Advertising, Connected TV

Addressable TV Advertising: What Is It and How Does It Work?

Addressable TV Advertising: What Is It and How Does It Work?

7 Min Read

With so many entertainment possibilities out there, the battle for attention has never been quite as intense as it is now. But the good news is that there are ways to cut through the clutter and find the engaged viewership your brand is looking for. One of the foundations of reaching your key audiences on the high-impact TV screen is addressable TV. 

Addressable TV advertising goes beyond the contextual targeting of traditional television advertising to reach a brand’s specific target audience, no matter what content they are watching. Read on to find out more about what makes addressable TV such an exciting new prospect for marketers.

What is Addressable TV Advertising?

Addressable TV advertising is a type of targeted advertising that enables advertisers to customize the ads delivered to individual households while they are watching television. It uses sophisticated data analytics and digital technology to segment audiences based on various factors such as demographics, behavior, or geographical location, and deliver relevant and personalized ads to each viewer, enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of TV advertising campaigns.

Benefits of Addressable TV Ads

Addressable TV advertising offers several key benefits, including:

  • Highly Targeted Advertising: Addressable TV enables precise targeting of specific households based on demographics and viewing habits, ensuring ads are more relevant and engaging to each viewer.
  • Enhanced ROI and Efficient Ad Spend: By focusing on audiences most likely to respond, addressable TV advertising improves return on investment and ensures more efficient use of ad budgets, reducing unnecessary expenditures.
  • Measurable Impact and Data-Driven Insights: This form of advertising allows for accurate tracking of viewer engagement and ad performance, facilitating data-driven decisions and campaign adjustments in real-time.
  • Reduced Ad Waste with Increased Relevance: Addressable TV minimizes wasted ad impressions by targeting relevant audiences, leading to higher engagement rates and better brand perception.
  • Cross-Platform Integration and Flexibility: It offers seamless integration with digital campaigns for a cohesive marketing strategy and provides the flexibility to adapt campaigns quickly based on market dynamics or consumer behavior changes.

How Does Addressable TV Advertising Work?

Addressable TV advertising leverages advanced technologies and data analysis to deliver targeted ads to specific audience groups. The process involves several key steps:

  • Data Collection: Data is gathered from a variety of sources, such as cable or satellite set-top boxes, third-party data providers, and direct subscriber information. This data includes demographics, viewing habits, and personal interests.
  • Audience Segmentation: Using the collected data, the audience is divided into distinct segments based on factors like age, gender, location, income level, lifestyle, and viewing habits.
  • Ad Creation: Advertisers create personalized advertisements specifically tailored to appeal to these distinct audience segments.
  • Ad Delivery: Using sophisticated ad delivery systems, these personalized ads are then broadcast to the relevant audience segment. When a viewer turns on their TV, the system determines which ad is most appropriate for that specific viewer or household, and delivers the ad either in real-time or as pre-scheduled.
  • Feedback and Analysis: The performance of the ad is tracked and analyzed to measure its effectiveness. This feedback is then used to refine the audience segments and improve future ad targeting.

With addressable TV, different households may be watching the same show while being served completely different ads based on their unique interests. It removes the guesswork that was endemic to advertising in the past, in which you hoped that if someone were watching Seinfeld, for example, they’d be interested in your product. 

Addressable TV advertising recognizes that households may have similar tastes in programming but completely different needs as consumers. In short, it’s the most targeted and sophisticated way to reach consumers where they are, in a granular and accurate fashion.

When Did Addressable TV Start?

An early form of technology for addressable TV has been around since 2008, according to Variety.

However, the explosion in streaming services and widespread use of Connected TV (CTV) has made it a much more appealing option in recent years.

Addressable TV vs. Linear TV

Linear TV refers to the old-fashioned, traditional broadcast model, in which you watch a show at the time when it’s broadcast, on the network that’s airing it. It’s not streamed to viewers on demand, and it generally caters to primetime viewing (often defined as 8-11 pm on weeknights), the time when most viewers are in front of their TVs.

While some viewers have stuck with linear TV, many more are cutting the cord and moving to CTV. Time spent streaming has recently overtaken linear viewership for the first time. 

Linear TV has a multitude of disadvantages for advertisers in the current television advertising landscape, such as: 

  • It has limited targeting capabilities, relying on contextual alignment rather than sophisticated means to reach an audience no matter what content they are watching.
  • It is an often long, inconvenient, and expensive process to get your ad placed.
  • It cannot be optimized to performance goals and there is limited reporting to evaluate the results.

Addressable TV vs. OTT

Over-the-top (OTT) advertising involves content that viewers access beyond the usual means of delivery–that is, over the top of traditional cable and broadcast TV providers. 

When used together with OTT, addressable TV turns your smart TV into a precisely targeted digital marketing powerhouse, making use of all the data-rich capabilities of the internet. Additionally, ads are typically non-skippable, which is an important plus in this click-happy, short-attention-span era.

Addressable TV vs. CTV

OTT and CTV are often used interchangeably. A technical distinction is that OTT refers to the technology of delivering content via the internet, while CTV is the internet-connected device that a viewer consumes content on (usually smart TVs).

Here, too, addressable TV makes use of the capabilities of CTV so you can, for example, use tens of thousands of unique segments to build your audience profile, making it a powerful and sophisticated way to reach the right viewers for your product or service.

Is Addressable TV Programmatic?

Programmatic advertising,” in this context, refers to tech-driven, automated methods of selling ads so they are appropriately paired with content. Programmatic TV uses data and AI tools to make split-second decisions about pairing ads and content so that advertisers get the biggest bang for their buck. 

Addressable TV is a form of programmatic TV, and a subset of this ever-growing and crucially important industry.

How Much Does Addressable TV Cost?

Addressable TV is more cost-effective than you may think. Bear in mind that you’re able to save money in the first instance by being precise in your targeting, leading to more effective use of your resources. 

Secondly, addressable TV can be more cost-effective than other methods of finding and employing data. There are demand-side platforms (DSPs) whose ad-buying software allows you to target third-party audience segments in a campaign while you place bids–but they often charge for the privilege.

Unfortunately, these extra costs hamper your ability to scale your campaigns and drive your performance. That means you may have to scale back your targeting and testing of audience segments right when you want to be gathering data. 

DSPs don’t give you the ability to learn and incorporate your insights, a flaw that ultimately costs you money, too. 

The audience segment reporting enabled by addressable TV advertising ultimately gives you more control over your campaign and more insights that you can put into action–saving you money as your campaign progresses. 

Why Performance TV Is King

When it comes to making the most out of your addressable TV strategy, MNTN Performance TV makes it easy to launch, target, and measure your CTV advertising campaigns. Select from thousands of audiences, and measure the performance of each on a completely customizable reporting dashboard.

Additionally, Performance TV offers peace of mind that your brand will only be placed within quality content thanks to what we call Living Room Quality. Your ad will only be shown within premium content served on non-skippable inventory. Plus, Performance TV’s reporting dashboard offers a TV Network Report so you’ll be able to see exactly where your ad was run and which channels perform best for your business.  

Addressable TV Advertising: Final Thoughts

Addressable TV takes full advantage of the advancements in technology of recent years. Now you can benefit from the high-impact nature of the TV screen, with the digital capabilities and reporting of CTV’s digital roots.