They may be advertising on TV – but that doesn’t mean the growing wave of direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands is happy to get by simply building their image.

In the emerging D2C landscape, the new brand beasts want to use TV to fuel real purchases.

In 2019, that appears to be a real possibility. Whilst, historically, TV has been seen as a brand-building medium and one with precious little ability to seal or measure an actual sale, connected TV tech is helping D2C brands have their cake and eat it, too.

In January, eMarketer counted more than 400 D2C brands operating in the US. IAB analyzed 250 of them.

Now an umbrella group, VAB, in a new report, has observed how D2C companies it tracks hiked their TV spending by 60% last year, bringing the total up to $3.8 billion.

“We counted 125 what are now called DTC spenders – they’re spending $3.8 billion dollars on TV in 2018; that’s up from half a billion in 2013,” says VAB’s Sean Cunningham in this video interview with Beet.TV.

“Nothing in American media is growing like that, and nothing in American media is so fuelled by outcome-obsessed data. So that’s why we became a little obsessed with it ourselves.”

Cunningham’s VAB was formed in 2015 out of the old Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau (CAB) and represents national broadcast and ad-supported cable networks, regional cable networks, MVPDs, major cinema advertisers and suppliers to the video advertising business.

Traditionally, some of those businesses could not have supported the kind of outcome obsession that D2C brands are craving.

But the flow of money suggests the new capabilities are switching the upstarts on – to both the brand-building and the outcome capabilities of a very modern TV channel.

Cunningham describes: “It hasn’t been (just) pockets of television. It’s been all television.

“They may buy 40 networks and buy OTT. They’ll buy on demand, they’ll buy VOD. Anything that is a way where they can connect with the consumer through that premium sight, sound, and motion, they are pouring money to. “