Avalanche Of Advanced TV Developments Signals Exciting But Complicated 2022

There have been so many significant and notable developments across advanced TV this week — connected TV, addressable, measurement, fraud — that it’s not easy to prioritize them, never mind analyze them all, in one column.

The convergence of these initiatives is no coincidence, of course. They’re all tangible manifestations of the accelerating transformation of marketing being driven by technology, privacy issues and changing consumer behavior.

For marketers, the collective result is a plethora of new options that will undoubtedly open new strategic and tactical opportunities and improve business outcomes significantly over time. But they’ll also create confusion in the short term. And leveraging them fully will demand flexibility and creativity, as well as lots of time and investment in vetting and testing to sort out what works best.

To provide a sense of the scope and momentum, here’s a recap of some of the week’s news:



*New programmatic trading/supply-path optimization solutions  GroupM, the world’s largest media-buying agency, along with ad-tech platforms Magnite and PubMatic, launched a global, unified programmatic advertising marketplace for CTV, digital video and display ad inventory for its clients. In addition to reducing supply-chain inefficiencies, the marketplace seeks to create greater transparency, with the agency directly applying and monitoring what GroupM called “new standards of performance measurement.” It also promises competitive bidding advantages and “disruptive” new pricing models. “Our intention long-term is to facilitate programmatic buying on an SaaS (software as a service) basis, where a monthly charge is all inclusive and covers technology, data and agency activation,” Global Head of Investment Andrew Meaden told MediaPost.

This followed last week’s news of The Trade Desk (TTD), the world’s largest independent demand-side platform (DSP), partnering with many of the country’s largest newspaper, magazine and digital media to introduce OpenPath — a solution that bypasses intermediaries like Google to enable direct inventory buys from publishers. This, too, is being touted as a means to greater efficiency, transparency and safety in the supply chain. But while TTD stressed that it “is not entering the supply side of digital advertising, and will not provide supply-side services, such as yield management,” its media-agency clients are reportedly seeking clarification of how OpenPath’s publisher partnerships will work.

Nor are these the only new programmatic partnerships afoot.

*More initiatives to develop new TV currencies, some for use in this year’s upfronts.  Discovery Inc. and Omnicom Media Group announced a trial to develop new TV ad currencies for the upcoming television upfronts, using data measurement firms Comscore and VideoAmp, as well as advertisers including AT&T and State Farm. Ultimate goal: an accredited person-based cross-platform currency.

Samba TV launched iCPM, a performance-based metric it says is the first advertising currency to offer guaranteed “incremental” reach for TV and video marketers, and which has been in testing by Empower for media client Wendy’s. With this currency, marketers pay only for ad impressions served within households previously unexposed to their linear TV campaigns, according to Samba.

Several other currency initiatives were already in the works. Last month, WarnerMedia said it would develop a currency working with Comscore, iSpot.TV and VideoAmp. In late 2021, ViacomCBS (now Paramount Global) formed a currency-development partnership with media agency Dentsu and VideoAmp. NBCUniversal is working with measurement firms and advertisers and agencies to develop and test new currencies, with the intention of using them in the upfronts. NBCU also issued performance data for the Winter Olympics from “certified” partner iSpot.TV.

The availability of multiple new currencies should work to the advantage of buyers and the TV ecosystem as a whole, but it’s sure to complicate negotiations in the short term.

*New measurement and analytics/planning solutions  Perhaps pointing up how many moving parts and potentially overlapping agendas are in play, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) this week initially confirmed that it planned to issue requests for proposals from media research suppliers to test alternatives to Nielsen’s TV audience measurement services. Later, it issued a clarification, saying the RFPs are actually being issued for a consumer panel to be used for calibrating first-party data as part of its in-progress Cross-Media Measurement (CMM) initiative. That initiative will use first-party data as its primary source for unduplicated reach and frequency measurement.

On another front, Comcast Advertising and VideoAMP announced a deal aimed at addressing audience fragmentation in video.  Comcast cable systems' set-top-box TV viewership data is being integrated into VideoAmp’s cross-platform measurement product, enabling deduplicating viewership across the STBs and smart TVs.

Separately, Comscore and DoubleVerify a joint cross-platform measurement product that aims to address “digital fraud, conflicted verification solutions and growing identifier friction.” It combines DoubleVerify’s Authentic Ad metric, which verifies that ads are viewed by a real person in a brand-suitable environment, with Comscore Campaign Ratings, an audience measurement product offering deduplicated reach and frequency across TV, CTV, desktop and mobile.

Meanwhile, Nielsen announced that it’s adding connected TV (CTV) data from its Streaming Platform Ratings to its media planning and optimization tool, Nielsen Media Impact (NMI), to allow for cross-platform audience insights and analytics across streaming channels as well as TV, digital, radio, print and out-of-home.

*Addressability expansion initiatives It looks like 2022 will be the year for breakthroughs in licking addressable TV’s scale problem.  

This week’s first announcement: Addressable advertising technology company Adcuratio signed a deal with Horizon Media’s Horizon Next unit to place targeted ad units in national TV programming. Horizon Next is using Adcuratio’s National Custom Messaging to enable TV marketers to identify specific national TV inventory that allows for switching ad creative for household targeting. A campaign for an as yet undisclosed advertiser will run in national programming on A+E Networks and Fox Corp. channels in the homes of subscribers of Dish TV, Sling TV and DirecTV.

And in a multiple-programmer coup, Canoe Ventures signed separate deals with AMC Networks, Discovery, TelevisaUnivision and WarnerMedia to offer their addressable inventories across Canoe’s national footprint of 35 million households that suscribe to the cable systems of Canoe’s owners, Charter, Comcast and Cox. AMC will offer three addressable ad spots per hour during original AMC and WE networks programming this year, with Amazon as its first client. Discovery, TelevisaUnivision and WarnerMedia have either started addressable campaigns or plan to launch them during the current quarter.

*CTV and streaming fraud prevention  Roku announced an advertising watermark that will integrate with its operating system to verify publisher ad requests and impressions, verifying that ads are reaching real Roku users. Roku’s DSP will be the first to offer watermarked inventory from Discovery, Fox Television Network and other programmers, followed by Basis Technologies, Google, Human, Innovid and Magnite.

Speaking of Magnite, this week also saw the independent supply-side platform debut Live Stream Acceleration, a technology designed to help CTV publishers optimize their live inventory programmatically by ensuring that ads are served in a timely manner without burdening their technical infrastructures.

That seems enough to absorb in the space of five working days, don’t you think?

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