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Adtech Empowers Industry Evolution: Predictions for 2023


If adtech embodied a person, by some accounts, it would be turning 28 this year. And, as with most humans, approaching the big 3-0 can bring plenty of adult growing pains, but also opportunities for lasting growth and positive change.

You see, today, adtech is the cornerstone of an industry in flux. With viewers dispersed across time, platforms, and devices, the advertising industry is, now more than ever, relying on adtech to help reach and engage with them in impactful, relevant ways. Spanning ad delivery, creative, and measurement, both the buy- and sell-sides are leaning hard on technology to reimagine TV advertising.

Looking into the crystal ball (or, more precisely, listening to the “fortune tellers” themselves), several seemingly inevitable, and certainly significant, predictions emerge. So what will this year bring across the converged TV landscape

CTV will continue to be the fastest-growing converged TV channel. 

It comes as little surprise that CTV’s trajectory will continue to soar. After all, it brings the possibilities of digital experiences (think interactivity, personalization, etc.) with, in some cases, linear-like reach. Need more proof? Innovid found that CTV comprised 40% of global video ad impressions in 2020. By 2021, that figure reached 46%. And that rate of growth will only continue. 

However, the sprawling CTV landscape also brings obstacles. David Helmreich, Innovid’s Chief Commercial Officer, told Business Insider, "Consumers are being overwhelmed by a number of platforms, subscriptions, and prices.” He went on to explain that, as content owners build different bundles to gain more subscribers, it may be difficult for consumers to find the content they want.

Unified measurement will become table stakes to “connect the dots.”

For advertisers, that means more challenges when it comes to consolidating measurement. Add linear to the mix, which still holds an essential role, and you have a fragmentation problem. 

As Jessica Hogue, Innovid’s General Manager of Measurement & Analytics, explained to The Drum, "... A unified view of converged TV – linear plus digital – becomes critical. With the right connected platform, advertisers can better understand the effectiveness of their campaigns across multiple environments, optimize to drive outcomes – like sales, downloads, and registrations – and demonstrate the returns of their investments." 

The gold standard in the new year is unified measurement. Yet, unless you have the right solution, you might be facing some difficulties as Ofer Druker, CEO of Tremor International, told Video Week: “In 2023, technology that addresses the convergence of linear and digital will move forward at a greater speed toward true cross-platform planning and activation solutions. Driven by the popularity of CTV and the ongoing growth of AVOD, we anticipate that the deployment of these solutions will start to make a significant impact in overcoming the complexity caused by increased fragmentation that has plagued both investment planners and publishers over the past few years.”

Advertisers will continue to adapt to the way people “watch TV” — especially live sports.

Live events, especially sports, have always been a linear staple. But like all viewing trends, this too is changing. With streaming platforms — notably AVODs — increasingly winning the rights to air sporting events, the opportunity is immense for advertisers to shift more spend to CTV and adapt creatives for interactive and shoppable experiences to take advantage of how more viewers are consuming content. The 2022 FIFA World Cup was a stellar example of the possibilities that come with reaching/engaging with viewers during streamed sporting events. 

Tal Chalozin, Innovid’s CTO & Co-Founder, explained to Advertising Week, “Streamed sports not only opens a multi-million audience up to advertisers, but also provides measurement, personalization, and attribution capabilities far beyond what was possible in linear broadcasting thanks to the abundant real-time data and dynamic inventory of CTV platforms." 

The face of ad selling will look a bit different.

Advertising isn’t stalling. In fact, despite the economic downturn, we’re betting you’ll see more of it. For one, companies who haven’t been ad sellers, like Uber and Best Buy, are hopping on the bandwagon. 

"Everything is, or could be, an ad network, and they will be addressable," Chad Engelgau, Global CEO of Acxiom told Business Insider, "Anything that requires an email address to access, including your Apple devices, can and will serve ads." 

We can also expect to see more retail networks emerge. After all, the digital advertising landscape is prime for innovative experiences and lush with touchpoints to engage. 

“There will be increased competition in the category over the next one-to-three years as more retail networks emerge and more non-endemic brands get into retail media advertising. Whether handcuffs or bunkers, brands should consider the risk-to-rewards of either lane,” Alexandra Theriault, General Manager of Spherical at Lotame said to The Drum

We have the power to ask the big questions around outcomes. This year, we’ll finally start doing it. 

During times of economic uncertainty — when cost optimization is a top priority — it’s even more critical to prove that cross-platform campaigns are working. And that means showing their direct impact on the business. Measuring outcomes will be a top priority for advertisers this year to answer the question, “what actions did my campaign drive in CTV and linear?” 

Hogue spoke on this shift, "In 2023, advertisers will demand insight into the actual outcomes of their campaigns: ‘Did this streaming service help me increase a real-life commercial goal? How did my linear campaign directly impact app downloads? Which platforms are working for me and which are not?’ And they are right to ask these questions — the technology exists to answer them.”

Final thoughts 

We’d be lying if we said this year would be all calm waters and maintenance of the status quo. In fact, it’s looking much better than that. Overall, 2023 will bring growth, and those willing to endure change will undoubtedly reap the rewards. All that being said, we encourage you to add solutions that support these trends (i.e. consolidated measurement and tools for automation) to your arsenal before heading into battle.