Cynopsis’ First Look 2022: Virtual OTT Conference
As OTT continues to dominate the video landscape and media spend accelerates, Cynopsis gathered thought leaders from across the industry for our inaugural Virtual OTT Conference on March 8. Sponsored by Conviva, Future Today, Gamut Total, New York Interconnect and Premion, the conference provided insight to advertisers, content companies, distributors, MVPDs and virtual MVPDs about where the market is today and where it’s headed, with topics including CTV, addressable TV, VOD, measurement, ad tech solutions and local OTT. Read on for panel-by-panel details:
Conviva’s Continuous Measurement Solution for Streaming Services
With streaming set to overtake traditional TV viewing by next year, how does Conviva support streaming publishers? Alex Klausner, Senior Product Marketing Manager at the company, counted the ways. Based on data from its more than 4 billion video sensors deployed, and data from 50 billion unique viewers/year and 20 billion streams/year, Convivia enables publishers to activate through its three primary applications: Experience Insights, Viewer Insights and Conviva Connects.
Both sides now: “Growth marketing is a key part of launching a streaming business,” said Klausner. “We understand there are a lot of data points you need, starting with, Who is the right audience to target?” On the other side of the coin, audience retention is also top of mind: “You spend a lot of money acquiring them and you want to keep them once you get then on your platform.”
Measurement matrix: “Measuring your audience seems so simple, but with the increased number of platforms and fragmentation, it’s become a real challenge,” Klausner said, noting effective measurement enables brands to better market their products and understand ROI.
Content Discovery in a Fragmented Landscape
Going beyond the hits: “Streaming is a hits-driven model today,” said Jesse Redness, CEO and Co-founder, Qonsent. “Hits will drive topline growth and bring in a big group of people. But what do they do after that? It’s about the third, fourth, on down to the 20th piece of content that’s driving people to you that they may not see in other places. What can you do to help activate those segments … how can you transform them into heavy users?”
Data-driven: Unlike previous reliance on panel-based studies, “We’re getting 100 percent of that data every second on a streaming platform,” said Nick Cicero, VP of Strategy, Conviva. “It’s about getting down to the single viewer, and we have the ability to deduplicate. We can see the different paths customers are taking. The key is to take those insights and activate on them.”
Social-izing: Conviva’s Viewer Insights Platform brings together social analytics and streaming data to connect the dots. “We found a direct correlation with the amount of social media usage and the amount of time spent consuming streaming video,” Cicero said. “Viewers who were watching more social content were also watching more streaming video content.”
Unpacking the State of Local CTV Advertising and 2022 Marketer Priorities
John Vilade, VP, Head of Sales, Premion, walked the audience through the evolution of video delivery from the big-hair, lower-impact days of the ‘80s through today’s streaming landscape. He noted the importance of adaptation and best practices remain critical no matter the era.
Notable quote: “In the ‘90s cable cowboy John Malone introduced the concept of the 500-channel universe,” Vilade said, pointing to the numerous articles in the NYT, Newsweek and other publications that ensued.
*In 2022, 84 percent of US households are projected to be connected TV households, and the amount of time spent streaming content will reach 50 percent of viewing time (Roku/Harris)
*Six in 10 homes in the US are using FAST services, with 81 percent of consumers preferring to go to an ad-supported service than add another subscription (TiVo). Subscription fatigue is setting in, he said. “Marketers are going to shift $20 billion into this space, the new 20,000 channel economy… and local is a major partner in leading the CTV market.”
Outlook 2022 & the Untapped Local CTV Advertising Opportunities
“Streaming has created an irreversible imprint on the consumer, and the content investments have been massive,” said John Vilade, VP, Head of Sales, Premion. With the re-aggregation of the media industry, advertisers need to be able to cut through the clutter of so many providers.
Growth trajectory: “As a percentage growth will slow, but those estimates say there will be $5 billion added to the market every year,” said Bill Murray, VP, Programmatic Solutions, Discovery. “It’s really important to understand that as exciting as CTV is, it’s still a complementary offering.” Noted Vilade, “We see a lot of folks trying to rush to get into the space. You need to be here, tactically, but don’t rush,” Vilade said. “Education, education, education. It’s a process.”
Local outlook: “Programming can be great, but if you put in ads that aren’t relevant to the users you turn them away. And there’s no more relevant ad than a local ad,” Murray said. “A big trend this year is going to be political advertising, spending money on CTV,” he added. Noted Vilade, “We have a dedicated team to political. We think it’s going to be very big and we’re getting very granular. We have a large team so it’s easy to identify the opportunities.” When it comes to local advertising, clients are “thinking of CTV as an extension of live linear. Live linear still needs to be a part of that mix. But CTV has be part of measurement,” said Marilois Snowman, CEO, Mediastruction.
Measuring success: “Just as it’s the golden age of television in terms of content, there’s such an opportunity with measurement,” Snowman said. “We’ve been so focused on eyeballs, but even small brands can lean into attribution measurement. It can be a golden age of measurement.’
In the Living Room, Kids Are the Chief Entertainment Officers: What Does This Mean for Brands?
The pandemic accelerated both streaming and family time. Both trends have given kids an even more important seat at the family decision-making table. “These kids are very techie. They have access to multiple devices and it’s only going to continue so we’ll see more categories embrace the kids’ space as new angle to reach new audiences,” said Jennifer D’Alessandro, Head of Sales & Marketing, Future Today.
Beyond toys: Kids are affecting family purchases in categories far beyond toys, including auto, CPG, entertainment, vacation and even insurance (we’re looking at you, Geico). “They’re Influenced either by jingle, by icon or by character,” said Kathleen Campisano, Global CMO/GM, ChizComm Beacon Media. “If you have a high-energy commercial campaign you become a household brand favorite. There’s research out there that 20 percent to 25 percent of everything purchased in the household is influenced by kids, and even more staggering, that 80 percent to 85 percent of parents say they base their decision-making on their kids’ influence.” “Mascots still matter,” said Vikrant Mathur, Co-Founder, Future Today. “You might not have a kids’ campaign, but you should certainly be adding them to the mix.” Sarah Riding, Research & Trend Director, The Insights Family, noted more than two-thirds of children aged 6-18 surveyed believed they had distinct influence in family purchases, and parents concur even more strongly. ”Sometimes 30 percent more parents believe their kids have a lot of influence, even more than the kids do.”
Eye on issues: “We’ll see kids take on even bigger social issues like sustainability and the environment, said Campisano. “There will be passion topics they’ll learn in school, and are reflected in their parents’ interests. What that means to brands is, What do you stand for beyond what you’re selling?”
The Evolution of the Media Buy: How OTT Changed the TV Media Landscape For Good
The total ad spend in OTT in 2021 was more than $1.3 billion, noted Jason Swartz, VP of Advanced Advertising, New Business and National Sales at New York Interconnect.
Better Together: “With TV consumption changing and consumer behavior changing, we ask our agencies to look at the media buy holistically,” said Reem Ahmed, VP, National Sales, at Comcast-owned Effectv. Ahmed, who noted 76 percent of streaming impressions are on the big screen, said Effectv analyzed 20,000 campaigns in the first half of 2021 and “they all showed advertisers saw the best success when they integrated both linear and streaming in their media buy.” Lisa Kuchar, VP, Platform, Client Success at Cadent, concurred “Linear TV used to be the base of a media plan. Now it’s a matter of focusing on video. It’s less about the actual delivery mechanism and more about having a client’s message delivered to audiences who are in front of the content they are seeking out. OTT is not an add-on; it needs to be thought of as integral.”
Data Disclosure: With so many new data points available, transparency and client education is crucial, Swartz said, noting: “The MVPs I work with have been very forthcoming and transparent, so it’s been a helpful sell when we’re walking through that process, because it’s new and people need to get comfortable with the data.”
Measurement Moves: TV has finally caught up to digital, Kuchar said. “When a brand realizes the measurement capabilities their plan has… that’s when it gets really exciting. It’s important to have different segments. We can follow the whole journey and identify which parts of the campaign are working best, what aspect of audience is driving the most for a brand and how the media fits together.”
Local Impact: “It’s short-sighted to think that the national buy covers the local market,” Ahmed said. “It’s not just about that national brand, but their local retail locations, local dealers. There are high-caliber markets to a brand whether it’s auto, finance, entertainment.” She pointed to a national pizza company that saw big returns when it placed a specific creative in the NY market. “While they have a national presence, having specific creative created relevance and localized impact.”
Helping Marketers Call the Bluff on Table Stakes in the High Stakes Converging Streaming TV Space
News bite: Gamut Total announced it has entered into a partnership with AdGreetz to deliver personalized ads across premium broadcast, FAST channels, walled garden streaming services and more. Coming soon are unlimited data points. The headline? “Don’t outspend your competitors, outperform them,” said Jen Russell, VP, Head of Sales East, Gamut Total, who outlined five key challenges marketers face in OTT: Reaching engaged audiences at scale, brand safety, maximizing investment, achieving results and impact, and developing valued partnerships.
The big spend: With 189 million adults currently streaming video and an estimated $19 billion earmarked for CTV advertising this year, the spend “still doesn’t match viewership,” said Anthony Greene, VP, Gamut Programmer Partnerships.
Unique audiences: Traci Will, Gamut VP of Analytics, noted the company has measured nearly 100 billion impressions. Of those, 56 percent of Gamut OTT impressions were unique and not seen on linear.
Total audience: “Impressions can be heavily skewed to densely populated areas which leaves some markets underserved,” said Tiffany Ihle, Gamut Director of Consumer Insights, pointing to a campaign a new client had previously run where the majority of total impressions landed in 12 markets. “That’s just 30 percent of audience; they ended up missing a big part of their audience.”