APAC is in the midst of a streaming boom, with a faster-than-expected shift in digital viewing behaviour led by the rise of over-the-top (OTT) content. In Southeast Asia (SEA), the new star on this horizon is connected TV (CTV), according to IAB SEA+India, with markets like Vietnam, Singapore, and the Philippines reaching critical mass populations owning smart TV sets.
For marketers, the advanced TV (ATV) advertising opportunity - encompassing CTV, addressable TV, OTT, and sd-supported video on demand (AVOD) - is brimming with potential. After the initial flurry, subscription fatigue has set in, opening the door wider for AVOD. Streaming giants, including Netflix, are considering ad-supported plans as inflation-hit consumers turn price-sensitive. These market shifts are intersecting what’s possible programmatically with ATV -- precise, effective targeting, ease, efficiency and flexibility of buying, real-time reporting, optimisation and measurement. As marketers explore this buzzing media environment, they will need to pay closer attention to three characteristics defining ATV growth in the region.
ATV’s omnichannel versatility
Consumers in APAC have embraced a digital-forward lifestyle, using different screens for different routines. Advertisers, on their part, need an interoperable omnichannel approach to connect seamlessly with consumers on the right screen at the right time. Take, for instance, a consumer who sees an ad for pizza while streaming their favourite show on TV. That same consumer then gets a discount code for the product in an ad on their phone, and orders a pizza with the code. A couple of hours later, they sign up for the brand’s loyalty programme while checking email on their laptop — a connected consumer experience that fits naturally into their day.
Tactics like the use of QR codes connect big-screen smart TVs and smaller screen opportunities, allowing consumers to use their phones to scan a code while streaming on TV, driving action in the moment. Leveraging a DSP with the right capabilities will be key to target and reach relevant audiences in a fluid, integrated experience across screens and channels. While ATV advertising can be used to achieve top-of-funnel awareness goals, it also complements other channels to drive consideration, intention, purchase and loyalty, which makes it the perfect fit for an omnichannel plan.
Context and cookieless approaches to connect with consumers
ATV will flourish as an inherently cookieless channel with the ability to address and reach streaming viewers. By levelling up the contextual experience, marketers can better connect with audiences within ATV environments. Advanced contextual targeting tools go beyond content to utilise real-time signals. These include demographics like age, gender, household income, or the weather, so advertisers can tailor messages based on the temperature or time of day while retargeting through other devices such as mobile to drive consumers down the sales funnel and close the loop.
Advertisers can proactively adjust messaging or even campaigns based on distinctive data signals from their audiences’ digital activities. When it comes to ATV, these signals can include ‘watch frequency,’ ‘preferred programming’, and ‘preferred devices for watching ATV.’ Context is valuable while taking into account the ATV device a viewer is using. For example, if a user is streaming content on a TV screen through a console, it allows for more creative and interactive avenues like gamification or direct purchases. Reaching viewers in a contextually relevant way will be crucial to the success and impact of ATV ads.
Digital experiences drive action, bring the screen to life
Research shows a significant 71% of CTV viewers use their mobile devices to look up related content while watching TV -- second screens being known to improve a viewer’s chances of taking downstream action on an ad. Interactive ads layer on additional targeting capabilities to reach viewers who are most likely to take action, given the inherent opportunity to explore offers and aspects of a product or dive into an experience. When Discovery Communications wanted viewers at the edge of their seats during Shark Week, they asked them to point their mobile camera at a QR code on their CTV, which brought an Augmented Reality (AR) shark leaping to life! ATV’s next-generation capabilities will enable advertisers to bring the same immersive engagement and next-gen digital experiences users expect on mobile devices to TV screens.
The metaverse presents exciting possibilities for ATV advertising with the next wave of digital shopability. There are inherent co-viewing opportunities with ATV that can add a layer of fun to immersive interactions -- a Virtual Reality (VR) group treasure hunt for bigger discounts? Advertisers and publishers need to think ahead about how to leverage technologies such as VR, AR and 3D content production technologies to scale their experiences for both passive and interactive viewing.
Winners in the emerging APAC ATV landscape will be those that can harness ATV’s big-screen advantages, performance-driving and interactive capabilities, integrating this with their wider digital and omnichannel marketing strategies. From all indications, this screen is only going to get bigger and more exciting in the region. It is time to hit play.
Paul Sigaloff is vice president and head of APAC at Yahoo