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Top 3 Takeaways from the NAB Streaming Summit

Written by Jeffrey Ginzburg

Top broadcasters, tech innovators, and TV industry heavy-hitters filled the Jacob Javits Center during NAB’s Streaming Summit in NYC — all advocating betterment for TV and OTT/CTV ecosystems. This smaller version of NAB’s annual Vegas show acted as a resource for attendees looking to learn, network, and collaborate to push the TV industry forward. The energy and ambition throughout the Javits Center was something to experience.

Topic-specific summits occupied the conference rooms surrounding the tradeshow floor. Among them was the TV2020 summit, which explored the potential of emerging opportunities on the big screen, as well as the Streaming Summit, which spoke to packaging, monetization, and distribution of online video.

The NAB’s Streaming Summit featured 50+ presentations and sessions from over 125 speakers and the biggest theme is that publishers today have more power to change the advertising industry than ever before. Here are the top three takeaways from the NAB Streaming Summit:

 

1. Publishers have opportunities to capitalize on shifting consumption trends.

David Morris, EVP of Advanced Advertising at CBS, said “Everyone has an appetite for ad dollars and competition is fierce to secure it.” Content consumption via digital streaming on OTT/CTV devices is increasing. Innovid serves one in every three U.S. video impressions, which provides us with indicative data sets and invaluable view of the market.  We see that 28% of total impressions run on OTT/CTV and these screens are steadily taking market share away from desktop and mobile ad spending quarter over quarter.  

Since advertisers are the ones keeping the lights on, it’s clear that publishers delivering against their demands will be the ones securing the most campaigns. One of the biggest demands lately is for better audience targeting and engagement on OTT/CTV. 

Targeting on desktop and mobile has been optimized for effectiveness ever since the first web browser became popular in the early 1990s. Targeting on linear TV is still narrow and campaign data is basically non-existent beyond “did the ad run, and if so, how many people saw it?”  Now that we can digitally stream on TV screens via smart TVs and OTT devices, there’s a massive opportunity for advertisers to reach audiences in a more targeted, personalized way, and report on that delivery more granularly than on linear TV.

Publishers act as the bridge between advertiser and consumer.  Therefore, pressure falls directly on publishers to offer advertisers innovative, effective ways to reach and engage with different types of consumers — or risk losing to their competitors. In due time, we’ll find out which publishers are truly capitalizing on delivering advertisers and audiences what they want on OTT, and which ones will be playing catch up.

 

2. It’s advantageous for publishers to guide advertisers through OTT/CTV challenges effectively.

Jeremy Helfand, Hulu’s VP and Head of Ad Platforms, turned to the Streaming Summit audience and said, “Advertisers know the targets and audiences, but what they really want to know is the results of their actions.”

When it comes to delivering on OTT/CTV it seems many advertisers still need help understanding how it’s done effectively and efficiently. Some marketers understand the OTT/CTV landscape better than others, but a large majority still rely on their agencies for direction. However, the agencies are also trying to learn the ins and outs of these devices. This gives publishers an incredible opportunity to guide them toward achieving success on the digital TV screen. Publishers act as the pipes connecting online marketers to consumers wherever they are, so they have the most exposure to knowing what’s involved for both ends to work in harmony.  That’s why it’s of the utmost importance for publishers to stay current with the new OTT/CTV opportunities.

Some publishers are already in an advantageous position, like the top consumed OTT/CTV channels, for example. Top consumed channels on OTT/CTV are comprised of many broadcasters who’ve spent years monetizing content on other screens before thinking about monetizing digital TV viewership. Over time they’ve learned that strategically utilizing ad tech and data effectively helps secure more business.  The CBS’ and CWs of the world all worked through VAST to VPAID evolutions, optimized how third-party vendors complement their business, and figured out how to make cross-screen data actionable.  Now’s the time to replicate what’s worked on other screens and apply it to OTT/CTV. 

We’ve reached a tipping point where targeting can be personalized on OTT/CTV, cross-screen measurement is possible, and ROI is becoming easier to prove out.  All publishers need is the right framework to deliver against these KPIs. Therefore, publishers should invest in educating their teams, engineering a consolidated ad stack for operating efficiency, and making sure ad products are exciting and interesting to their audiences.  It’s all about elevating the experience on all sides and if it’s done right, then a publisher officially walks the walk. Simply — invest in yourself, share knowledge, deliver on your word, and  repeat as many times as possible to secure more campaigns!

 

3. The time for publishers to act is NOW.

Jason DeMarco, VP of Programmatic and Audience Solutions at A+E Networks, said it best at the summit: “If you don’t have the capabilities when the balance is ready, then you’ll fall behind as an ecosystem.” He spoke about how systems, automation, and data now play a huge role on TV and stressed the importance of having a strong foundation in place to differentiate yourself as viewership moves from less linear consumption into more digital viewing. 

We all know ad spend on OTT/CTV is growing, and publishers need to act fast if they want to welcome the revenue that’s knocking on their door. Publishers who are already engineering resources to support and accept more OTT/CTV ad revenue are smart and they understand that the time to capitalize on OTT/CTV’s growth is now. If they wait too long then they risk losing campaigns to competitors who are a step ahead. To win, you must skate to where the puck is going and not where the puck is now.

 

For more information on new opportunities for engaging marketing on OTT/CTV, download our CTV report, featuring research and case studies from Volvo and Modi Media, as well as true[X].

Topics: Television, Publisher, Events, OTT, Connected TV