2021 - Is Australia ready for addressable TV?

By Ilda Jamison | Sponsored
Ilda Jamison

Addressable TV will become the new industry obsession in 2021 as broadcasters - buoyed by the mainstream success of OTT - apply data and technology to modernise linear TV, looking to attract budgets from digitally savvy advertisers through more granular targeting, measurement and reporting.

In Australia OTT and BVOD has been embraced by consumers and advertisers alike with 80% of Australian video viewers watching OTT regularly according to SpotX’s OTT is for Everyone research report. Brands have flocked to OTT where they can benefit from the best of TV and digital combined. Advertisers have developed the taste for applying data-led decisioning, sophisticated measurement and brand safety capabilities to TV-like ad experiences on the big screen and now broadcasters are eager to give traditional TV a shot in the arm.

With Australia’s all-screen, cross-platform planning and reporting tool VOZ currently in test phase, the promise of a single view of deduplicated reach and frequency is tantalisingly within reach and will have significant impact on the emerging addressable TV trend.

Whereas OTT and BVOD were effectively new digital distribution channels at their inception, addressable looks to overhaul the behemoth that is traditional linear TV, a task that shouldn’t be underestimated considering all the legacy processes, technologies and lexicons. However, the revenue opportunity is real. Despite the naysayers, TV still offers scale and impact, and remains popular with brands. With the transformative effects of data and technology, TV will quickly become capable in delivering bottom of the funnel sales and activation objectives as well as the brand building it is famous for.

So how can the major players in the industry ensure they are ready to maximise the addressable opportunity in 2021?

Buying and selling linear TV is straightforward and well-established. However, for addressable to take off, simplicity is essential especially considering the potential complexity that comes with increased capabilities and functionality.

Reducing buying friction should be priority number one, required both at a broadcaster and industry level.

A critical component is industry standardisation across targeting and measurement to enable advertiser’s to find audiences, track and measure their campaigns across multitude of broadcasters, virtual multichannel video programming distributors (vMVPD) and device manufacturers. All of which will require deep collaboration and new partnerships often amongst frenemies who all need to agree e.g on targeting definitions and universe estimates.

A happy consumer must ultimately be the true north star, for whom the aim should be to deliver seamless, frequency-capped and personalised advertising that can create a more enjoyable and relevant viewing experience.

Agencies have had a tough time in the last 12 months, however the shining light within recent earnings reports have been associated with their data businesses. This is a vindication of the multi-billion dollar investments by the likes of IPG in Axiom and Publicis in Episilon for example.

The success of WPPs advanced TV outfit Finecast could be a reflection of things to come with clients drawn to the promise of addressable TV that combines scale and advanced data activation and measurement capabilities delivered via a fully-managed service. Australia offers a sizable addressable opportunity - free to air and pay TV usage is the highest across APAC with 69% of Australia video viewers watching regularly according to SpotX research.

The ability to access and activate against broadcasters first party subscriber data will be key for the buy side where accurate reach and frequency is a must and a priority for addressable TV standardisation efforts.

As the younger demographic flock to OTT and cut the cord, 62% of Australian TV viewers are more than 45 years old. Addressable TV could carve out an interesting position as the key channel to engage the older generation, who with higher disposable income are an attractive and lucrative audience for brands.

Central to the success of addressable is the need for a solid tech stack. This includes Data Management Platforms (DMP) that allow targeting based on granular audience segments that utilise a mix of broadcaster/advertiser first party data along with the ability to leverage third party data sets. Server Side Ad Insertion (SSAI) is essential to insert digital ads within linear feeds, deliver buffer-less transition between ads and content, manage creative separation and podding, to content recognition technology that identifies where to insert ad breaks within live broadcast feeds.

Not to forget the essential tech of, DSPs, SSPs, ad servers, measurement and brand safety tools required to bring the true power of programmatic to bear.

Broadcaster's have been on this journey before with their transition to programmatic and launch of their AVOD offerings, however with new and additional considerations for addressable, trusted and transparent partners are key.

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