IAB Australia’s Video Council – the trade association for online advertising in Australia – has released the country’s first white paper on Connected TV (CTV) which reveals that CTV now accounts for up to 35 per cent of Australian broadcaster’s online video supply.
The study, Connected TV: The New Era of Television, examines why, despite CTV rapidly growing in scale, advertisers are yet fully to embrace it as an advertising platform. The white paper documents the opportunities and challenges CTV holds for the Australian media industry and aims to inspire advertisers on how best to use it with contributions from Adobe, Carat, MCN, Nine, Telstra TV, Tremor Video and Yahoo!7.
“Our CTV white paper offers a significant resource for both advertisers and publishers looking to understand and leverage the exponential rise of CTV viewing in Australia,” noted Vijay Solanki, CEO of IAB Australia. “Video is experiencing truly exponential growth with 82 per cent of Australians consuming digital video each month and broadcasters are telling us anecdotally that approximately a third of this consumption is via CTV/over-the-top content (OTT). Consequently, it isn’t surprising that savvy advertisers are becoming increasingly interested in the CTV proposition and a wide range of content providers are seeing the big screen opportunity.” He added, “We see Connected TV becoming one of the strongest opportunities for advertisers as the industry resolves some of the measurement issues.”
Exponential growth of Connected TV
Over a 15-month period, Connected TV streams have experienced explosive growth increasing by 351 per cent (January 2016 – March 2017) across the four major free to air broadcasters in Australia.
Beginning in January 2016, Smart TVs made up 42 per cent of CTV supply, OTT devices 48 per cent and gaming consoles 10 per cent. By March 2017, this had shifted, with Smart TVs comprising 26 per cent, OTT devices 68 per cent, and gaming consoles at 6 per cent.
CTV presents a highly scalable opportunity for advertisers
The data indicates a steady incline in the number of Australians watching TV via CTV. 2.9 billion ad opportunities across Australia’s main four free to air broadcasters’ CTV streams are expected in 2017, with further increase in 2018.
CTV capitalises on the engagement of the full TV screen experience with the advantage of consumer control over the journey. Consequently, a captive audience consuming content that they want, when they want it on a large screen, offers significant opportunity for advertising engagement. Connected TV also has the ability to provide data on behaviour as well as a range of targeting opportunities. This provides a big screen experience with the added benefits that are linked to a digital experience.
Key challenges for advertisers
Trying to measure behaviour across a range of different OTT devices (such as Apple TV and Chromecast), gaming consoles and smart TVs that all work in different and often proprietary ways is technically difficult and expensive to implement a market level solution.
Furthermore, CTV content includes a diverse range of stakeholders, traditional broadcasters, OTT providers, digital video content (e.g. YouTube) which means that a CTV measurement solution needs to be a collaborative process across a wide spectrum of the broadcast and digital media industry.
However, according to IAB Australia’s Director of Research Gai Le Roy, the data collated for this white paper, bringing together traditionally siloed CTV data, is a significant first step to developing more sophisticated data sets useful for the buying community and it provides input to future audience measurement solutions and products.
“Australia has been a leader in hybrid panel and census based digital media measurement for many years and this approach would provide both the detail on ‘how many’ and ‘who’ needed for a robust audience measurement system. Hopefully as an industry we can collaborate and address the technical challenges that still exist to bring this sort of data to market.”
Nathan Powell, Co-Chair of the IAB Video Council and Nine’s Director of Digital Sales Products and a key contributor to the white paper concluded, “Connected TV is poised to become an important advertising opportunity in Australia as it continues to attract engaged audiences at scale. Its strength, in that it combines elements of linear TV and digital, is also its key challenge. Existing methodologies used to measure audience and viewability are not yet suited to a CTV environment and will need to advance. The IAB Video Council looks forward to driving innovation and collaboration in the CTV measurement space.”