The CTV Dilemma: Current State, Barriers In Measurement & Marketing Solutions

CTv marketing

Connected TV has been on the rise, but is nowhere close to linear TV. Here are insights from industry experts and brand custodians on what can expect in this up & coming media channel – the CTv ecosystem.

Connected TV is the preferred connection at 65%, according to a survey published in the Finecast report, and Smart TVs, devices such as Firestick, and Internet-enabled set-top boxes v/s 35% Linear (Cable + DTH). CTv has become the transitional point where traditional cable networks and digital OTT platforms meet, creating an all-encompassing media channel that marketers need to be versed with.

The Experts

  • Anjali Krishnan Madan, Director – Consumer Experience, Mondelez
  • Gulshan Verma, CEO, JioAds
  • Bharath Kumar Mohan, CEO, Sensara Technologies India
  • Vignesh Narayanan, Head of Business, Airtel Ads
  • Parthasarathy M A, Chief Strategy Officer – South Asia, GroupM

The Current State Of CTv

The Indian region has been experiencing an upsurge in connected TVs, driven primarily by the spike in OTT viewership. Availability of content across multiple platforms and the combination of linear TV channels and OTT platforms is a driving force to lead the growing share of CTv to 22% in 2027 globally, a jump from the 12% share of Total TV, according to the Finecast report.

Parthasarathy M A, Chief Strategy Officer – South Asia, GroupM, mentions that the evolution of the TV screen changes consumer behavior and is impacting brands, and the newer marketing blueprints, altering the approach towards integrated planning.

Anjali Krishnan Madan, Director – Consumer Experience, Mondelēz International, states the brand is always on the lookout for new ways to connect with consumers and if CTv is where the consumer is going, that’s an opportunity.

“Having said that, it’s still sitting with low numbers on connectivity and we use it experimentally across our brands, particularly for premium brands, and for brands that cater towards a younger audience. So, while we’re doing the testing, I think it’s in a nascent stage, pretty much like it used to be when digital first started out,” she adds.

Vignesh Narayanan, Head Of Business, Airtel Ads reckons there are two fundamental problems being solved – improving access to relevant content and improving their referral publishers. There are several CTv players right now, it is getting fragmented, but “We don’t have the right tools to make it addressable.”

He further highlights multiple concerns across the CTv ecosystem, multiple publishers, broadcasters scaling up and making it more addressable, and “Thereby creating higher CPMs, or higher cost per slot, etc”.

Broadcasters, technology partners, distributors, and brands need to come together to capture a large part of the media, make CTv more addressable, and generate high ROI for everyone.

Vignesh Narayanan

Amit Kumar Yadav, Country Manager – South Asia, Pubmatic shares scale is the biggest issue. The secondary concerns are transparency on the slate of content, technology to support the ecosystem, and flexibility as a media channel are the obstacles to an advanced level of accessibility. “Cross-platform measurement tactics, which can help not just scale but also measure performance attribution across the platforms is an interesting development coming up”.

Key Statistics Of CTv

Gulshan Verma shares some statistics that give insights into the current state of CTv:

  • 62% of Indian households are connected to a large-screen device
  • 25% of these households have an Apple device
  • 3% of people use voice assistants
  • 18 Mn television devices are sold every year (until 2021) in India, 90% of which are smart devices
  • Jio is present in 4.6 Mn households, that account for 1.5 Bn hours of viewing monthly
  • 33% of their audience is located outside Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, and Chennai

The Marketing & Measurement Solutions

Discussing the data generated through a telecommunications network, Gulshan Verma, CEO, JioAds shares examples from the ecosystem connected through the Jio network. Fiber connection, set-top box, operating systems powered by the network, and mobile cloud, these elements supporting the CTv ecosystem enable access to data such as personally identifiable information like addresses, connected devices, and content inclinations.

He adds that the next best option is the set-top box, wherein everything happening on a TV and everything a consumer does with a TV should be measurable. Whether it’s opening an app, or watching a politician on screen, including measurement on linear TV and OTT platforms too, and ads playing within these channels.

Key Takeaways

Here are some key takeaways for marketers planning to invest in CTv as a media channel, barriers they need to prep for, and solutions that can help.

  • It’s not OTT v/s linear, they now exist in a dual environment
  • Granularity of data needs to be focussed on, one household may have various buying personas, and consumption habits
  • Targeting only based on who owns the box is not enough
  • Cross-tabulate data collected from different mediums
  • Phone number is the unique identity number for all of us
  • Figure out consumption patterns by mapping all connected devices, to avoid overlap of data
  • Content signals collected from devices would give contextual relevance to campaigns
  • The default boot channel that comes up also presents an opportunity to give incremental reach

The experts spoke at the Finecast 2022 Conference.