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What is CTV & How Do You Buy It?


What is CTV & How Do You Buy It?

Connected TV (CTV) refers to any television set that can be used to stream video content over the internet. 

Content can be streamed through apps or other media; popular devices include Xbox, PlayStation, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, and similar products.

You can think of CTV as any form of connected television that uses the internet to deliver content rather than traditional coaxial cable.

Why Would You Want to Advertise on Connected TV?

CTV advertising offers several significant advantages compared to traditional TV delivery, primarily because it provides much more control over your campaigns.

Benefits of Connected TV advertising include:

Precise Targeting

Because CTV is delivered over the internet via streaming devices, far more audience data is accessible in reporting connected to viewers, including a host of variables tied to first-and third-party data sources.

In fact, audience segmentation and targeting capabilities are far more advanced than traditional TV options and much more in line with modern digital marketing capabilities.

CTV campaigns can target a series of audience characteristics, including:

If your campaign is all about niche audience targeting—and you want to reach a specific user or a series of different but well-targeted demographic groups or geo-locations—CTV is a much better solution than traditional TV advertising.

You can think of CTV advertising as a modern surgical strike using smart weapons, while traditional TV advertising is akin to a World War II-era carpet-bombing campaign.

One of the best capabilities of CTV is its ability to set firm frequency caps on your advertisement.

Unlike traditional TV, which doesn’t allow you to precisely control frequency capping for specific users—and which can end up flooding audiences with so many ads that your efforts engender a negative response from targeted consumers—CTV allows you to precisely control frequency caps.

Because CTV ads are shown to specific individuals and impressions are accurately captured, it’s possible to deploy hard frequency caps and ensure that you never end up overexposing your messaging to target audiences.

Comprehensive Analytics

Once again, because CTV content and ads are delivered over the internet rather than an analog coaxial cable, a wealth of data can be collected and interpreted compared to what’s possible with traditional TV.

To briefly explain, many of the same digital advertising metrics are available via CTV strategies, but you’ll also have access to traditional TV metrics, including gross rating points, online/offline sales, etc.

CTV even allows you to add attribution of footfall traffic, helping you to measure just how well your CTV ads are performing in generating real-world physical behaviors.

The ability to track and monitor a much wider variety of metrics via CTV gives it a huge advantage compared to traditional TV advertising, which only produces limited performance reports.

Premium Inventory

CTV allows you to tap into all of the same partners you’d have access to via traditional television advertising, but it also offers the ability to run your ads on streaming platforms.

With far more potential partners to choose from, the added flexibility lets you find and test niche audiences and partners, allowing campaigns to be much more laser-focused and providing better opportunities for optimization and improved ROI.

Connected TV allows for the purchase of 100%-full-screen, non-skippable inventory. By leveraging first-look private inventory deals, CTV allows the agency and advertisers to purchase streaming digital inventory and network groups such as Discovery+, ABC, NBC, A&E, Disney, and Scripps to name a few. CTV also allows inventory to be purchased for live sports events such as March Madness, the Super Bowl, and NBA, NHL, and MLB games.

The ability to place advertisements in desirable premium inventory allows CTV to be purchased as a supplement to traditional media plans, reaching the cord-cutters and cord-nevers who make up nearly 20% of all US households and overall reaching 75% of total streaming HHs. 

With the availability of premium inventory on household big screens continuing to grow, Connected TV should be an important part of all TV media plans.


How Do You Buy Connected TV?

Connected TV advertising isn’t purchased like traditional TV ads but much more like digital advertising.

Popular outlets for CTV ads include:

  • Demand-side Platforms (DSPs) on the open internet
  • OTT outlets such as Roku, Hulu, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Samsung TV, and Vizio TV
  • Connected TV outlets such as Tubi TV, Pluto TV, and Philo TV
  • Direct deals with network partners such as A&E, Discovery, and the Scripps Network

This makes CTV buying much more strategic but also more complicated. Accordingly, CTV isn’t necessarily an easy channel to jump into without prior experience because there are so many different options for choosing who to target, who to buy from, and how to collect useful data that will lead to successful optimizations.


What if You Want to Test Connected TV?

USIM combines the power of data with the scale of digital marketing to deliver targeted media impressions to the right audience at the right time via Connected TV advertising. 

Our CTV team will ensure that your budget is used where it works best to deliver a successful campaign that maximizes return on investment.

Our leadership and foresight in the industry were recognized with the Programmatic Agency of the Year award from MediaPost for 2015, 2016, and 2018, and we’re ready to leverage our expertise as industry leaders to optimize your approach to programmatic media. 

Recognizing the shift to streaming content in the TV industry, our leadership team has moved forward negotiating relationships with all of the major inventory providers, attributions, and streaming platforms. The likes of The Trade Desk, Roku, Hulu, Disney, TVSquared, and Foursquare have allowed USIM to position itself to drive campaigns that are both effective and efficient, measuring beyond the average Video Completion Rate (VCR) campaign.

For details on how we can help, please call us at (310) 482-6700, or fill out our contact form.

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