For most of the next decade in the U.S., TV viewing -- and TV advertising -- will be a mix of linear and streaming. For brands, agencies and their media professionals desiring to use high engagement, high impact video advertising to reach, persuade and convert target customers at scale, the next decade will mean navigating a mix of linear and streaming TV channels and platforms to have any hope of efficiently reaching audiences at scale.
This fact is not news to any reader of this column. For years, we have been talking about what a cross-platform linear and streaming TV world means in terms of planning, buying platforms and measurement, and work in those areas will be non-spot for years.
However, none of that work will matter if the folks who work in our industry aren’t able to fluently and seamlessly navigate both the linear and streaming sides of the business. We desperately need cross-training so cross-platform TV and streaming advertising can work.
As Dish Media senior vice president Kevin Arrix told the TV of Tomorrow conference in San Francisco yesterday, our industry will be held back if our ad buyers and sellers aren’t fluent in both the language of TV (gross rating points, households and demographics) and the digital language of CTV (uniques, impressions and first-party-data targets).
Everyone who wants to work in cross-platform needs both, because we are not going to see the discrete methods of TV delivery go away anytime soon, nor are we going to see siloed budgets and buying teams suddenly become integrated and holistic (no matter what they say and aspire to).
CTV ads will be sold into linear TV budgets. Automated, data-driven linear ads will be sold into digital video budgets. And mixed, cross-platform programs will be sold into both.
It will no longer be enough to have someone on your teams who can translate between the two languages, effectively serving as your cross-platform interpreters.
No, everyone on our teams will have to understand the languages, strengths, weaknesses and key differentiators of both.
If you think that linear TV will die before you have to understand what a GRP and P2+ target is, you are sadly mistaken. Both will matter for many years to come. Those who can travel seamlessly between the languages and channels will do very well. Those who can’t, won’t. Which will you be?