CTV is here to stay, but what changes should we expect in 2024?
In the constantly evolving age of cord-cutting, CTV continues to grow at alarming rates. It won’t stop anytime soon.
Some see sports as linear’s saving grace, but with live sports more prevalent than ever on CTV, only time will tell if linear has a lasting impact. ComScore’s annual State of Streaming report shows that the number of CTV hours per household has increased by 21%. Numbers are only expected to go up from here, but what are some trends we will see in 2024 and beyond?
In the upcoming year, the confluence of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Free Ad Supported TV (FAST), Shoppable Ads, Measurement technologies, Attention Measurement, and more will be pivotal in reshaping how viewers consume and advertisers spend on CTV.
We chatted with a few CTV experts about what’s ahead for CTV, and their predictions point toward a bright, lucrative future.
What’s Next with AI?
When it comes to brand safety, AI is what’s hot, and blocklists are a thing of the past. It’s time for CTV professionals to rely on AI and video-level data.
“Going into 2024, the streaming industry should be paying close attention to AI. We have still not realized the full impact of AI on CTV advertising. There are many opportunities to create personalized ad experiences attributable to CTV performance. This rings especially true when it comes to creative versioning and optimization across channels.” –Dina Roman, SVP, global ad sales, Fubo
“No brand wants their ad placed next to inappropriate or unsuitable content, leaving a poor brand association with consumers. However, brands that continue to leverage blocklisting solutions to address brand safety are doing more harm than good. Blocklisting is outdated and causes brands to avoid high-quality, more efficient, and lower-price inventory. Brands have been leveraging genre and channel-level blocklists, thinking they’re leveraging safer inventory, to have their ads run in TVMA comedies and horror movies. Video-level data will be critical for brands transitioning budgets from cable/linear into FAST and streaming. This applies to both targeting and measurement. Breakthroughs in computer vision AI data availability from companies like IAS make it possible to monitor the previously opaque FAST inventory. Leveraging new technologies like the IRIS_ID to access video-level data is now the most reliable, scalable, and cheapest way to address brand safety.” – Field Garthwaite, CEO and Co-Founder of IRIS.TV
FAST is Outgrowing AVOD
To stand out as a streaming service, embracing sophisticated approaches to measurability will be crucial.
“FAST channels that want to be taken seriously by advertisers must stand out with measurability. A move toward more advanced measurability will drive standardization within the industry to ensure that metrics are comparable across different platforms and campaigns. Brands and companies will increasingly move beyond simplistic attribution models and adopt multi-touch/cross-platform models to consider the full customer journey and understand how different interactions contribute to conversions and LTV.” – Gijsbert Pols, Ph.D., Director of Connected TV and New Channels at Adjust
“FAST is the preferred TV model and is giving AVOD a run for its money. Many Free Ad Supported TV or “FAST” platforms were originally launched to give viewers more choices amid an increasingly expensive, subscription-driven streaming ecosystem. In 2024, we can see that the choice is a clear preference as legacy subscription players rethink their strategy around premium offerings, consumers are looking to cut costs, and the quality of FAST content is impressive. With every major news network and live sports making their way to FAST, these platforms are now becoming serious contenders for content exclusives and debuts, further challenging AVODs dominance.” – Michael Scott, VP of Sales and Ad Operations at Samsung
Shoppable TV & Retail Media
The fusion of content and commerce will redefine the TV-watching experience.
“Retail media will become a pivotal part of the future of advertising as consumers can make purchases directly off their TV screens. Perhaps one of the most obvious examples, cooking programs could seamlessly integrate with grocery delivery apps, allowing viewers to purchase ingredients straight off their screen to their doorstep. The fusion of CTV and commerce creates an interactive platform where every click has real-world implications.” – Gijsbert Pols, Ph.D., Director of Connected TV and New Channels at Adjust
“Consumers want an omnichannel experience, and the arrival of Shoppable Ads in streaming environments brings this closer to reality. (From our recent study, we found that Shoppable Ads have great brand recall – more than half of respondents (55%) recall seeing a shoppable ad, and out of them, half (50%) have interacted with such an ad. In 2024, we don’t see this slowing down. When consumers see a product on TV, they want to be able to quickly learn more or purchase that product and increase the ease of access along their path to purchase.” – Michael Scott, VP of Sales and Ad Operations at Samsung
Will We Get Measurement Right in 2024?
CTV advertising has faced difficulties due to fragmentation from the start. The future of measurement in the CTV sector is about trying new strategies.
“New and integrated ways of measuring CTV in 2024 will expose who is watching what platform. Spoiler alert: there is not as much overlap as most brands think. This means brands will use new measurement abilities to find the audiences they have been missing through linear and selected CTV buys alone, decreasing fragment buying process and increasing their ease of ads management.” – Cathy Oh, Head of Marketing, Samsung Electronics America
“Viewability is top of mind for us as it is a crucial CTV metric. The IAB’s open measurement for Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Android TV devices is a new technology that took some time for suppliers and app publishers to adjust. We predict that early adopters will begin supporting open measurement in 2024. Open measurement unlocks full cross-screen viewability measurement using the same underlying expectations and specifications across CTV, mobile, and desktop devices. It also discloses exactly how many ads serve partially off-screen or to the TVs that are turned off, Audio and AVOC measurement, the ability to transact on viewable impressions in CTV, and measurement and reporting based on customized viewability standards.” – Dan Slivjanovski, CMO of media measurement and ad performance at DoubleVerify
Attention is the New Currency
Tapping into attention measurement is key to unlocking new revenue streams.
“Ad outcomes and differentiating audiences will remain a key topic in streaming, with certain metrics becoming increasingly significant. For instance, analyzing ad attention and audience engagement across channels to quantify the outcomes of CTV campaigns will be an area of focus. These metrics are critical to helping the TV industry better understand the value of various CTV experiences and services for advertisers.” – Dina Roman, SVP, global ad sales, Fubo
“Right Mindset + Right Creative = Better Campaign Performance. Video-level data enables brands to better identify consumers, ensure they’re reaching the right audiences, and better place ads within the context of the content they’re engaging with. Research shows that consumers pay 4X more attention to ads relevant to the content they are watching. AI and machine learning offer promising avenues for ad creative development and targeted messaging. However, the challenge lies in ensuring ads align with audience mindsets. As the advertising landscape evolves, reaching consumers in the right mindset becomes as critical as crafting quality creative. Misalignments can result in negative brand perceptions, impacting political campaigns as well. In fact, according to the AVCA, more than half of consumers were less interested in the brand and products found in contextually misaligned ads. For brands that are looking to better increase campaign performance in 2024, it’s crucial to not only leverage video-level data but emotional and AI-driven data to deliver the right ad, in the right context and right mindset of the consumer.” – Field Garthwaite, CEO and Co-Founder of IRIS.TV
Will 2024 be the year of the bundle?
“The streaming landscape, especially sports content, is more fragmented than ever. Consumer frustration and advertisers’ challenges to reach target audiences mean the industry is approaching a tipping point. As a result, we’re starting to see a return to content bundling. Fubo has long said there is power and value in content aggregation — the very heart of our business model. Super aggregation will benefit audiences and, in turn, advertisers.” – Dina Roman, SVP, global ad sales, Fubo
“2024 will see the rise of streaming services joining the legacy bundle, as evidenced by the recent Charter Disney deal. I predict we’ll see more SVODs partner with MVPDs to bundle offerings. While this represents a retreat to the wholesale model, it will likely add some stability to subscriber counts. Bundles work, and consumers are less likely to drop any particular service when it’s part of a broader package that includes broadband, cable, or satellite and phone. I don’t know that it will slow the rate of cord cutting, but there does still appear to be tens of millions of households where this model could work and help both parties.” – Dave Bernath, Vice President Sales & Partnerships, Americas at Wurl
Social Media Is Challenging Streamers
Let’s keep it real: these days, many of us are busy going down the rabbit hole on TikTok as opposed to sitting through a show on Firestick.
“The rise of short-form video platforms, such as TikTok, YouTube Shorts, and Facebook Reels, poses a significant challenge to all CTV platforms. Short-form players draw a significant portion of ad spend primarily because they align with consumer preferences and offer advanced personalization and measurement features. This shift can redirect ad dollars away from long-form video, including traditional TV and CTV/OTT. Additionally, social media is becoming more appealing to brands with its premium content deals and tools for creators and influencers. UGC has grown up, essentially. This trend is expected to continue, putting pressure on streaming services even as they see unprecedented growth.” – Dan Slivjanovski, CMO of media measurement and ad performance at DoubleVerify
CTV will become the household’s central digital hub, a true performance channel, and a place to target multi-screen experiences.
“In 2024, we’ll see CTV offering a transformative user experience transcending traditional boundaries. Just as the smartphone revolutionized what can be done using a phone, the digitization of TV will do the same for television. CTV can transform the TV from a device for watching content to the central digital hub in every household. The convergence of stationary and social will not only elevate user engagement but also create more robust opportunities for advertisers to connect to consumers with many different interests.” – Gijsbert Pols, Ph.D., Director of Connected TV and New Channels at Adjust
“Advertisers will finally leverage Connected TV as a true performance channel. Advancements in AI-driven technologies and performance marketing solutions will give rise to more targeted and personalized CTV experiences. This, in turn, will give streamers and publishers the ability to accurately measure and attribute a viewer’s actions to a specific campaign, enabling advertisers to turn marketing efforts from a cost center to a revenue driver.” – Ron Gutman, CEO at Wurl
“As CTV ad capabilities continue to improve and evolve, digital screens get more dynamic, and retail media ecosystems explode, it will be critical for advertisers to shift their ad campaigns beyond the living room. Targeted multi-screen experiences will be key in 2024 to reaching consumers with messages that move with the medium. Expect retailers to get smarter with their in-store screens, and expect brands to start to bring their CTV campaigns out of the home, onto mobile and into retail and other out-of-home locations in 2024.” – Cathy Oh, Head of Marketing, Samsung Electronics America