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The Next Frontier of CTV: Unpacking Key Opportunities

Navdeep Saini, co-founder and CEO of DistroScale, parent company to DistroTV
(Image credit: DistroScale)

CTV has caused a seismic shift in the media and entertainment landscape, which can mainly be attributed to its reach and accessibility. Consumers are continuing to cut the cable cord and gravitate toward this media platform as CTV provides access to an abundant amount of programming and has expanded how and where audiences can view content. CTV is not only changing the way consumers interact with media- advertisers are quickly adapting to the changing TV landscape and tapping into targeted audiences in order to effectively engage with consumers 

As the adoption of CTV continues to revolutionize the media landscape, it’s important to begin to look for opportunities to take advantage of the medium’s rapid growth trajectory. CTV will only continue to grow in available offerings, and provide highly accessible content to consumers across multiple platforms, giving the brands who advertise on these platforms further access to consumer data.

We are witnessing the globalization of content -- streaming platforms are featuring both VoD content and dedicated channels, meaning that there will be equal emphasis on both live and linear programming as we move forward. Within both on-demand content and live programming lies opportunities for targeted advertisements to reach the desired consumer. 

For a brand to really strategically position itself at the forefront of this changing landscape, it is imperative they prepare a clear and targeted advertising plan in an effort to connect to their audience through CTV. This can be accomplished by ensuring that CTV platforms are specifically included in a company’s advertising & marketing budget. To not take advantage of the advertising capabilities offered through CTV, especially given its rapid growth nationally with consumers, would be a missed opportunity for brands. 

Enter the FAST (free, ad-supported streaming TV) market. We’re at a time when brands are mapping out their intended budgets and strategies for the year ahead. Brand marketers would be wise to consider setting aside the resources to consider building their own streaming TV channel. Publishers or advertisers can start their own channel at little to no overhead cost thanks to the many FAST services out there today, and they can also immediately profit off of the channel’s viewership. Easy access to existing viewership or audiences will give any brand looking to grow via CTV a leg up over their competition. 

So, you might be thinking: what’s next? Where is the next opportunity? Right now, the untapped opportunities in the future of CTV lie in both the marketing capabilities of advertisers to reach a targeted audience, and in the ability to create highly customizable content for a brand’s audience. The collaborative opportunities across brands and audiences are truly endless here. If a brand can tap into the interests of their unique audience, not only can customized advertisements appear on a CTV platform, but unique content geared specifically towards the interests of an audience can be quickly developed and streamed via CTV. Simply put, streaming TV services offer more diverse offerings and therefore provide advertisers with the ability to target consumers at a more granular level. 

Unlike a larger broadcasting network, this streamlines the process of developing content and advertisements because of the access to unique consumer data down to the household or individual streaming device. This allows advertisers to reach their target audience like never before by using clear data points directly from the consumers' CTV habits. 

In thinking through the previously mentioned advertising and marketing opportunities for a targeted audience, we can ask ourselves: what’s on the horizon from CTV? We can expect to see advertisers from all media platforms flocking over to CTV from traditional, linear TV in an attempt to access a growing audience. 

We are watching audiences consume content in this manner more than ever, with growth in 2020, and beyond, simply skyrocketing. Because of this, we can expect not only unique and targeted ads to come through our CTV devices, but we can also expect to see custom streaming content in the form of series, shorts, movies, or even variety shows featuring the specific talent or brand that an audience craves. 

In this changing landscape of TV media, we are not in a position of “if” CTV will surpass traditional linear TV, but “when”. And increasingly, that “when” is pointing to now. Now is the time to think and act strategically in an effort to keep up with the rapidly changing behaviors of TV consumers and advertisers. To not change and adapt to your audience is to miss out on so much untapped potential in your ad spend.

Distro TV is an independent free ad-supported streaming television platform.

Navdeep Saini

Co-founder and CEO of DistroScale, parent company of DistroTV