By David Spencer, Commercial Director MENA, FreeWheel
In a recent article, I discussed accelerating the convergence of linear TV and premium digital video in MENA’s dynamic and expanding market, to ensure media companies can monetise video content across multiple channels and formats. This convergence also brings a number of opportunities for brands to use the TV and video ecosystem to reach engaged audiences, assuming the digital advertising industry can overcome certain challenges.
For brands, there are three benefits of a converged ecosystem. First, it brings an unprecedented level of measurability. Brands invest vast sums in TV advertising globally – over $140 billion last year – because it is a powerful medium with unparalleled reach. However, it is difficult to assess the performance of TV ads and optimise campaigns accordingly. In a convergent ecosystem, brands can use advanced attribution to measure performance and reallocate spend in real-time, as well as to test different formats and creatives.
The second benefit is the ability to target ads to individual households according to demographic or interest data. Addressability through programmatic media buying opens up the possibility of localised advertising at a national scale. It also makes TV campaign costs more affordable for smaller brands.
The final opportunity is to tell seamless brand stories by connecting multiple identifiers. Whether consumers are using a mobile device, laptop, or connected TV, and watching via internet protocol TV (IPTV), video-on-demand (VOD), or linear TV, brands can stitch together their journey to deliver positive and consistent experiences with regular exposure to appropriate messaging.
Despite these opportunities, some brands can be reluctant to trust the entirety of their advertising dollars to the programmatic ecosystem. Issues with certain inventory relating to quality, viewability and brand safety, have created misplaced unease in the industry as a whole and worthwhile initiatives have been in place for a while to address each of these concerns individually. These include the IAB’s ads.txt standard, which indicates whether a media seller is authorised to trade specific ad inventory, reducing the opportunity for a type of fraud known as domain spoofing. But in parallel to these initiatives, there must be a holistic approach to establishing trust in programmatic by simplifying the supply chain, forming direct links between buyers and sellers, and increasing transparency.
Freewheel’s aim is to create the world’s largest premium TV and video marketplace, based on open and agnostic technology. Our tools and initiatives give publishers control of their inventory through direct relationships, while advertisers can manage their own campaigns through demand-side platforms. We enable the unification of demand and supply-side insights and also partner with multiple third-party measurement providers, including MOAT for viewability, Nielsen for audience segmentation, and WhiteOps and IAS for fraud protection.
In conclusion, the keywords of the day are measurability, addressability and unification. Premium is the safer road and, by taking advantage of a solid premium video ecosystem, brands can enjoy enhanced control and predictability, compliance with established standards, long term growth in ROI, and the opportunity to tell a seamless story.