Connected TV

The CTV Challenges Facing Your Brand in 2023

MNTN and Advertising Week give insights to help brands ring in the new year

The CTV Challenges Facing Your Brand in 2023

4 Min Read

If you’re an advertiser, you probably couldn’t escape the connected TV news—not that you’d want to. From new advances in targeting and measurement to an industry-wide embrace of ads, this year saw streaming rise to prominence and deliver on its promises—and even find time to outperform linear TV in viewership while it was at it (talk about an overachiever). 

But on the eve of 2023, all eyes are on what’s coming next. The good news? This year’s explosive growth and maturation of the platform opens near-limitless doors for brands. The bad news? Even the savviest of advertisers may be unprepared for the changes on the horizon.

To help advertisers out and give insights on what to expect, Tim Edmundson, Director of Content and Research at MNTN, recently spoke to Advertising Week. From recapping CTV’s big 2022 to outlining hidden challenges in 2023, Edmundson gave the must-have strategies advertisers need to meet a rapidly changing environment, navigate a fragmented market, and stay one step ahead in a crowded—and competitive—landscape. If you missed it, a recording of the webinar can be found here—or you can keep reading for a high-level recap of the conversation below. 

CTV’s Best Year Ever (So Far…)

Edmundson began the chat by reflecting on the stellar year that Connected TV had in 2022. “This year saw a lot of the major players in the space start to consolidate their gains, merge, and figure out what they want to do,” noted Edmundson. “We’re in a phase where subscriptions are rising, brands are spending more on Connected TV, and all of these publishers are pivoting towards ad support.” Edmundson pointed to the seismic shifts we’re seeing across the CTV landscape: Warner Bros. Discovery took control of HBO Max and announced they’ll merge it with Discovery+, Disney is rumored to combine Hulu and Disney+ next year, and Netflix and Disney+ recently rolled out ad-supported offerings.

“So everyone is supporting ads now, including Netflix,” said Edmundson. “And by the way, Netflix was very famous for, and very proud of, never running ads on their platform. But the power of streaming TV advertising was just too great, and Netflix basically said as much on an earnings report earlier this year.” Edmundson elaborated that Netflix’s embracing of ads was driven by data showing that the market and viewers want it. Netflix and Disney+’s unveiling of ad support joins HBO Max, Peacock, Hulu, and others as the streaming landscape becomes more advertiser-friendly than ever. “Now everyone in this space is offering ad inventory, and with the recent focus on budgets and spending, you’re going to want to be focusing on these channels in the new year,” said Edmundson.

Challenges and Opportunities in 2023

“The CTV landscape in 2023 is going to look radically different. That means big opportunities—and big challenges for brands that may be unprepared,” stated Edmundson. He went on to discuss how the new year will see the evolution of CTV advertising come to fruition, and signal a change in how brands, advertisers, and streaming services think of the platform. “Welcome to CTV 2.0,” said Edmundson. “We’re going to see more advanced options for advertisers on TV, it’s going to be a more fragmented marketplace, and there will be a lot more inventory available.”

Edmundson noted that this fragmentation is going to be a bit of a double-edged sword for advertisers. On one hand, a fragmented marketplace leads to audiences being spread out over multiple services—and that can potentially make targeting difficult. On the other hand, if you do have the right tools, there’s more premium content than ever for your brand to match ads against. For the brands that are prepared, the reward greatly outweighs the risk.

Finding a Fragmented Audience

“It’s not just enough to run CTV ads anymore,” said Edmundson. “If the market is fragmented, you have to reach your audience across services like Netflix, and Hulu, and Peacock. That can make things difficult. You have to manage relationships with people across all those platforms, you have to utilize the measurement and targeting available to the platform, and some of these platforms are newer to the ad space—so their level of sophistication will vary.” Edmundson noted that many established services in this space have had years to iterate, and cross-service ad platforms like MNTN Performance TV help brands easily reach audiences across all these channels while maximizing every ad dollar spent. 

Additionally, Edmundson noted it’s more important than ever for advertisers to stay on top of audience trends. Services like Disney+ have recently transitioned away from exclusively serving kids programming to include more mature content, while other services are making transitions like animation and scripted series. All of these moves are changing audience demographics and targeting segments. “When you’re making media buys, it’s important to remember that the environment may look a little different than you anticipated,” said Edmundson. And with further fragmentation, consolidation, mergers, and acquisitions anticipated for 2023, these environments will continue to evolve over the next twelve months.

Watch the Full Recording For More Insights

Edmundson had plenty more ground to cover regarding 2023 strategies. Watch the full recording to discover how to navigate targeting challenges next year, the best ways to measure campaign performance and justify ad spend, and how to combat creative fatigue and keep up with ad demand. Click here to watch the full recording of Changes, Challenges, and Connected TV: What Awaits Brands in 2023