What TV and Media Execs Really Think of CTV Advertising
by Stephen Graveman
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Speak to a CTV Expert
MNTN and Ad Age Discuss Streaming's Bright Future
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Connected TV has had one heck of a year in 2022. Streaming services merged and consolidated, all of the major services spent more money than ever expanding their libraries with must-see content, and everyone’s embracing ads—even Netflix. Now every streaming service is ready to be a fully measurable, targetable ad platform that transports brands directly into their target audience’s living rooms. And if you thought this year was big, things are only getting started.
Lexi Tierney, Senior Director of Customer Success at MNTN, recently talked to Ad Age about CTV’s big shakeup, why 2023 is poised to usher in an era of TV unlike anything we’ve ever seen, and how brands can start strategizing now to maximize the opportunity. A full recording of the webinar, CTV’s Next Evolution: Why 2023 is the Biggest Year Yet for Brands, can be found here—or you can keep reading below for a few takeaways.
Tierney started the chat by recapping the revolutionary and evolutionary year CTV had. From rising subscriptions to brands spending more on ads, the landscape of CTV changed in 2022—and nowhere is that more apparent than the services themselves. From Warner Bros. Discovery taking over HBO Max and announcing plans to combine it with Discovery+, to the rumors of Disney combining Hulu with Disney+ sometime soon, streaming services faced a major shakeup this year—and will continue to do in 2023 and beyond. “The landscape is changing,” said Tierney. “All of these media giants are making big moves, and big players are looking at combining different services.”
Against this backdrop, streaming services also got more ad-friendly in 2022. To date, all the major streaming services have either launched or have announced plans to launch ad-supported options—including the legacy heavyweight themselves, Netflix. “Netflix changing its long-held anti-ad stance marks a watershed moment for CTV,” said Tierney. “This represents a big moment of responding to the consumer. There are a lot of subscription services out there, but we’re all only willing to pay so much. That’s why ad-supported tiers make so much sense; they let consumers enjoy all the content available across OTT in a more affordable way.”
“CTV’s changing landscape means that brands can’t sit out on CTV anymore,” cautioned Tierney. She noted that as the service continues to rise in popularity it’s more likely your competitors are using it to target and convert your customers. Still, it’s not enough to just jump in; strategy and education are key in 2023. “More and more brands are familiar with CTV today. It’s a robust part of their strategy and they’re investing heavily in the platform,” Tierney said. As services consolidate and get more specific, it will be more crucial for advertisers to understand each service’s content slate, audiences, strengths, and potential pitfalls.
“One of the most impactful benefits of CTV is being able to deliver your story to the user you want, without a traditional ‘pay and spray’ method,” said Tierney. “You can now have a meaningful 1:1 conversation. We always tell our customers, ‘At your core, what is the message you want to tell?’ This helps to optimize your ad strategy and capture more attention from users.” Tierney went on to list streaming’s strengths and potential pitfalls to look out for, including keeping up with creative demand and being cautious with streaming’s new love of advertising. “Services with new ad-supported offerings might be using tech partners that aren’t natural fits for TV advertising,” Tierney warned. “They also may not offer performance marketing measurements that cater to digital marketing’s strengths.”
The shifting landscape doesn’t look to be settling anytime soon, as rumors continue to swirl of additional acquisitions or services combining. “Look for the market to consolidate further,” predicted Tierney. “This will continue to push streaming services to differentiate.” As expected, Connected TV advertising will also continue to complement brands’ digital strategies, leading to an increased need for video production.
“Many advertisers—even top brands—know the potential of CTV, but creative production is the biggest challenge for them. In fact, that’s the biggest challenge we hear at MNTN: how to produce relevant content affordably and at scale.” Tierney noted MNTN’s end-to-end solution suite and how it helps brands get up and running for less. QuickFrame by MNTN helps to alleviate some of these ad challenges by producing high-impact, quality ads affordably and at scale, while MNTN’s Creative-as-a-Subscription model gets you custom-made, high-performing creative just for spending money on media. “Objectively, the last key is finding a solution that offers inventory across a higher number of premium services and apps so you’re expanding your reach,” noted Tierney. “TV doesn’t have to be a super-pricey, complicated thing that doesn’t allow you to tweak and optimize easily.”
Tierney had plenty of more insights and strategies to provide. “We want to help brands set themselves up for success in this world and understand the lay of the land,” she noted. Click here to watch the full recording, including a robust Q&A session with the audience at the end.