Text: Deepika Nikhilender, SVP, Xaxis Asia Pacific
Consumers now have more TV content choices than ever before, and many more ways and places to watch it. For modern viewers, traditional TV just won’t cut it anymore: they want variety at their fingertips, value for money, and flexibility to watch whenever and wherever they choose. It’s no surprise that they’re shifting to over-the-top (OTT) content streamed through connected TVs (CTV) and other devices.
Cord-cutters and cord-nevers—are you one of them?
These are ‘cord-cutters’ – consumers who have cut down on their pay TV subscriptions to opt for other services such as on-demand streaming. In recent years, the number of cord-cutters across the globe has been rising. The Leichtman Research Group reported earlier this year that U.S. cord-cutting nearly doubled in 2018. In some countries where connected TV is more established, we’ve seen a segment of ‘cord-nevers’ (consumers who have never had a traditional TV subscription) emerge and growing. While still in its infancy, a similar trend is being observed across the Asia-Pacific region.
A report by the Asia Video Industry Association last year found that one in four pay TV subscribers in the Philippines and Singapore intended to cut the cord over the next 12 months, with a further 20 percent of remaining subscribers planning to downgrade to a cheaper package. A similar trend was observed in Thailand, where one third of pay TV subscribers planned to cut the cord over the next year. We expect this is just the beginning.
Reaching the elusive crowd
For advertisers, the shift towards OTT and CTV viewing has led to more fragmented and elusive audiences. Advertisers need to re-evaluate their longstanding advertising strategies and adapt fast to accommodate the new normal. Advertising simultaneously across several channels on multiple connected devices can help brands reach those cord-cutter viewers who are ‘unreachable’ through traditional TV.
At Xaxis, our clients see the need to drive incremental reach over and above free-to-air or traditional TV for their campaigns. CTV in particular has been increasingly sought-after. Research by Tradedesk revealed that Vietnam and Australia appeared to be the fastest growing market for CTV, with over two-thirds of Vietnamese households owning a CTV device, and of the 1.8M+ Australian households surveyed, all households confirmed owning one or more CTV devices.
In Vietnam, Xaxis extends reach to custom automotive audiences across premium TV content with connected TV applied for multinational automotive company Ford for its Ranger, Everest, Raptor and Ecosport campaigns. Xaxis imported custom automotive audiences into our proprietary data management platform. The campaigns were activated on Smart-TV devices programmatically with automotive audience targeting, brand safe environment (licensed/censored content), premium inventory from top TV channels, impactful data insight with scale from 5.1M monthly active TV set and 15M unique user.
What will your omnichannel video strategy look like?
Like any emerging channel, there will be gaps and challenges. However, the benefits of CTV advertising are abundant and enticing to media buyers and sellers alike. The viewer experience is comparable to the big screen of traditional TV, but it also offers more effective targeting by weaving contextual and behavioral data into media buying decisions, such as timing ads to air alongside specific shows and genres, so advertisers can offer campaigns that are much more effective at driving the desired outcomes and equip brands with new levels of control and accuracy.
The most attractive aspect of CTV is its potential for omni-channel video marketing. Users today watch videos across multiple devices throughout the day: the average viewer might watch TV shows from her mobile phone while commuting, browse the latest news clips on a desktop computer at work, and then go home to stream shows on a smart TV at the end of the day. What this means for advertisers is the opportunity to engage viewers more effectively across multiple linear, on-demand and live streaming TV devices.
Over time, behavioral attribution will grow stronger as syncing across devices improves and users are able to link their viewing channels with other digital accounts, including social media profiles. Brands will be able to run omni-channel video campaigns with streamlined audience targeting over different devices and channels. By gaining insights from a user’s social media profiles, the brand can then show ads on the user’s CTV, mobile and desktop platforms that are highly relevant and interesting to that user. Buyers can also view impression results in real-time, enabling them to optimize the campaign against performance metrics whilst activity is live.
As an Outcome Media Company, we are at the forefront of change to provide our clients with pioneering solutions in any addressable media channels that arise. While still in its nascent stages, including CTV advertising as part of an omnichannel video strategy provides an exciting opportunity for advertisers in the Asia-Pacific region to capture viewers’ interest seamlessly across multiple platforms. Broadcasters and publishers should view this as an opportunity to prepare for the future by rethinking inventory, content and technology to better bridge the gap between marketers and audiences.
A paradigm shift is taking place in the TV advertising landscape, and the time has come for brands to deliver seamless lean-in consumer experience across screens in concert with broadcasters and publishers.