Unfolding The TV Ad-Tech Revolution

The TV  business is going through a fundamental metamorphosis worldwide. The art of storytelling in video continues to be, and will remain a dominant form of entertainment. Almost simultaneously, the  underlying business models, technology and operating methods are changing to adapt to a whole new world of globalized content distribution, matching speed with our changing behavior of consuming video on mobile devices. All forms of media other than TV have always been targeted, be it local editions on print, city-specific FM radio, area-specific billboards and personalized media consumption in Internet-enabled devices. Although TV is certifiably the largest advertising medium, it has sorely lacked options for targeted advertising. With the advent of Internet devices and IP connected set-top boxes, advertisers have woken up to the idea of targeted advertising on TV.Baskar Subramanian - Co founder, Amagi Media Labs Pvt Ltd

TV ad-tech is expanding in three dimensions,

  1. Geographic and demographic targeting on pan-regional TV
  2. Personalized targeting on live and on-demand TV content on connected devices.
  3. Data-driven programmatic buying

Targeting on pan-regional TV

As traditional TV advertising is reaching its limits, TV networks worldwide are starting to leverage targeted advertising infrastructure to enhance their advertising yield. Geo-targeting has existed in the US on cable TV platforms, and now we are seeing TV networks worldwide starting to explore targeting options on their inventory.

Geo-targeting and demographic targeting on traditional cable and satellite TV platforms is providing additional revenue for TV networks. TV networks are driving geo-targeted advertising options in the UK (across their terrestrial networks), Central Europe, Russia, Middle East and Germany (govt has announced regulation for local advertising on TV).

Amagi which pioneered geo-targeting by partnering with multiple TV networks in India, has also helped TV networks to geo-target advertising in Russia, Brazil, Singapore and Middle East as well. STAR India also runs its own geo-targeting network enabling regional buys on their TV channels.

Given its cultural diversity and regional differences, there is a crying need in India for regional targeting of advertisements on TV. The country is currently split across 17 markets where advertisers can buy inventory on premium TV channels for each of the regions. These regions are mapped to BARC measured markets, which enable advertisers to be able to plan holistically across geo-targeted ad spends and their national media spends.

Across India, large advertisers to regional SME brands have leveraged targeted TV advertising, and are growing at a dramatic pace in leveraging this media option.

Demographic targeting on TV is one of the biggest trends in the US. Given tens of millions of set-top-boxes with IP connectivity, data collected from viewership is driving targeting across rich demographic segmentation.

Personalized targeting on live and on-demand TV

2015 was the year TV content worldwide started to come on online platforms in a big way. TV networks are starting to build direct-to-consumer strategies for reaching their audience.

As TV content in both live and on-demand move to IP connected devices, TV networks are building TV-like content experiences with personally targeted advertising on connected devices. This has been the holy grail of advertising; to target individuals and serve the most apt advertising.

In India, there are multiple TV networks bringing their linear and on-demand content online. With the expected increase in 3G and 4G penetration, TV content owners are preparing to monetize their content online, and advertising is the most dominant commercialization option available at this point of time.

There are multiple initiatives worldwide to enhance video advertising with interactivity and context to enhance audience connect. In the next few years lot of these would come to our mobile devices as content owners and advertisers are looking to make the video experience as personalized as possible.

Data-driven programmatic buying

TV has been historically bought in a traditional brick-n-mortar model. That is about to change. Media buyers are starting to leverage online programmatic buying platforms to buy TV inventory. Internet-media buying practices of leveraging data and real-time bidding are starting to come into the TV buying market.

Given TV on traditional and connected platforms are nothing but video, media buyers are looking to integrate their buys across online video and TV. There are initiatives worldwide to create an integrated GRP metric and identifying unduplicated reach across all viewing platforms.

Democratizing advertising

The availability of targeting across devices and online buying models is democratizing advertising and bringing new advertisers. At Amagi we get close to 4000 first time advertisers asking for advertising options on a monthly basis. These are largely SME brands across different regions in the country and span businesses ranging from education, FMCG, real estate to consumer goods and local services.

An exciting future

Over the next few years I envision an all-encompassing demand-side platform that allows advertisers to express their objectives. These platforms would then connect with multiple supply-side platforms across different media options, analyze large amounts of data from multiple data sources and come with the most optimal media plan for the objective the advertiser is looking to meet.

Lines will be blurred across traditional and online medium. Machines will integrate them into a seamless media planning and buying experience for all big and small advertisers.

I am excited and looking forward to this new world order. Are you ready for this change?


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