The Next Frontier: The Potential Of Programmatic OTT

By Aqilliz  

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The Potential of Programmatic OTT

The digital advertising ecosystem has seen rising complexities in recent years: consider the increasing fragmentation of media channels and audience silos coupled with growing digital supply chain, brand safety, and ad fraud issues. As businesses across the world accelerate their digital transformation, advertising has evolved from merely a channel to reach consumers to a way of doing business. Amidst the migration to digital, consumption of content has also shifted.

Over the past decade, programmatic technology transformed the world of digital media and is poised to lead a revolution in TV advertising. With subscription over-the-top (OTT) revenues expected to reach US$19.9 billion by 2024 in Asia-Pacific, brands need to be ready to tap into this opportunity by shifting traditional TV budgets to high quality programmatic OTT inventory. Similar to the move that followed mobile user growth over the last decade, the share of OTT ad spend is likely to increase dramatically in the coming years.

The growth of connected TV

The term “over-the-top” originated from the broadcast world and was often used to describe content that was traditionally distributed for view on TVs using broadcast, cable, or satellite channels. However, with the advent of the internet and the growth of digital streaming platforms, such content began to be served online — over time, TVs became internet-equipped, at first via game consoles and streaming set-top boxes, and then with new Smart TVs that could connect directly to the Internet.

Naturally, this opened up a whole new world for viewing content on increasingly larger screens. With more and more consumers turning to digital streaming, the challenge for advertisers remains unchanged — we need to reach consumers where they spend the most time and are most engaged, so strategies have to evolve to become increasingly screen-agnostic in a fashion that matches user behaviour.

Best of both worlds

Programmatic environments allow advertisers to tactically identify the right high-value audience and deliver them an impactful message in a high quality, brand-safe environment, generating better results for awareness or conversion to sale. In addition, real-time bidding (RTB) presents the opportunity to increase efficiency like no other media — other than improving ad delivery with automation, programmatic can generate data to drive new insights about the consumer and their journey outside the store.

By connecting the dots programmatically in real-time, this approach allows advertisers to strike a balance between precision targeting and campaign scalability. From the first high-value video message which is then re-targeted to addressable and clickable engagement, cross-device programmatic advertising streamlines the whole process across various points of interaction.

As addressable TV comes of age with OTT and CTV, we have the opportunity to get the best of both worlds, elevating programmatic from a purely tactical service into a proper branding channel. Programmatic campaigns can also offer a lot of flexibility along with the ability to pause or move budgets to other channels as you build reach — mid-campaign if necessary. This allows brands to buy ad inventory based on their target audience and connect with engaged consumers in premium environments while benefitting from personalisation, measurement, and automation efficiency. However, getting there won’t be without its challenges.

The future of programmatic OTT

Despite its potential, the OTT AdTech environment is still very much in its nascency. Currently, the ecosystem is fragmented with multiple technology partners and resource challenges — compared to its programmatic ancestors in display and video, programmatic OTT has a long way to go with regard to the standardisation of terms, methods, and understanding.

Perhaps one of the best ways to increase further adoption is to bring the buy and sell side together and create a communication channel to better understand the required demands as well as the available supply, reach, and capabilities. Doing so would allow the supply side to have a better understanding of the demand required to help build out the infrastructure needed. For advertisers making the shift to programmatic, working with transparent, flexible partners who can help you navigate the complexities and nuances of the OTT space will be an important first step.

As more and more consumers migrate to digital platforms, the challenge for brands remains ever the same: how can we follow our consumers’ attention, cut through the clutter, and engage our target audience in a relevant environment? If the sharp rise in OTT is any indication, it’s about time we take advantage of this wide-reaching but also incredibly dynamic and flexible channel.

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