Connected television and over-the-top video are expected to grow

Along with taking home the award for “Best Programmatic Capabilities by an Agency,” the Hearts & Science team spent some time learning about the future of digital marketing with more than 1,200 other attendees at AdExchanger’s Programmatic I/O conference this year in San Francisco—the world’s largest conference focused on programmatic media and marketing.

Parsing through a variety of compelling sessions with expert speakers over two action-packed days, there was a lot of diverse content to digest.

A key theme that continued to reverberate within many of these talks, however, was CTV (connected television) and OTT (over-the-top) video and the pivotal role of omnichannel CTV/OTT video planning within an ever-changing consumer landscape.

Programmatic media strategy is a must

At the moment, native, video and mobile are the three fastest-growing formats and channels year over year. Due to ongoing brand safety concerns, higher-value premium ad format availability and continued demand for automation, buyers are being pushed toward greater and greater video spending via private marketplaces and programmatic direct deals.1 Optimism about CTV is at an all-time high, and it’s projected that “by 2021, nearly 50% of all programmatic dollars will be spent on video,” says eMarketer’s Lauren Fisher.

As we continue to capture changes in the programmatic ecosystem and move more from open market digital into programmatic direct buys, the unique challenges around identification, measurement and inventory within the CTV/OTT space in comparison to traditional online video will need to be strategically planned for and addressed.

“CTV already represents 15% of time spent on the big screen in the U.S., but only 4% of media spend is devoted to the channel,” — Jessica Lough of Digitas

Take your programmatic game next level

Areas for agency buying improvement in the space are vast, but focusing on the following components will be key in establishing best practices and thought leadership moving forward:

  • Flexible buying
  • Prioritization of audience and context above technology
  • Removal of silos
  • Unified measurement solutions

Marketers are understanding that TV viewership is changing and that CTV/OTT must be a part of audience-based planning moving forward in order to continue to drive business results and achieve client goals.

As Chief Data Officer Megan Pagliuca noted in her keynote panel on “The Agency Vision,” advertisers need to be diligent about applying “reach and frequency-based digital models within data-driven television,” especially as growing numbers of advertisers continue to move away from GRPs.


1. eMarketer 2019