Bridging The Gap: Is YouTube Unifying Linear And CTV Ad Buying?
The television advertising industry has undergone tremendous changes, especially during the past two decades. The consumption of streamed content is soaring, and the traditional methods of purchasing and selling TV media have evolved substantially. Even though the lines between TV and digital advertising are becoming increasingly blurred, they remain separate. YouTube moved its YouTube Brandcast event to the same week as the Upfronts, making the distinction between the two essentially invisible.
Today, users neither watch the same content nor at predetermined times. They have the power to watch anything they want, anytime and anywhere. According to a recent study, 82% of households in the US have at least one connected TV (CTV) device.
The popularity of Connected TV(CTV)has increased drastically. However, it does not imply linear TV is dead. 51% of viewers think of streaming as an addition to watching traditional TV, not a replacement.
So Does YouTube’s timing of Brandcast mean the end of traditional TV? Perhaps it is simply asking everyone to stop treating linear and cable TV as completely separate entities. Consumers want both. Advertisers need to take this into account when planning media buying strategies.
Interesting Read: Connected TV Explained: The Essential Glossary Of CTV
What does YouTube’s stance mean for the advertising industry?
YouTube has surpassed Netflix to become the second-largest CTV player in terms of time spent watching. There is no doubt that demand for CTV is growing at a rapid pace both from advertisers and consumers. Thus, ad tech vendors must not only bridge the gap between linear and CTV buying, but also develop innovative methods to measure, analyze, and deliver that supply.
YouTube had also been a mainstay of the IAB’s NewFronts for more than a decade. It recently announced that its Brandcast will take place during the same week as the TV Upfronts. This also sends a message to TV traditionalists that “We are here only and not going anywhere.” Perhaps, it also serves as a link between linear and connected TV(CTV), which allows advertisers to reach a larger portion of their target audience on TV.
Linear and CTV Ad Buying
CTV viewership is expected to rise in the coming years, but that doesn’t mean traditional television is doomed. Video consumption online will persist as viewers increasingly turn to big screens to accommodate changing needs. Indeed, viewers are expecting cross-platform experiences. Consider the recent Super Bowl.
Although traditional television ratings were high, they did not break any records. Many users chose to stream. NBC data shows 11.2 million people streamed this year’s game. Youtube revealed the most viewed Super Bowl campaign is from Amazon, with this Alexa ad that exceeded 68 million views.
In the future, ad dollars will need to be split between CTV and traditional TV. It’s all one simple TV screen to the consumer, whether the content is delivered via the internet or a cable box. Media buyers should treat it as one and the same thing to strategically reach these consumers, irrespective of the viewing platform. If YouTube (being one of the big CTV players) is finding ways to bridge the gap then certainly they should also take a leap of faith even if they face resistance from traditional TV advertisers.
Media buyers are often demanding interoperability across TV viewing environments and platforms. Connected TV (CTV) has traditionally been viewed as an “add-on” to traditional linear campaigns, but with increased interest in CTV, both platforms are now on a more equal footing. At the end of the day, brands and media buyers need to understand and adapt to the changes that are essential for success in the advertising industry.
Interesting Read: A Look Ahead: Convergence Of Linear TV And Digital TV Advertising