Household Addressability is Wrong Framework for Future of TV Ads

"Most conversations around addressable begin and end at audience data, when in fact this is just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to wanting to know who they are reaching, marketers also want to know where, when and how." -Laura Buchman, Telaria

As streaming continues to displace traditional TV, the mechanisms required to execute an addressable campaign have evolved and are much more relevant. Addressable has historically meant household-level targeting on television, but with people now watching video-on-demand across many screens, there is greater complexity as to what it means to be addressable in today’s media landscape. With the rich data now available, advertisers are much closer to executing truly addressable TV campaigns.

Growth in OTT Viewing Puts True Addressable Within Reach 

Consumers are ditching traditional TV for OTT viewing on connected TVs, mobile and other internet-enabled devices which presents a massive opportunity for advertisers to apply their learnings from digital targeting to a premium video environment. According to Magna Global, OTT makes up nearly 30% of TV viewing time but has just a meager 3% share of TV ad budgets. Why should advertisers continue to spend on traditional TV when there is no guarantee as to who will see their ad? 

Now advertisers who want to target audiences are not limited to the fraction of inventory allocated to the MVPDs that have subscriber information attached, especially as OTT allows for targeting at the device level on multiple screens. The good news is that marketers can now serve different creatives on the various screens based on viewing habits rather than a one size fits all approach for the entire household — you could be streaming a cooking show in the kitchen, while someone else is in the living room is streaming sports and the tablet in the same room catches them up on news. Importantly, marketers also have the ability to reach the same users when they are outside the home consuming content on their mobile or tablet devices on the way to lunch or a trip to the market.  

Addressable Can Go Beyond the Household 

Most conversations around addressable begin and end at audience data, when in fact this is just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to wanting to know who they are reaching, marketers also want to know where, when and how. Video publishers have valuable contextual and behavioral data that can help advertisers better target their buys. These attributes can be woven into every addressability discussion for maximum ROI. For example, a major video game company advertising its latest release might want to look at streaming device data to target viewers who stream content through their Xbox. A QSR can find that same user at lunchtime when they are catching up on a show on their phone. Marketers then can serve creative for a nearby lunch spot based on location data and time, all contextual elements to target an engaged user.  

Solving the Scale Issue 

Finding scale is a key challenge when looking to find audiences on the big screen or other OTT devices, so it’s critical to start with as large a pool of inventory as possible. In many cases, a single digital publisher will not be able to provide the scale needed for successful execution of an addressable campaign. While traditionally, this was something possible only through MVPDs, today, the power of programmatic comes into play. Marketers have the option to buy on an impression by impression basis towards the desired audience, context or performance. When we combine the different inventory sets, devices and signals onto one platform, marketers are given rich possibilities for how they can target users. And these possibilities extend much more broadly than the limited data sets that were available in traditional TV. 

Internet-enabled streaming TV provides advertisers with granular data sets that they didn’t have in the days of traditional TV. It’s time to bring TV buying up to speed with how media is bought and sold in a digital-first environment. To fully realize the potential of targeted advertising, marketers can unite audience, contextual and performance data to form a more holistic view of their campaign strategy. Once that happens, the industry will be wondering why it was aiming for household-level targeting for so long.  

Telaria is the complete software platform that optimizes yield for leading video publishers.