The shift in viewing habits from linear TV to newer digital video platforms comes as advertisers seek a more unified approach to their media buying. The pandemic sped up that change in viewing habits, making it more imperative for advertisers to better understand the best ways to reach unduplicated audiences.

“When we think about the transformation of television, it really started with data-driven TV, and ways of bringing data models and data-driven buying and selling and planning to television,” Christina Beaumier, senior vice president of product and technology at Xandr, the advertising and analytics unit of WarnerMedia Commercial. “Some of these models have been deployed in digital for many years, but digital and television have been delivered differently.”

Expanded Consumer Choices

Advanced TV, which includes data-driven linear and addressable TV, is still seeing growth even as advertisers spend less on linear TV overall. Advertisers are following audiences to streaming video platforms that are free for viewers to watch, including Peacock, Pluto TV, the Roku Channel, Tubi and Xumo. The services are especially popular with younger cord-cutter and “cord-never” consumers.

Source: Nielsen

“Now, we’re focused on following the customer to these new streaming types of delivery models,” Beaumier said. “We need to think about how we can bring together the advanced buying platforms like data-driven linear and addressable to streaming so that it can be thought of as one.”

The transition to a more unified media marketplace is a broad undertaking involving media owners, marketers and advertising technology companies. It requires a common approach to data, identity and measurement.

For sellers of media, the priority is reaching audiences among different viewing devices, including smartphones, tablets and connected TVs.

“Making sure that their audiences are delighted with their content, and have the ability to view that content in whatever format” is the key goal for sellers, Beaumier said. “Distribution shouldn’t matter — it really shouldn’t. The challenge for sellers is making this a reality, making it so that distribution channel isn’t driving everything.”

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