Content Signal Transparency Is Key to Scaling Connected TV in 2023

It’s safe to say that connected TV (CTV) is certainly not a fad, but a consumer shift that’s changing the world’s largest media industry—television. In 2022 alone, 11.9 million Australians streamed content via CTV.  As CTV represents 44% of total advertising expenditure in Australia, there’s a sizeable opportunity for media owners and media buyers to take advantage of the targeting, and efficiency, programmatic can offer.

Programmatic has the ability to extend the same levels of quality, efficiency, control, and transparency that were realised in display to the CTV marketplace. But in order to create a dynamic marketplace that meets the unique needs of TV sellers and buyers and enables precise delivery and maximised yield, improving content signal transparency through industry standardisation is paramount.

This was the topic of discussion during the recent Future of TV Advertising event in Sydney. Index’s regional managing director of APAC, Adele Wieser, sat alongside leaders from Foxtel Media, OMD, Seven, Paramount, and Unruly to unpack the importance of CTV to the Australian digital economy, how the surge of free ad-supported streaming (FAST) apps is bringing more supply into the ecosystem, and how programmatic can bring scale to CTV. 

Here are the top three takeaways on how to max out CTV:

1. The surge in video supply has outpaced today’s technical capabilities

As more broadcasters and media owners continue to introduce their own streaming services and more FAST apps, there’s a rapid influx of new, premium video becoming available in the marketplace. While this is positive, the increase in available content compounded by increased viewership across catch-up TV and streaming platforms has outpaced technical implementation in CTV.

Because of CTV’s digital nature, marketers have a better opportunity to deliver more relevant and engaging experiences than through traditional linear TV.  By accessing enriched data sets, marketers can give viewers exactly what they want, a more personalised and seamless viewing experience. However, the current programmatic buying structure needs some work to make that a reality.

“The relationship between data and product is what’s crucial when packaging up content for advertisers and brands, and helps them engage in these platforms when there is a vast amount of competition out there.”

Phil Hammond, head of commercial data
Paramount ANZ

To close the gap between the linear and digital experience for viewers and unlock the full potential of digital TV, there are critical elements we need to address in 2023.

2. Buyers need more information to improve the consumer viewing experience across linear and video on demand

The biggest challenge that the industry is experiencing is that the existing tools don’t meet the needs of media owners and buyers in TV. Today, media buyers are unable to see whether the consumer is watching a specific show or genre across broadcaster video on demand (BVOD) or subscription video on demand (SVOD), which has long been table stakes in linear TV buying.

In order for video content providers and technology platforms to help marketers match with the right consumer within the proper context, there needs to be improved transparency around content signals, including genre, TV rating, language, livestream, and show-level information.

The standards for passing content signals are already outlined and available in OpenRTB 2.6. Now what we need is adoption so that all parties involved in a transaction can pass content signals through the bidstream.

Improved transparency helps buyers understand the content their ads are running within, they can maximise extended reach, and buy only where they don’t already have upfront or other commitments. Media owners also benefit, as sharing content signals allows buyers to better determine whether a given opportunity will help them reach their desired audience, in the desired context. Buyers will see better results and efficiency gains, and they’ll continue to choose to invest with partners who provide transparency.

“Advertisers are trying to find audiences in environments that mirror the experience that linear TV still offers—whether that’s  BVOD or SVOD, it’s premium brand-safe content at scale.”

Laura Pulini, head of digital sales

3. Content signal transparency is key to scaling CTV advertising

This level of transparency is already the norm in digital channels like web and mobile app, as well as traditional channels like linear TV. Buyers expect the same in streaming TV. However, it’s important to remember that even with the exponential growth in streaming, the market is still somewhat nascent. Industry standards and protocols are still being written and adopted.

As an industry, we need to increase collaboration between media owners, media buyers, and tech platforms to bring standardisation to the forefront. Embracing content signal transparency means more accurate bids from media buyers and improved brand suitability—unlocking more spend from media buyers and maximising yield for media owners. To achieve this, media owners must commit to sharing content signals and the adoption of OpenRTB 2.6. It’s on the digital industry at large to lean in and start building a better programmatic CTV marketplace today.

“There’s a lot of talk about transparency and how the right partnerships can help build trust and essentially lead to the right pricing of inventory for buyers and advertisers. Having access to better data points gives buyers and advertisers the information they need to drive targeting, and drive their working media dollar that little bit further.”

Phil Hammond, head of commercial data
Paramount ANZ

Learn more about how to harness the power of CTV in 2023 with Index Exchange.

Adele Wieser

Adele Wieser

Regional Managing Director, APAC

With over 12+ years digital experience and 8+ years in programmatic, Adele has secured a reputation as one of the top authorities on programmatic media trading in Australia and the broader APAC region. Adele got her first taste of the power of technology in the digital ecosystem straight out of university, optimising the performance campaigns for marketers and agencies at two market leading media owners in Australia. For Adele, technology has allowed her to develop a childhood love of solving puzzles into a career focused on tackling complex issues for media owners, marketers and agencies. Making the transition into the technology space in early 2012, Adele furthered her expertise in programmatic by working with exchange technology and began consulting for CoLab Media Consulting in 2016 before her appointment as Country Manager at Index Exchange in 2017. As one of the first employees in APAC, she was tasked with growing Index’s footprint by building a team and educating media owners, marketers and agencies on the promise of programmatic media. In 2019, Adele was appointed as Regional Managing Director and is responsible for overseeing the company’s operations, strategic direction and future growth opportunities for the APAC region.

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