It is a young medium with so much potential – but connected TV still needs to develop a set of new skills if it is going to satisfy advertisers getting excited about the opportunities.

Emarketer previously forecast US connected TV ad spend would hit $14.14 billion by 2023, 4.7% of the total.

It brings new powers like targeting individual households and frequency-capping ad exposures.

But, in this video interview with Beet.TV, Prajwal Barthur, VP of products at InMobi, an ad-tech company steeped in mobile origins, says connected TV (CTV) has a lot to learn from mobile.


Barthur says connected TV is seeing two main kinds of ad buyer – traditional buyers seeking addressability and brand uplift, and digital buyers keen on television but with digital-style measurement.

“So, you have two different variety of buyers … whose KPIs are very, very different,” Barthur says. “CTV is in between both because it’s not completely traditional and it’s not completely digitised yet.

  1. Completion rates are currently the most-used metric. According to Barthur, buyers are asking: “Have I shown my ad to the user? And has the user actually watched the entire video?”
  2. Conversion is next up. “That could be an in-store purchase, or it could be a footfall to their store,” Barthur says. “But the technology has not completely gone to supporting the closed-loop measurement optimization and attribution use cases yet on the connected TV side.”


Barthur says transparency and fraud are emerging as important issues for connected TV ad buyers, just as they have in digital display previously.

  1. Price transparency: He says buyers want to know: “What am I paying, and how much is that impression worth? If I’m paying $25 for 1000 impressions, is that worth that $25, and who is taking that? Is it all going to the publisher? Is it going to an exchange in between?”
  2. Impression transparency: Advertisers want to know: “Were am I showing these ads? Am I actually showing this on applications that I intend to show?”

“It’s important to let advertisers know that their particular impression was shown on this particular channel and was viewed by these users,” he says.

“(The capability) is currently not there yet, but, as and when the connected TV ecosystems becomes more digital in nature, these sorts of verification measurement capabilities are going to come into the picture, which makes the buying more transparent.”


Barthur warns that the ecosystem needs to come together to plug a gap in combatting the growth of ad fraud and involuntary traffic (IVT) on connected TV.

DoubleVerify’s (DV) recently Global Insights Report 2020 lifts the lid:

  • Q1 2020 CTV fraud was 161% up on the prior year.
  • Since March 2019, DV has identified 1,300 fraudulent CTV apps — 60% of which were identified in 2020.

“Connected TV is still pretty new,” InMobi’s Barthur says. There are no no software development kits (SDKs), which are present within a Roku TV, to let any measurement companies decide if the user is actually watching it. All of this happens outside of the TV ecosystem or the TV box itself.

“So it’s extremely important for these operating systems to open up certain capabilities for companies like us to get in there and then understand the efficacy of these ads.

“That is a big gap, that we don’t know what is exactly happening on the system. Is the ad being shown, is it being rendered, the user watch it? How long did he watch it? All of these are things that are derived, but not actually seen.

“If you look at an Apple or Android phone, the ad is rendered by the developer and SDKs, which are sitting within the developer. But when it comes to connected TV, that’s not the case. It’s all controlled by the operating systems.”

This video is part of CTV Grows Up: Making a New Medium More Efficient & Effective, a Beet.TV series presented by DoubleVerify. For more videos from the series, please visit this page.