Mike Bologna is expecting a speed of industry change appropriate for someone just named “chief accelerator”.

The advanced TV industry veteran recently joined BrightLine, which offers ad formats for connected TV, after previous stints at HyphaMetrics, one2one Media, MODI Media and GroupM.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Bologna explains why this year’s upfronts TV ad sales season heralds a big moment.

CTV’s moment

EMarketer forecasts US connected TV ad spending to reach 5.7% of US total media ad spending in 2022, $19.10 billion.

US Connected TV (CTV) Ad Spending, 2019-2024 (billions, % change, and % of total media ad spending)

US Connected TV (CTV) Ad Spending, 2019-2024 (billions, % change, and % of total media ad spending)

“I’ve never been this excited to enter a marketplace in my entire career. For the first time in the media business, all parties are aligned on this,” Bologna says.

“The impact that streaming has on the advertising business right now is the equivalent of cable television 30-plus years ago.”

BrightLine works with all of the major TV networks as they navigate the expanding OTT marketplace while trying to provide brands with non-traditional advertising opportunities.

Custom experience

“BrightLine’s been around for 20 years,” Bologna adds. “Our ad unit is tailor-made for the streaming business. And that’s part of what excites me so much about being here.

“It’s more personalised, it’s dynamic, it’s engaging, it’s addressable, it’s shoppable. Think of it as a commercial on steroids with a very creative and engaging element to it.

“Every ad is customised. We work with each individual advertiser and streaming service. We create a customised … advertising experience (rather) than a commercial.”

Growth expected

BrightLine says its Accelerator format offers verified impressions, data dynamism and attention attribution and outcomes. Specifically, it can deploy with dynamic creative, in-stream interactions and full-screen microsites, and can use dynamic overlay, scrollable overlay.

BrightLine claims to work across a swathe of different digital viewing platforms, and claims clients including a range of big agencies and brands.

“Since (the pandemic), since that has increased the amount of stream television being viewed, we have just grown our business threefold,” Bologna says.

“Last year alone, we did over 300 campaigns with 175-plus brands, 90 agencies. I’m excited for that to double. Our business has grown threefold since the start of the pandemic. So I have no reason to believe that that we’re not going to double the business in 2022.”

Ready for action

The upfronts ad sales pitches now kicking off for the year ahead will see networks tout their data-driven, OTT capabilities stronger than ever before.

The last couple of years of consumption growth accelerated the viewer trend toward OTT.

Bologna acknowledges: “From the networks’ perspective, streaming is going take centre stage.” But he cautions: “Where that nets out in the overall investment remains to be seen. ”

“We’ve been preparing for this moment for years. We’ve always been involved in connected, interactive, engaging advertising units. Long before the pandemic boosted streamed viewing, we’ve had our engineers developing and building and building for a world when a large percentage of television is streamed. So we’re ready, we’re here. We’re ready to go to work.”