Taking a step back, cross-platform is often defined as TV + digital (desktop/mobile) video buys, but this will evolve quickly as we see the continued proliferation of digitally and Internet-enabled devices and screens. Environments are emerging with content plus advertising opportunities baked in, including platforms such as Roku, smart TVs (such as Sony-enabled devices), and digital out-of-home screens (retailers, transit, etc), just to name a few.
And it makes sense: As a marketer, why would you not want to plan a holistic video campaign to reach consumers throughout their day, in various viewing environments? For publishers, these changes in technology open up more opportunities to distribute and monetize your video. Seems like a win/win.
Here are some of the market trends making cross-platform buying and publishing a reality:
There’s huge opportunity here for publishers. Recent IAB research says that in the next three to five years, original content developed for online consumption will be as important to advertisers as TV is now. Cross-platform buys are expected to increase, particularly among agencies, 60% of whom increased spending on cross-platform buys in 2013.
Cross-platform opportunities are developing rapidly, but some basic challenges remain:
- Ad tech: There’s a lack of ad-serving solutions that can seamlessly combine TV and digital buys into one campaign, let alone including some of the digital OOH and newer platforms mentioned above.
- Unified reporting & measurement: Marketers still view measurement as the industry’s biggest weakness. There is a need for consistent metrics across digital and TV (and I’d argue across all the new platforms that are emerging). True unified, cross-platform reporting does not fully exist today.
- Separate Budgets: There are still some clients with a traditional approach who keep TV, Internet, mobile and/or OOH planning siloed. These clients will simply find themselves at a disadvantage to their more forward-thinking competitors.
There are a lot of exciting applications for cross-platform video that make it a win/win for marketers and publishers. We as an industry need to address some important basics now to set the right foundation.