV space. Innovid is one of those partners that has the technology to help put certain mechanisms in place to prevent it."

There's lots of great learning here! The new report, "Decoding CTV Measurement: An In-Depth Look at Reach, Frequency and ROI" is available on the Innovid website.

Thanks to MediaVillage for originally posting this blog.

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