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What a Summer Reopening Means for Brands on Connected TV

Summer is Here, COVID-19 is Hopefully Ending, and Connected TV is Heating Up

What a Summer Reopening Means for Brands on Connected TV

3 Min Read

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed where we work, how we communicate, how we shop, and how we consume media. With the summer of 2021 becoming the first season of re-openings and “a return to normal,” it’s natural to wonder if CTV’s rapid growth throughout the pandemic will start to ebb. But like the rise of remote work, there is no putting the genie back in the bottle – Connected TV demand is not just here to stay, it’s hotter than ever.  

CTV Ad Spend is Rising with the Temps

Despite record growth during the pandemic, 2021 has seen even better CTV impressions and ad spend, according to a new report. Pre-COVID, CTV ad spend was projected to reach $10.8 billion in 2021 – now it’s estimated at $13 billion. Similarly, CTV ad spend for 2022 was expected to reach $12.49 billion. Now? It’s expected to hit $17 billion. That’s a five billion dollar expected difference since last year – and it could continue to climb from here.

Other worthy notes from the report:

  • Q1 impressions grew 14% over Q4 of 2020
  • 65% of marketers plan to increase CTV spend by 5-20% in 2021
  • 1 in 5 marketers plan to increase CTV spend by more than 20% in 2021
  • Programmatic grew 42% in Q1 2021
  • 70% of buy-side responses claim to buy CTV programmatically
  • Major broadcasters (NBC, CBS) only took up 7% of overall CTV volume in 2020; dedicated streaming publishers accounted for more than 45%

The Olympics Embraces Digital

As further evidence of digital ad spend not slowing down, consider the case of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, resuming from last year’s historic postponement. With a month to go before the games, NBCUniversal is starting to share details regarding its advertising revenue – indicating that it surpassed the $1.2 billion in ad revenue from the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics. Currently, there are 120 advertisers, more than 80 of which did not participate in the Rio Games. The reason for the increase in new advertisers? NBCUniversal is embracing digital platforms.

NBCUniversal’s sales team changed their selling strategy to accommodate “every type of advertiser” according to Dan Lovinger, EVP of ad sales. “In the past the Olympics were for just the biggest of the big, you were mostly a linear driven sale. Now, we have all of these digital platforms that appeal to different types of advertisers again, so we’re able to cast a wider net.”

NBCUniversal’s Total Audience Delivery metric combines viewers on all linear, digital, streaming and social platforms. The network says that all platforms essentially count as the same and they plan to adjust campaigns on the fly. For instance, if their Peacock streaming service outperforms expectations, they’ll be able to put more ad emphasis on that platform. This helps NBCUniversal ensure they get the maximum set of eyeballs on their content – and demonstrates that CTV is no longer seen as the little brother of linear TV advertising, but rather as a third rail for brands.  

Don’t Be the Last to the Party

These latest stories demonstrate that CTV advertising is not just refusing to slow down – it’s accelerating faster than expected. As consumers continue to cut the cord and advertisers keep flocking to CTV, advertising inventory will naturally decrease, and competition will get fiercer. MNTN’s Connected TV solution, Performance TV, helps brands of all industries and sizes capitalize on this opportunity, establish an omnichannel presence, target a desired audience, and reach them where they are spending the most time. Further, MNTN Multi-Touch enables brands to follow up after the CTV ad is served, providing related ads across the viewers’ household devices to keep your brand top of mind – no matter how crowded the party gets.

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