2020 is over. Done. Finished. Finito. As a global community we’ve donated, bonded, and celebrated the heroes amongst us. As consumers, we’ve streamed, ordered, and masked up. As an advertising community, we’ve listened, learned, adapted. After a year of disruption and what felt like constant change, new principles, best practices, and realities have emerged.
As we kick off 2021, the lessons we’ve learned and carry through to practice in 2021 will be many. Armed with those insights, we’re predicting 2021 will be another record shattering year for CTV growth and while some consumer behaviors are here to stay, others will fade. Read on to hear what we think is in store for 2021.
Connected TV gets scale
The meteoric rise of CTV will continue into 2021 as marketers strive to understand how CTV can achieve the scale historically found through its traditional counterpart, linear television. Innovid’s research found that CTV provides as much as 8% incremental household reach on top of linear exposure. Given roughly 25% of available CTV households are reached on an average campaign, marketers will have greater confidence and use standardized measurement to grow their investment in the channel moving forward.
Consumers will not go back to linear TV
As stay at home orders went in place, CTV adoption and time spent accelerated. And the growth isn’t done yet. After a boom in connected TV devices purchases this holiday season, the change is here to stay. Consumers will continue to spend time watching streaming TV.
And neither will advertisers
Because of this consumer shift, we’ll see advertisers continue to invest in CTV. The strategy of buying primetime television hasn’t changed: they still want to associate the brand with premium content and reach big audiences. The tactics, however, have changed. Advertisers will now purchase CTV inventory to achieve those goals. This growth and switch has already started: from January to the end of November, we saw a 58% YoY increase in impression growth in CTV, and November alone saw a 87% YoY impression growth.
The streaming era beckons convergent TV measurement
Linear ratings erosion and the rise of the streaming viewer will create a surge in demand for measurement of convergent TV. Consumers don’t think in terms of “live linear” or “addressable TV” and in 2021 neither will media planners or buyers. The buy side will push for analytics that provide an integrative view of all the ways we view content and consume advertising on the biggest screen in the home.
CTV programmatic, audience-based buying becomes the norm
This is a trend that’s already started and it's being amplified now: CTV programmatic buying. A year ago, the percentage of CTV media bought programmatically was in the mid-teens. And now, it’s growing into the mid-twenties. At Innovid, we’ve seen a 207% YoY increase in impression growth in programmatic based inventory. In 2021, we will see programmatic buying on CTV become the norm. It will be data-driven, audience-based and use technology and automation.
Marketers will focus on customer data to drive identity resolution in support of personalization and action-based outcomes
Marketers have been — and will continue — focusing their ad spend on showing action-based outcomes like website traffic, add to cart, absolute shopping and app downloads. The main problem with that focus is that marketers must know identity across media, sites and devices for that to work. We will see big progress on creating a uniform standard for identification in 2021.
Brands will consolidate marketing efforts and turn to omni-channel partners who can provide media personalization, delivery, and measurement.
The acceleration of viewers migrating from linear TV to connected TV has rewritten the rules for how to reach and engage consumer attention across an increasingly diverse and fragmented landscape. Now more than ever, marketers want a consolidated platform to personalize, deliver, and measure ads across every screen and device. Marketers looking to bridge the gap between linear TV and CTV, while integrating the customer experience across video, display, social, audio will find a single source of truth partner.
CTV's middle funnel will have its moment
As marketers shift more investment into CTV and optimize reach within the channel, they will look to integrate middle funnel signals to drive understanding of how CTV's reach influences consumers through their journey. Middle funnel metrics will grow in importance as marketers continue to navigate privacy and data interoperability required for omnichannel attribution.
Experiences will trump ecommerce as the world gets back to interacting - with some notable COVID-driven behaviors and comforts here to stay.
Digital is where everyone is spending time and money. This year saw an all-time high for ecommerce because consumers weren’t able to spend money on services like travel and restaurants, so they spent it on goods instead. In 2021, we’re going to see a big pull back on spending on goods once things start to open back up and consumers can start spending more on services. However, we can expect that virtual conveniences such as food delivery and curbside pickup are here to stay.
While 2021 has yet to reveal its impact on the industry, one thing is clear, advertisers will continue to embrace creative ways to reach their audiences and engage consumers through video.