CHICAGO – The decline in ratings for traditional linear TV has challenged brands to find other ways to extend the reach of their marketing campaigns. Increasingly, that means buying media placements on ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) platforms whose viewership has grown as people watch programming on connected devices like smart TVs.

“We know that AVOD is continuing to grow not only with the younger millennial audience, but the older demographics as well,” Randi Leonard, director of advanced video investment at Haworth Marketing + Media, said in this interview with Beet.TV.

Her clients in the retail, spirits and home improvement categories all have added AVOD platforms to their media mix. AVOD provides targeting and the ability to measure ad viewing, though it’s more challenging for marketers to measure whether they’re reaching different audience than through linear TV, Leonard said.

“The biggest thing for us is really understanding the video landscape holistically, and using as much data as we can,” she said. “The first-party data is really important. We work with a lot of third-party data providers as well, to hone in on our custom audience to really determine where our ideal customers are.”

‘Ad Load Always Important’

Automatic content recognition (ACR) data from smart TVs provide insights to help marketers in their competitive conquesting campaigns, and to know when to decrease linear activations to avoid excessive ad frequency.

“Ad load is always important. We don’t want to be muddled in a pod of 15 other advertisers,” Leonard said. “I would say frequency is actually more important, especially with certain AVOD players. We’ve all been watching streaming services where we’re seeing the same ads over and over and over, and it almost has an adverse effect on the viewer. That’s something we’re really monitoring across all of our partners to make sure we have stringent frequency caps in place.”

AVOD also provides opportunities for programmatic buys of inventory that may not be available in direct deals.

“The biggest factor that we’re looking at for direct buys versus programmatic is the transparency and also if there’s any value-added opportunities or attribution studies that we’re looking into,” Leonard said. “If we’re just looking at reach and we’re trying to cast as wide a net as possible, programmatic is obviously the way to go.”

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