Will the Convergence of Linear and Connected TV Merge Media Buying Team Strike Social

Will the Convergence of Linear and Connected TV Merge Media Buying Team?


The evolution of viewership includes an ever-changing mix of linear TV led by live events and news, on-demand content via publishers, and increased longer streaming content. But how should an advertising team respond to the convergence of Linear and Connected TV?

Before the economic challenges of 2020, Traditional TV was already losing ground to CTV. The shift in digital streaming consumption has accelerated as most people spend their time watching in their living rooms. With this newly formed viewing trend, brands are slowly moving ad budgets to Connected TV advertising.

2020-2022 Share of US Video Ad Spending by Type

For two years, linear TV ad spending shrank by 20%, based on the latest emarketer.com report. In reducing ad budget allocation, IAB’s 2022 Video Ad Spend Report revealed that 73% of media buyers have decided to move funds away from traditional TV and increase CTV ad spending due to the recent changes in utilizing third-party cookies.

But which of these two channels should weigh more on advertisers’ shoulders?

Related: After Upfronts, YouTube CTV Should Be Top of Mind

Are Marketers Merging Now That Linear and Connected TV Are Converging?

Now that digital streaming has been creating one milestone after another, the gap between Linear and CTV viewing time is closing in. By 2024, time spent watching OTT content on a bigger screen will surpass traditional tv viewing. Most media buying team has foreseen the convergence of the Linear and Connected TV marketplace. 

Percentage of Company with a Separate Team Handling Digital Video and Linear TV Advertising by Campaign Phase

Media agencies are forming or anticipating a unified team from Planning to Post Campaign processes. Last year, over 70% of buyers combined into one group when handling digital video and broadcast advertising into one unit. However, only 50% have worked in a single team overseeing the campaign stages this year.

Related to: YouTube Makes Ads on Connected TV More Shoppable

Advertisers Tackle CTV Challenges in Teams

Connected TV advertising advancement is not all glory. Advertisers face challenges during different campaign phases. In a survey performed by IAB, the top CTV challenges:

  • Campaign measurement of reach across platforms and publishers.
  • Managing advertising frequency cross-platforms
  • Transparency and interoperability due to walled gardens
  • Costly CPM
  • Lack of scale
  • Fragmentation of supply paths

Media buyers encountered most of these difficulties during the buying/implementation stage and campaign optimization. 40% to 50% of the respondents have answered that they have divided the role into these phases across different teams. 

Another part of the industry’s challenge is the fragmentation of TV advertising. Looking at the distribution of digital video advertising spend, CTV has grown 49% year-on-year in the past 2021. Most media buyers describe Connected TV as an upmarket video advertising channel, but research shows Connected TV only gets 18% of the advertising budget. Advertisers are cognizant that viewers are moving towards streaming, but campaigns are audience-based driven, and linear TV still matters to the 50+ above demographics

Tools and technologies will be the core solution in addressing the nuances in execution, optimization, and measurement during cross-channel advertising. Deployment of a unified buying team might start only when campaign-phase processes become integrated and unchallenging. 

Related to: YouTube: Key to CTV Advertising Setbacks

Specialized Team + Ad Tech: Divide and Conquer

Despite the viewership and spending swings, TV advertising remains an effective platform for brand awareness. According to a GWI.com report, four in ten US internet users ages 16 usually hear about new products, brands, and services through television advertising.

Linear TV has the power to leverage awareness, while Connected TV ads offer a more audience-focus advertising approach. Acknowledging the unique advantage of both Linear and CTV ads can help the media buying team a more holistic approach to creating specialized groups or roles. 

A step closer to a greater convergence of Linear and Connected TV is to create more progressive advertising plans and utilize tech solutions, such as YouTube and CampaignLab, Strike Social’s planning, and audience targeting tools. With Strike’s technology to create a more granular media plan using years of machine learning and the innovative feature of YouTube, making TV ads shoppable, advertisers can achieve a more proficient campaign while streamlining other campaign-phase processes.

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