40% of TV Ad Spending to Be Data-Driven By 2020: Survey

Spending on data-enabled TV advertising is expected to reach a 40% share of total TV advertising in 2020, according to a new study commissioned by Comcast’s Blockgraph initiative.

The study of 150 advertisers and agencies conducted by Advertiser Perceptions found that advertisers said that 20% of their TV spending was data-driven in 2018 and would be 29% in 2019. That growth would accelerate in 2020 to reach 40% of spending in 2020.

Spending on data-driven advertising is growing at a 42% three-year compound annual growth rate.

The survey was part of a white paper from Blockgraph, an initiative started by Comcast’s FreeWheel unit aimed at creating a secure way to use data and share information used to create targeted TV ad campaigns.

Comcast’s NBCUniversal unit is also a big proponent of using data to make TV advertising more relevant and effective.

“The findings confirmed that advertisers are eager to bring additional data to TV, similar to their use of data in digital media. Yet, there is also the recognition that TV is different,” said Jason Manningham, general manager, Blockgraph. “So, while they are bringing more data to TV, the growth, albeit strong, is actually tempered a bit by today’s challenges.”

Among the challenges cited in the report were:

  • Low match rates in the new TV ecosystem because the growing number of content options and distribution channels make it difficult to measure who is seeing ad campaigns. Only 20% of those surveyed said they could “easily develop a 360-degree view” of their audience.
  • The split of audience relationships between distributors and content owners make data ownership and sharing more complex. The survey found that 54% of advertisers were concerned about competitive leaks when sharing information with media partners.
  • Protecting privacy and data security in this environment is a priority, with 79% of those surveyed saying protecting consumer privacy was a top concern in 2019, up 10% from 2018.
  • Using third-party data providers can make mounting targeted campaigns inefficient and add to turnaround time and cost. This was cited by 38% of advertisers as one of the top three reasons they didn’t use data to build audience segments for TV.

The whitepaper describes how Blockgraph can address some of the issues with data sharing and identity resolution, giving TV the ability to offer audience-based planning, execution, measurement and attribution on top of its large audience reach.

“Considering that data is the cornerstone to almost all of the innovation that will make TV a smarter, more efficient, more effective advertising vehicle, we need to solve the sizable challenges that still surround data sharing and activation,” said Dave Clark, general manager, FreeWheel. “What’s so exciting is that when I talk to clients, and hear their challenges and concerns around data, I know that FreeWheel is uniquely positioned to collaboratively provide solutions on behalf of the entire TV ecosystem. Our Blockgraph initiative offers both an example of our collaborative approach, and a path that can accelerate the growth trajectory of data-driven TV advertising. And it’s here.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.