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Cross-platform video advertising solutions; who has the answers?

Carla Petersen Senior Business Consultant

With lines blurring between linear broadcasting and digital video from a demand-side perspective, publishers and broadcasters are under pressure to deliver innovative solutions around video and advertising and to start integrating first, second, and third party data into their ad products effectively.

Traditional television has seen a recent revival largely due to the impact of social media and audience’s viewing habits which involve dual-screening. Although audiences are shifting towards online viewing at a rapid pace, broadcast TV still holds an entrenched position as the primary place to watch.

As such, brands and advertisers recognise that their audiences are consuming content across multiple devices and are now more willing to buy media across screens. That reality has created a burning need for more efficient and integrated ways for brands and agencies to plan, deliver and manage campaigns across broadcast TV and digital TV and video streaming platforms.

Yet the publishing industry and the technology providers are struggling to keep pace with the growing need for innovative solutions that address this evolving market. Delivery platforms and sales, distribution and business processes for advertising across these media still operate as siloes at the publisher and broadcaster level.

There are some encouraging steps in the right direction, yet the market remains immature and will remain so for a while. Here are the major challenges that the industry needs to solve before agencies and advertisers will be able to benefit from truly effective cross-platform solutions for TV and video:

Programmatic buying is not yet widespread in TV.

Google’s acquisition of mDialogue last year is a step forward to enable broadcasters to deliver TV inventory via OTT devices across multiple screens, programmatically.

Google’s acquisition of mDialogue last year is a step forward to enable broadcasters to deliver TV inventory via OTT devices across multiple screens, programmatically.

Where programmatic buying is rapidly reshaping the way that digital advertising inventory is bought and sold, the concept has taken off more slowly in the world of broadcast television. The major reasons include trepidation around the problem of ad fraud as well as a resistance to change in the industry. 

Although advertiser demand for programmatic TV inventory is increasing, the challenge is that there needs to be actual supply. This means that broadcasters who historically sold TV inventory in bulk, and were paid upfront, need to be willing to provide access to their systems and release inventory to a supply-side platform before programmatic TV will scale.

Use of different metrics in broadcast and digital worlds.

The digital and broadcast worlds measure performance in different ways – for example, where broadcasters talk about gross rating points, digital companies speak about audience reach. Metrics such as Google’s Active View have been around for a while, but uptake has been hindered by the complexities of standardising tools and measurements across different platforms.

A lack of mature tools.

As yet, the tools for managing, measuring and optimising ads across platforms remain immature.  Comscore’s vCE and Nielsen’s OCR, for example, are still in beta in Google’s DFP reporting. The industry is still struggling with the challenges of device fragmentation and inconsistent consumer viewing patterns across smartphones, connected TV, OTT, tablets and other IP-streaming devices. The efforts around bringing linear TV data into digital video ad platforms are still in their embryonic stages.

Advertisers and agencies are desperate for solutions that address rapid changes in consumer viewing behaviour.

Advertisers and agencies are desperate for solutions that address rapid changes in consumer viewing behaviour. However, it appears that they will need to wait a while for solutions that help them understand video viewing behaviour across platforms, target individuals, and measure performance in a standardised manner.

About The Author Carla Petersen - Senior Business Consultant

As Senior Business Consultant, Carla works with clients to bridge the gap between Marketing and Technology. She articulates strategic insights for clients that are based on data, research and visibility of the market to help them to develop innovative and competitive solutions and organise their resources to achieve their business and commercial goals.

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