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Premium video is entering a new programmatic era

Premium video is entering a new programmatic era

The demand for premium video inventory shouldn’t let up and as the convergence of TV and digital continues, programmatic trading is poised to become widely available across the TV landscape.

Video has become a key driver of ad spend in the UK, growing an impressive +12.6% for marketing spent in this category in 2021, compared to +4.2% in 2020 according to the IPA Bellwether Report Q3 2021.

At a larger European level, the 2021 Attitudes to Programmatic study from IAB Europe shows that it’s also a big driver of media agencies’ programmatic investment, with more than three-fifths (61%) buying over 41% of their video inventory programmatically.

On the other hand, according to the same IAB Europe report, when looking at the sell-side, only a small part of publishers’ video inventory (33%) is currently traded programmatically, and this percentage is even smaller when it comes to broadcasters’ premium video inventory.

Beyond the complexity of video programmatic trading, we think that programmers have shied away from opening supply to a bidding marketplace due to a number of concerns – but the potential for growth in this type of demand is compelling, particularly with the booming audience consumption of connected TV, over-the-top, and streamed content.

To support the growth of programmatic premium video, we believe, there are a number of steps, the industry still needs to address.

Audiences are taking TV outside the box

In recent years, we note that audience preferences have drastically shifted, altering the direction of the TV landscape.

A study from FreeWheel and Happydemics conducted in 2021 in four European key markets revealed that seven in 10 of the consumers surveyed now have internet-enabled TV sets, highlighting the rising interconnectivity of premium video viewing across Europe.

For the UK specifically, this number rises to eight in 10 consumers.

Across the TV industry, buyers and sellers are facing disruption caused by the diversification of viewing behaviours.

Digital and linear tend to converge into Advanced TV, which, in turn, means more and more screens are surfacing.

As a result, we note that advertisers and agencies are adjusting their budgets to ensure they reach these fragmented but highly engaged audiences.

With Advanced TV’s promise of cookieless targeting methods, in-flight campaign optimisation capabilities, and greater efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and control, marketers seem to be increasingly eager to leverage this medium.

According to a 2021 study by FreeWheel and CoLab Media Consulting in 5 European key markets, 60% of marketers surveyed in the UK intend to increase their Advanced TV budgets in the next 12 months.

It seems that attracting further spend should require sellers to make some important changes. With the infrastructure to support this new landscape, what’s holding broadcasters back from harnessing programmatic trading for premium video inventory?

(Read more)