Advanced Television

Research: Transparency biggest obstacle in CTV advertising

February 22, 2024

Amid fast-growing interest and investment in Connected TV (CTV) across the UK and Europe, a report, The Power and Potential of CTV in Europe, reveals that CTV advertising still suffers from a lack of transparency and need for quality verification. Only 30 per cent of advertisers and publishers have full transparency into where ad placements appear, and 27 per cent never or rarely have insight into the brand suitability of the shows ads run alongside.

These findings are part of a study conducted by DoubleVerify (DV), a software platform for digital media measurement, data and analytics, in collaboration with IAB Europe, the European-level association for the digital advertising and marketing ecosystem.

The report, which surveyed over 420 senior advertiser and publisher executives, complements the results of an analysis conducted by DV in 2023, which found that one third of impressions are served into CTV environments where TVs are turned off. This wasted digital investment on a hyper-premium channel is compounded by a sharp rise in CTV ad fraud schemes — which tripled between 2020 and 2022. Meanwhile, demand for CTV continues to grow beyond what individual broadcasters alone can serve.

Transparency and measurement were cited by respondents as key issues, with a major challenge for both advertisers and publishers being the availability and quality of measurement data on CTV. However, the report notes that, while verification on CTV buys is being increasingly considered to support quality outcomes, only 37 per cent of advertisers and 41 per cent of publishers have fraud protection. Meanwhile, only 44 per cent of advertisers and 39 per cent of publishers are measuring whether their ads have been viewed.

Despite these obstacles, optimism surrounding CTV remains high. A huge 95 per cent of advertisers and 89 per cent of publishers strongly believe that addressability and actionability are on the horizon for CTV, which will help advertisers drive outcomes from their campaigns and continue to fuel greater publisher investment.

For advertisers, CTV is an attractive channel that provides an opportunity to access premium programming at scale — expanding and augmenting audiences they may already reach on linear TV. Just over half (51 per cent) of respondents cited scale as one of their key priorities. And while CPMs on CTV are typically higher than those of other digital channels, 51 per cent of advertisers also see investing in CTV as a way to achieve cost efficiencies compared with linear TV.

For publishers, the focus is on providing high-quality inventory and qualified audiences to expand yield and deepen revenue. The top priority for 51 per cent of publisher respondents is convincing new partners to begin advertising on CTV. This is closely followed by increasing CTV revenues with new (46 per cent) and existing clients (45 per cent), and extending audiences (38 per cent) to help their advertiser partners amplify their reach.

“The burgeoning CTV market will be a lightning rod for European brands in 2024, and the results of this report clearly indicate that media buyers are swiftly aligning their strategies to accommodate the unique objectives and opportunities the medium supports, ” commented Nick Reid, SVP & Managing Director EMEA at DoubleVerify. “In the face of this expansion, transparency is a critical limiting factor for more sure-footed investment and reliable results. As we collaborate with IAB Europe to promote transparency and quality verification, I am excited to see how advertisers and publishers will work to set the stage for the next phase of European CTV.”

“Our report with DoubleVerify confirms there is good reason to be optimistic that CTV advertising will see continued growth in the UK and Europe, and media planners should be looking eagerly at how CTV advertising can augment and drive results,” said Helen Mussard, Chief Marketing Officer at IAB Europe. “However, it has also shone a light on a glaring need for verification and greater quality control. Once addressed, brands will be able to enjoy the full benefits of this transformative channel.”

“CTV shows strong potential in markets with robust retailer data availability and capabilities, serving as a catalyst for driving revenue,” said Olya Dyachuk, Global Media & Data Director, The Heineken Company. “Unlocking this potential hinges on integration at media planning and execution levels and incorporation of CTV into the media mix seamlessly alongside traditional AV and Programmatic Online Video. Planning for high quality inventory, contextual relevance, and brilliant fit-for-purpose creative are also critical for success in the CTV space. This unified approach allows for optimum attention, resulting in better mental availability and maximum brand impact.”

“Understanding precisely where your advertisement is placed and having the ability to drive optimisation is as crucial as ever for brands,” added Alex Thomas, Director, Brand Safety & Responsible Investment, GroupM. “The CTV landscape has historically grappled with fragmentation and technological limitations, hindering the development of these vital elements through the ecosystem. While progress has been made, it’s evident there is still room for further advancement, which is key to reducing brand safety and suitability concerns across CTV.”

Categories: Advertising, Articles, Connected TV, Markets, OTT, Research

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