Connected TV

Advertising on CTV: How to Cut the Hype From Reality

Not all CTV ad platforms are created equal

Advertising on CTV: How to Cut the Hype From Reality

4 Min Read

At this point it sounds like a broken record: Connected TV is booming. More people are streaming TV than ever before (213.7 million a month), they’re watching more CTV (an average of 80 minutes a day), and advertisers are spending more than ever to meet them (a projected $19.1 billion in 2022 alone). The platform has finally reached its destiny—providing the targeting, measurement, and creativity that it always promised. And everyone from advertisers to technology companies has noticed.

But like all popular things, this kind of attention can also attract a lot of fraud and lower-quality offerings. And as CTV continues to siphon ad dollars away from digital marketing and become a cornerstone of every brand’s ad strategy, that’s only going to increase. As tech companies merge and acquire each other during the boom, it can be hard to keep track of what CTV ad platform delivers what you need—or what they can do for your brand. Here’s how to cut through the noise.

CTV is No Longer Just a Buzzword

For brands of all industries and sizes, CTV is no longer a question of “do we use it?”—but “how to use it strategically?” Streaming services have exploded in number and popularity over the last few years, and with so much content competing for attention and spread out over multiple services, subscription fatigue has started to set in for consumers. That fatigue has led to a healthy embracing of free services that support streaming TV advertising content, which gives viewers access to some of the most-talked-about shows for free in exchange for periodic ads.

With such a boom in services, adoption rates, and advertiser interest, tech companies started to cash in on the hot new platform – causing some concern that some were just using CTV as a buzzword to generate excitement. As Ad Exchanger notes, previously all one had to do was mention “CTV” on a company earnings call to send the room into aflutter. Today, that’s no longer the case – the market has grown up, brands understand the importance of CTV, and CTV ad platforms must back up their promises with data and case studies. But that doesn’t mean there still aren’t some providers coasting on buzz words and unfulfilled promises.

In a recent interview, LUMA director Conor McKenna told Ad Exchanger, “Some of that shine and sheen you’d get just from saying ‘CTV’ without being able to back it up with results is over. Companies have had three or four quarters to mature, investors have gotten smarter, and analysts are asking the right questions – and so companies are being judged on their capabilities and their results rather than just talking to talk.”

How to Cut Through the Hype

So if you’re looking for a CTV ad platform, how do you cut through the clutter and buzz words to determine who’s the real deal—and who’s the modern-day snake oil salesman? Regardless of whether you choose MNTN or another partner, look for the following three features—then think about how they fit into your strategy. And as always, be sure to ask how it applies to your brand and for the digital marketing metrics to back up any claims.

Premium Inventory: Premium CTV platforms like Performance TV partner with top-tier trusted networks. The result? Ads that are served exclusively on some of the biggest streaming channels on CTV. Not only does this give your brand the clout it deserves, it broadens your reach considerably and mitigates the risk of fraud. Be wary of CTV platforms that co-mingle their inventory with traditional video inventory to garner more impressions for advertisers or drive down costs. MNTN only partners with broadcast-quality networks like CNN, NBC, ESPN, and more.

Customizable real-time reporting: Every brand and campaign is different, which is why one-size-fits-all reporting methods don’t give the insight necessary. Worse, some CTV platforms either don’t provide real-time feedback or make you submit a request for the information— costing precious time instead of letting you review and optimize your creative immediately. One of CTV’s biggest advantages over linear TV is the ability to provide near-instant performance feedback, which is why customizable and comprehensive reporting is critical. Look for platforms that offer accurate metrics like ROAS (Return on Ad Spend), customizable options, and even the ability to measure your CTV campaigns alongside other digital marketing channels.

Targeting and tracking the customer lifecycle: Many CTV advertising platforms fall short when it comes to getting the right ads to the right people. Some platforms leverage third-party vendors that aren’t known for being effective, while others attach targeting abilities as an add-on cost. Look for a premium CTV platform that leverages first and third-party data to prioritize audience and performance with targeting efforts. Going one step further, MNTN Performance TV tracks the entire customer lifecycle with Cross-Device Verified Visits. This model allows advertisers to see how a customer behaves after watching the ad—from visiting and engaging the website to making a purchase—regardless of what device they use to take their next steps.