Connected TV

“Keep Your Hat On, It’s Going to Be a Wild Ride:” Looking to the Future of CTV

MNTN and Digiday peer into the crystal ball

“Keep Your Hat On, It’s Going to Be a Wild Ride:” Looking to the Future of CTV

4 Min Read

Sometimes it’s almost hard to remember life before Connected TV. The platform hasn’t just transformed TV from “appointment viewing” to “on-demand,” it has radically changed how both advertisers and consumers think about TV ads. The advent of CTV signaled the dawn of a new era for TV—the rise of audience targeting, multi-level attribution, and measurable campaign performance that broke the ad free from the TV set. But like any cutting-edge disruptive technology, it’s still innovating.

To help brands prepare for the next generational leap, Marwan Soghaier, Chief Product Officer at MNTN, spoke to Digiday about where the industry is heading—and how brands can prepare. From cross-device strategies and attribution to navigating a fragmented market and keeping up with video demand, Marwan discussed the tactics that marketers need to uncover hidden opportunities and be future-proofed. If you missed it, a recording of the webinar can be found here—or you can keep reading for a high-level view of some of the insights shared.

The State of CTV Today

The session started with Digiday’s James O’Brian noting how today’s advertisers are rushing to keep up with creative demand, trying to produce more creative, and looking to get more engagement. “There’s a lot of things going on right now,” said Soghaier. “Generating a lot of video ads—or TV ads—has a different set of challenges as generating a lot of rich media for display advertising.” Soghaier noted that as more advertisers flock to CTV this mentality shift has been difficult for some– but new technology is providing the solutions.

“To help, we’re seeing technologies arise like the advent of artificial intelligence. We have engines that can monitor metadata sources and television programming itself, determine viewer behavior, and make recommendations on what type of ad elements (stock video, music, wording) you should use to be the most effective. You also have the advent of crowd-sourcing video production, which now takes the concept of Uber and moves the video production economy into that same space. You have organizations like one we recently merged with that allows you to go from conceptual and ideation mode into video production mode so you can get your creative quicker.”

A Solution for Every Budget

Of course, most cutting-edge technology historically comes with a hefty price tag—leaving all but the biggest brands on the sidelines, waiting for prices to drop. “The question for these solutions is—at what cost? Certain brands can’t afford hundreds of thousands of dollars for movie-style premium ads. And many need to quickly move into video production. We can do this by tiering out what their specific needs are. Crowd-sourcing addresses some of that. There’s something else that addresses it more though,” said Soghaier.

“Most people get into video production realizing that the premium spot they just produced has a shelf life of about 45-60 days – at best 90 days if it’s a branded ad that gets shown repeatedly,” he said. “Now with technology coming full circle, you’ll see contextual engines driving existing ads into contextual ads. This will take a previously-built ad that was a branding play and turn it into something that has a lot more shelf life—extending its longevity by incorporating a preservative of sorts.” As a result, this solution won’t just keep ads alive longer—it’ll help brands stretch their dollars further too.

The Future of CTV Already Exists

When asked what the future of Connected TV marketing looks like, Soghaier was enthusiastically optimistic. “We’re right at the cusp of technology using AI on the creative side,” he said. Noting that we already live in a world of AI connecting content in programming and providing suggested content recommendations, Soghaier pointed out that the next leap forward already exists—it just hasn’t been fully commercialized yet. “There are things in play that started in the world of entertainment and animation that will quickly find its way into advertising.”

Asked about future innovations, Soghaier elaborated. “This is all part of the optimization story. First, there were cars, then self-driving cars. Now we’re looking at cars that are essentially robots and can run automated tasks for you. These are the leaps that TV advertising will take because it’s a high-risk medium for many people; you’re investing a lot of money only to learn how it performs after it launches. That’s something we’re working on—ways to predict an outcome before you apply a budget and launch a campaign. I think that’s something every marketer would want to know.”

From Coming of Age to a New Age

“TV is coming of age and is starting to see automation,” Soghaier concluded. “The automation that’s available now is something we’ve worked on for a long time and are constantly optimizing through AI. That’s part of our value proposition—automation is out there, and it’s being utilized. It’s not a secret that we have it and that others will embrace it.”

“It sounds like CTV has gone from ‘coming of age’ to a new age,” noted O’Brian.

“Keep your hat on, it’s going to be a wild ride,” replied Soghaier.

To see more of Soghaier’s discussion with O’Brian, watch the full recording here