Advanced TV refers to how the delivery of television content has evolved beyond the traditional linear models. This includes OTT, indexed linear TV, connected TV and addressable TV, among others. According to the IAB, the term advanced TV was “…first used at the MIT Media Lab in the early 1990s to explain why high definition TV was only an early step in the foreseeable enhancements to the medium.” Consider advanced TV the catchall for all of today’s data-driven forms of television.
Advanced TV enables advertisers to deliver different ads to different audience segments, across all devices. Whether your target audience is watching on their smart TV, mobile device, tablet, or computer, you can reach them with advanced TV.
Historically, TV was thought of as the “black box” of advertising with little to no measurement possible. Think of the often-referenced John Wanamaker quote: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”
With advanced TV, marketers can now measure the true impact of their campaign to justify budgets, as well as gain insights on how to optimize spending for future campaigns.
While applying data to TV planning isn’t a new concept, marketers now have the ability to apply cross-screen datasets to advanced TV activations, then receive campaign performance reports that prove campaign efficacy from their trusted technology partners. By offering improved transparency into TV campaigns, advanced TV has revolutionized the opportunities TV presents advertisers. No matter how your audience watches TV, you can apply strategic audience data to deliver the most relevant messaging.
When we talk about advanced TV, we also have to talk about how people’s viewership habits have changed. Today’s audiences can watch TV however, whenever and wherever they want. No longer limited to the television set, consumers are increasingly watching TV delivered over the internet. This has created a confusing landscape for advertisers, that once only needed to focus on a wider demographic across two or three TV networks.
As new technology continues to offer consumers more ways to stream, on more devices, advertisers need to take a more thoughtful approach to TV campaign planning. In the advanced TV landscape, it is increasingly important for advertisers to understand not only where they’re watching, but how best to reach them – all while matching the message to the audience.
Why It Matters Now
The pandemic has significantly altered American life. In the past year, many of us have experienced changes in the way we work, learn, parent, travel, and consume media. As daily habits shifted, Nielsen researchers found that video streaming increased from 19% at the end of 2019 to 25% by the middle of 2020.
In addition to the impact of the pandemic, the U.S. is also experiencing a cultural shift that is putting pressure on countless retail brands to get the best possible ROI from their ad spend. Knowing how to leverage data and collect insights from prior campaigns to improve future campaigns are key components of driving brand success for cross-channel campaigns on advanced TV platforms.
Imagining advertising beyond 2020, two trends are clear: families will still gather by the TV, whether they’re watching news, movies, or other programming, and advanced TV will continue to evolve and grow in popularity. As viewership ebbs and flows across OTT, indexed linear TV, connected TV, addressable TV and more, marketers will need to embrace the data capabilities available for each medium.
Ultimately, what sets advanced TV apart from other mediums is the variety of devices on which audiences can consume content, the use of behavioral audience data for targeting, and the capability for closed-loop reporting.