Towards Total Video? Next steps for Advanced TV and Video Advertising in the UK

Many thanks to everyone who attended MTM’s Forum on March 22nd 2017 on the ‘Next steps for advanced TV and video advertising (ATVA) in the UK’. There were over 90 media executives in the audience, providing a lively and thoughtful evening of discussion led by our seven expert panellists:

  • Jamie West, Deputy Managing Director Sky Media UK & Group Director of Advanced Advertising at Sky PLC;
  • Jakob Nielsen, Addressable TV Lead of Group M
  • Justin Gupta, Head of UK Broadcast & Entertainment at Google
  • Thomas Bremond, Managing Director, Europe at FreeWheel
  • Laurence Miall d’Aout, VP Advanced Advertising at Liberty Global
  • Hitesh Bhatt, Regional VP, EMEA, at Samba TV
  • Graeme Lynch, Head of Business Development EMEA at TubeMogul

and chaired by Jon Watts, Managing Partner at MTM.

The event

TV advertising is changing. While the majority of video viewing is still through traditional broadcasters and TV platforms, new digital challengers such as SVOD providers and social media platforms are winning ever-increasing shares of consumer time and advertising budgets. Broadcasters feel under pressure to respond, and fast – TV advertising is expected to change more in the next five years than it has in the last fifty. However, there are still significant barriers to overcome – the topics of the evening included:

  • What is the current state of the ATVA market?
  • ATVA – a strategic investment or small scale opportunity?
  • How can we measure ATVA?
  • What are the implications of the move towards ATVA?
  • How can broadcasters and TV platforms unlock the potential of ATVA?

The state of the ATVA market: “pumps are primed, ready for take-off”

While advanced TV advertising is still at an early stage, our panellists claimed that the market is now ready for dynamic and data-driven advertising solutions. Advertisers and agencies understand the advantages of advanced TV, and look forward to the next level of development – while clients are happy to use ATVA to target audiences on a more strategic level, ideally they want to use their own first party data.

“Clients and agencies – every single one of them wants to do advanced TV and they want to use their data. That’s not possible now, but it might be in two years.”

The panel also felt that advanced TV advertising is key to helping TV compete with the advances of digital. While primetime TV advertising can generate huge reach and scale, addressable TV enables broadcasters to reach a highly targeted audience. As such, addressable TV is seen as complementary rather than substitutional – offering broadcasters new ways of monetising their inventory.

 “Video advertising creates a more stimulating environment for consumers by meeting their expectations for content. It allows brands to quickly inform and visually entertain, which generates a powerful platform for conversion”

How can we measure ATVA?

A standardised currency for TV and video inventory will continue to be important – BARB is felt to be a robust, trusted solution, and the panellists hoped that it will remain strong and relevant in the future. Going forward, a key challenge will be incorporating and verifying data from a growing set of platforms and providers, as viewing fragments – e.g. broadcaster VOD platforms, pay-TV set-top boxes, SVOD and social.

“The problem will be the opportunities around all the broadcasters bringing their own data. Sky, ITV, Channel 4 all have their own data and it’s in the millions… and they’re going to want to start buying audiences based on that data… Clients, agencies, platforms and broadcasters are going to have to work based on the idea that someone’s going to buy inventory based on an audience but pay based on this currency”

How can broadcasters and TV platforms unlock the potential of ATVA?

The panellists provided some specific, practical suggestions for harnessing the potential of ATVA. These included increasing the value of less premium slots by using more data and focusing on live event TV.

In particular, the panel felt that, whilst encouraging competing broadcasters to work together would be difficult, collaboration was of the utmost importance. Cooperation is particularly vital in protecting against the future threat from OTT platforms such as YouTube and Netflix if they continue to invest heavily in original content.

One panellist representing a media agency explained that, over the past few years, their in-house technology has become much more integrated with that of the publishers they work with.

 “For advanced TV to get where it needs to get everyone needs to help each other. At the moment there’s no set guidelines, there’s no uniformity.”

Overall, the discussion provided an insightful and thought-provoking evening, generating stimulating debate about this relevant but complex area of the market.

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About Karin Bergvall

Karin Bergvall is a consultant at MTM. She spends her days thinking about how new media and technology will impact companies and consumers, with a particular focus on OTT video and ad tech.