As AVOD connected TV services line up behind SVODs to take their share of eyeballs and ad spend, it seems they are having to roll up their sleeves and get manual.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Tyler Fitch, VP, Advertising Partnerships at Tubi, says that Tubi is building on its heritage in automated TV ad sales.

Rather, now that it is owned by Fox and going after bigger budgets, it is getting consultative with ad buyers.

Programmatic and beyond

“Historically, Tubi has been a programmatic-first publisher,” Fitch says. “As we were growing up, we had a very small sales team.

“But as we’ve grown as a company, we’ve flipped the script on that. This year was the first upfront we did with our now parent company, Fox.

“And so we’re switching from the almost totally-programmatic model, to the upfront model and scatter model, as well as being able to tap into programmatic.”

That includes allowing ad buyers to use whichever DSP they like, including Xandr.

As it does so, Tubi is finding that it needs to service ad buyers with a range of goals and a range of measurement ambitions.

“Do they want to measure foot traffic, reach and frequency, on top of what their linear buys?” he says. “Anything from sales lift, brand lift, all these things that we’re able to measure now with CTV on TVs, that historically linear hasn’t been able to do.

“It’s going to be different for each person. Do they want to measure sales lift within a store, like SKU-level data? Do they want to just buy extra eyeballs from their linear buys? Do they want to make sure that people are seeing they’re adding, going to their store, or using their delivery service or buying something?

“So there’s really a solution for everybody when it comes to proving ROI and spend.”

AVOD outlook

EMarketer expects 7.5% of US pay-TV households to “cut the cord” from traditional cable or satellite packages in 2020

Although subscription has taken off, ad-supported services are also growing. EMarketer estimates CTV ad spending will reach $10.81 billion in the US in 2021.

That set light to the AVOD opportunity, with Comcast buying Xumo, Fox buying Tubi and Viacom acquiring Pluto TV. Some in the industry believe consumers will hit a ceiling in the number of subscription services they can sustain but that appetite for content will grow nevertheless, leaving a free, ad-funded option looking like an easy addition.

  • These are ad-funded services at a time when many advertisers are pulling back on spending.
  • But they have also seen dramatic growth in stay-at-home viewing numbers during the pandemic.
  • Consumers’ premium SVoD subscriptions may be tested in the months ahead, if economic conditions worsen, leaving free TV looking attractive.

TV’s strong suit

A common view in the connected TV space, as it matures, is that, whilst CTV supports advanced targeting and other digital tricks, buyers need to wrap their heads around it.

“We always know that TV is the most powerful medium that you can have in order to reach people from a marketer’s perspective, and it’s enabled storytelling,” Tubi’s Fitch adds.

“It is still TV, but it’s just but digitally. So we’re proving out this other medium is just as strong as what they’re comfortable with, when they talk about linear buying across what they’ve been doing the past 50, 60 years.”

You are watching Where We Go From Here: The Lessons and Opportunities of 2020, a Beet.TV series presented by Xandr. For more videos, please visit this page