Connected TV

Connected TV Advertising: Fragmentation or Farce?

Media buyers claim that “CTV is in shambles,” but is it really falling apart, or are advertisers going about it the wrong way?

Connected TV Advertising: Fragmentation or Farce?

4 Min Read

“How messed up is the CTV marketplace? Bad enough that efforts are being made to fix it,” read a recent headline on Digiday, which painted a pretty doom and gloom picture of Connected TV advertising. Sensational? Yes. 100% true? Depends on which way you look at it (and we opt for a glass half full perspective). In this article, media buyers argued that the Connected TV advertising framework is riddled with issues like “multiple demand-side platforms selling the same inventory, rampant fraud and an inability to control ad placement.” Consequently, it prompted the industry to take action and clean house, so to speak. Omnicom Media Group (OMG) announced that they are proposing a set of standards for CTV purchasing, called The Connected TV Signal Standardization Initiative, designed to bring transparency, quality consumer experiences and safety to linear TV and Connected TV environments. While we’re all for standardization and transparency, surely there is another way advertisers can have their cake and eat it too.

“The selling ecosystem of the digital side of TV does not match what the linear side is currently operating on today.”

There’s a lot to be said about shooting only for a linear approach. First of all, in a world where streaming television is becoming a mainstay in the majority of living rooms, going all-in on linear TV goes against the cardinal role of diversification – and it could ultimately land your ad in the wrong viewers’ hands (or in this case,  eyes). The digital side of TV doesn’t need to match what the linear side is doing…it plays in a different ballpark altogether. Connected TV advertising goes beyond only brand awareness marketing – it brings direct-response performance into the fold, too. The brands that are working smart, are the ones who are using Connected TV advertising to complement their linear TV buys.

“If you’re using multiple DSPs, not only are you getting overlapping inventory, you’re also bidding against yourself! The problem is exacerbated right now because we’re seeing inventory levels are low.”

Two phrases stand out in this statement – overlapping inventory and cross-bidding. It’s no wonder the industry is crying out for some standardization, but there’s also a way around this if you go about it the right way. Some advertisers might be running into this problem as they’re either using multiple Connected TV advertising platforms and/or going direct with publishers like Hulu or Amazon, for example. However, this is not the right way to cast a wide net on Connected TV – and it opens advertisers up to the risks as we’ve noted above. A better way is to select the right adtech tool to give advertisers access to a wide range of premium inventory – a one-stop-shop, if you will. MNTN Performance TV is an example of a solution that does it all. We pair your ad only with premium household name networks like CNN, ESPN and CNBC for starters, so you don’t need to worry about bidding against yourself or scrounging around for inventory scraps on the open market. You don’t need to work with multiple DSPs (Demand Side Platforms), because you’re getting access to the inventory that can elevate your brand and deliver campaign performance.

“How do you solve the problem of content adjacency and buyer’s lack of control to make sure your ads are turning up in the places where they’re going to have the greatest impact?”

Forget about the content – this was the traditional linear TV mindset, where brands would serve ads based on TV networks and programming. They did this because it was the best way to reach a particular audience on linear TV, but Connected TV isn’t constrained to linear’s limits. Media buyers need to loosen their grip on controlling where their ad ends up (within reason of course, since brand safety matters) and worry more about whether they’re reaching the right audience in the first place. Connected TV advertising platforms solve this, since they have been engineered to serve ads directly to the intended audience that is in-market for your product/services/brand, regardless of which networks they are likely to be watching. Of course, there is ongoing concern about ads being served on a brand safe channel, which is why MNTN Performance TV only serves inventory on hand picked network partners, so there’s no cause for concern that your ad will end up somewhere completely misaligned with your brand. 

While the Connected TV advertising still has some growing pains to work through as the market matures, we’re confident that brands who do their due diligence and utilize the right techstack will have less to worry about and instead focus their efforts on their digital strategy in its entirety.