Despite what you may have heard, TV is still a medium with a strong, broad reach. Here, we give our recommendation on how to capitalize on the latest avenues available for more efficient TV media targeting.


TV Fragmentation: Where do we go from here?

The concern we hear most often from clients is, “how can we reach our audience when consumers are ‘cutting-the-cord’ and shifting away from watching linear TV?” And unfortunately, the answer isn’t simple because TV is becoming more fragmented than ever before. With services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video, hitting your target is going to take more effort than the classic “spots and dots” buy. Now, it’s necessary to start thinking of how your target is watching TV, getting more granular than just the old school “age, sex, gender, HHI” way of thinking.

Over-The-Top TV (OTT or streaming)

According to TelevisionNewsDaily, there are more than 51 million homes now streaming content (watching Over-The-Top or OTT) content in the United States, up from 44 million in October of 2016. Consumers want to watch what they want, when they want. Prime-time programming tops the list of dayparts that consumers watch the most, often “binging” these programs over the weekend (dominant in the race for share-of-voice is Netflix with 74% of these homes). Those who don’t watch Netflix spend more time with YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Sling TV, HBOGo and Hulu. Cord-cutters watch 60% more content than the average OTT viewing home and are more likely to use a streaming box or stick to power their OTT viewing instead of gaming consoles or connected TVs. Cord-cutters are also more likely to have annual incomes of $75K or less.

Recently, YouTube launched a few initiatives to keep up with the cord-cutter generation:

  • Six-second-bumper ads (released in 2016) aim to help combat shrinking consumer attention spans. Let’s face it, you can’t wait until the countdown ends and you can finally click “Skip Ad”. Millennials are in the same boat, with 59% of them admitting to skipping ads after just five seconds of viewing. Even though that might sound grim for advertisers, the attention paid to these ads are still 84% higher than advertising on TV.
  • The second is YouTube TV, which allows viewers to watch and DVR live programming. Ads that are inserted through a local TV buy will still air through YouTube TV and live airing will be identical to the TV airing.

Addressable TV

Addressable TV is another way of targeting your consumer more intelligently. This platform gives you the capability to target your consumer on a household level, utilizing data segmentation powered by companies like Acxiom, Experian and Kantar ShopCom. The audience data they collect is delivered to cable companies (DirecTV, DISH, and Comcast) who overlay it with their subscriber, giving advertisers the ability to insert commercials into specific homes. With this, brands can more accurately target messaging. For example, if you’re a restaurant and you want to find and target those homes that have eaten at a competitor restaurant and conquest that audience, you can do that. For a CPG brand, maybe you want to see what consumers are purchasing at the grocery store and target them. Maybe you’re a bank, and you want to hit your consumer that owns a small business, becoming top of mind when they decide to open a business banking account. Relevancy and timeliness are key in advertising efficacy, and addressable TV offers a highly-sophisticated way to cut through the noise and make an impact.

Programmatic TV

Programmatic TV is an automated, technology-driven method of buying and delivering linear TV ads. This provides efficiencies both in the audience and operational (automating a manual process with software). Programmatic is also flexible (faster planning, execution, and measurement) and can play cross-screen. Like Addressable TV, data is used to granularly target your audience beyond basic age and gender or network ratings. Programmatic gives the buyer the opportunity to optimize on reach and frequency regardless of where a viewer is watching.

Our Recommendation

With the numerous options in viewing, it’s important to have a strategy and the creative to reach your target. Although it’s difficult to reach them through platforms like
Netflix and Amazon Prime Video (because of the lack of commercials), brands need to evolve and make connections through advanced TV options. Whether you’re using Hulu or YouTube to target your audience or using data to reach them through Addressable or Programmatic, we highly recommend testing these platforms and adding them to
your traditional strategy.

Photo via Ulrich Salvisberg,

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