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Declining linear TV viewership and increasing use of mobile devices for on-demand content viewing have put pressure on the revenue streams of many broadcasters. The pandemic has greatly accelerated this long-term trend, by simultaneously increasing viewer demand while reducing the ability of media companies to produce new content. As audiences shift to viewing media in new ways, advertisers are redeploying their spending to follow.
Success in this evolving market requires a multi-pronged approach to help advertisers better reach their target audiences. In response, media companies are taking a number of steps:
- Impressions-based digital and linear ad buys are replacing those based on gross ratings points, particularly for blended digital and linear campaigns. These help ensure that ad buyers’ goals are met without the headaches of make-goods
- Many broadcasters are creating new linear channels to provide viewers with ad supported content over traditional broadcast, satellite, and web-delivered channels. These channels are collectively called “FAST” channels, for “Free, Ad-Supported Television,” and can also be referred to as “dot channels” or “diginets” when they are broadcast within the spare spectrum in a 6 Mhz ATSC channel. One good example of this is Circle, launched as a new ad-supported OTA channel by Gray Television in 2020. Many broadcast groups are offering regional sports channels and news programming. Other services like “Local Now” from Allen Media Group are delivering localized news and premium content in 225 markets across the country.
- Sponsored podcasts and social media posts are opening up a range of possibilities where content can be customized to support advertiser messages. Web-based content is also being monetized, including broadcaster websites that provide banner, sidebar or in-line advertisements (or sponsorship recognition for non-profit broadcasters). On-demand OTT videos can include pre-roll ads, sponsored overlay graphics and embedded web links.
- Broadcasters can also form alliances with other types of media outlets. For example, radio and television broadcasters can cross-sell inventory on each other’s platforms, or create customized packages combining both media types. Hyper-local newspapers and websites that service individual communities are also ripe areas for establishing collaborative sales efforts.
- Increasing levels of automation are delivering improvements for both ad buyers and sellers. Programmatic ad buying and selling, long a staple of web-based advertising, is starting to become a force in broadcaster ad sales. These help buyers get the coverage that they want without having to laboriously execute discrete ad buys in multiple local markets. They also help give broadcasters better control over their ad inventory, and open up the realm of dynamic spot pricing.
“We have first-hand knowledge of many broadcasters and networks who have been able to increase their top-line revenues and bottom-line profits by giving their sales organization the ability to offer a wider range of advertising services,” said Mark Gorman, CEO of Matrix Solutions, a provider of media-specific CRM and sales management platforms. “Not only are the multi-pronged ad buys convenient and accessible, but they extend the media companies’ inventory offerings, while simultaneously giving them the ability to optimize the value of that inventory in a broader marketplace and to generate corporate value.“
Media company account executives can directly benefit when they have the ability to offer a wider range of choices in their portfolios, thereby allowing ad proposals to be tailored to meet specific goals. Multiple ad options can enable sales staff to provide a higher level of service and engagement with their customers, allowing them to more easily align with emerging trends even as audiences shift view habits.
By broadening their portfolios, broadcasters are better equipped to capitalize on the rapidly transforming marketplace. By embracing a diverse set of product offerings, and closely tracking new trends, media companies can more easily ride out the inevitable bumps in their revenue flows.
Explore how you can centralize and leverage all your media advertising 1st and 3rd party sales data to optimize inventory opportunities and value. Learn more here.
Matrix makes media happen by enabling efficiencies and working to uncover revenue so media companies can create content, entertain, and inform. Its flagship product, Monarch, is the only global ad sales platform built for media – transforming chaotic data into actionable sales information that delivers the insights necessary for prospecting, managing, evaluating, and closing business. The company manages more than $13 billion in media ad revenue, offering its best-in-class analytics, sales intelligence, media-specific CRM and sales tools to more than 10,000 media sellers to manage their workflow more efficiently. For more information, please visit www.matrixformedia.com.
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