Australia Leads in CTV, according to Xandr study

Tom Dover
By Tom Dover | 18 February 2021
Tom Dover

Tom Dover, senior account director, Xandr.

The way Australians consume TV is changing and changing quickly – brought about by the rise of new formats like video on demand, streaming or over the top services and connected TV (CTV). CTV, delivered through internet-connected devices like Apple TV or Chromecast, has proved to be the way of the future.

Many viewers no longer want to flick through TV channels. They want to control what they watch as well as when and where, creating a more engaged viewing experience. For media buyers and advertisers, this more “switched on” (pun intended!) audience provides untapped advertising opportunities and the chance to reach a large captive, identifiable audience.

Xandr recently released its CTV guide, Advertising’s Creative Canvas, which looks at the opportunities and challenges of CTV for advertisers and media owners. The data is revealing – and according to the report, Australia is home to a highly developed CTV market, with strong household usage. Nearly half of Australians aged over 14 have viewed content on a CTV and 30% are doing so daily across a range of platforms, including SBS, 10, Nine and Seven ’s multi-platform BVOD services, along with Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Stan, Binge and Disney+ and more.

What we know is that the number of Aussies viewing CTV content every day is growing exponentially (it rose by 22% over the last year alone) and most of the CTV audience is made up of the harder-to-reach, younger demographic.

All of this provides good evidence for investing in CTV advertising opportunities. CTV presents the best of both worlds – you get the scale and attention of traditional TV, with the addition of digital and a more attuned audience and addressable opportunities. Viewers are actively choosing to watch CTV and controlling their programming, creating higher dwell times and increased engagement. Ads become highly viewable, with completion rates of 90%.

CTV also offers the benefits of being driven by subscriber data. For advertisers, this means insights on their viewers, targeting at local, household or even device level. There is scope to learn critical information about audiences – likes, dislikes, consumption, peak viewing times, family make-up and more. All of this is incredibly valuable for advertisers. It ensures ads are relevant, targeted and content-driven, improving brand favourability and performance metrics: most viewers say exposure to a CTV ad would prompt them to tell a friend, search for a brand or buy a product.

With any new opportunity, however, there comes challenges. There is a critical need to simplify the CTV buying process. The industry is highly fragmented, making it difficult for advertisers to buy across a range of different services. Efforts are being made by broadcasters and technology platforms in Australia and globally to align and simplify access to devices, making it easier for brands to buy across multiple CTV channels.

For example, GroupM’s addressable TV business, Finecast, has created Finecast ID, a household identifier which combines authenticated logged-in user data from SBS and Australian FTA broadcast partners. Finecast ID helps agencies buy through a single point across the BVOD ecosystem, delivering an accurate and measurable CTV reach and frequency builder while also addressing concerns around consumer privacy and respecting regulatory pressures.

There is still a way to go to truly harness the potential of CTV. Advertisers remain cautious about fully investing in the CTV marketplace and many are prone to advise against an excessively digital strategy. According to the report, nearly 60% of Australian advertisers remain concerned about the accuracy of the audience data collected. Many also want greater certainty about brand safety, transaction flexibility and ability to deliver campaigns at scale.

There is no doubt the CTV revolution is bringing digital advertising to a new audience. It’s still in the early stages but programmatic TV that delivers tailored ads is on the rise and will drive the growth of ad-funded CTV in the future.