CANNES  ̶  It is still troubled by inefficiencies, but connected TV (CTV) advertising is benefitting from a growing number of solutions.

Even so, despite the emergence of those solutions, realizing the full benefits is going to rely on buyers and sellers leaning in.

In this video interview with Tameka Kee for Beet.TV, Sarah Warner Harms, Group VP of CTV buying platform Xandr, explains her vision.

Breaking fragmentation

“Three years ago, we were in Cannes and we were talking about convergence then, and we’re still talking about it now,” Harms says. “I think we’ve come far, but there’s so much more to do.

“We’re not at a point of pure saturation of every customer is leaned fully into reorganizing their teams and also their ways of working for convergence.

“There’s fragmentation of inventory. There’s fragmentation of addressability, there’s fragmentation of measurement. And so I think the first step is trying to understand it and then building kind of tools and practises to help us get there.”

CTV forecast

EMarketer forecasts US spending on CTV ads will reach $18.89 billion, with $6.41 billion (34.6%) of that coming this year as upfront buys.

That represents 68.3% of total upfront and NewFront digital video ad spending.

US Upfront CTV Ad Spending

Benefits include targeting, frequency control and enhanced measurement and attribution.

But, after a proliferation of video services which represent the CTV inventory, buying via this channel remains complicated – a key challenge companies like Xandr have been working to solve.

Quicken the flywheel

Xandr’s Harms also says CTV platforms must keep the user experience quality high.

“There’s still political and technical challenges,” she explains.

“At the end of the day, over-frequency or empty ad pods isn’t great for anyone.”

Media Buyers Prioritize Transparency to Drive Efficiency: Xandr’s Sarah Warner Harms

Measuring up

The main point of inertia has been measuring CTV, however.

“Measurement and/or currency – I think that has slowed the mass adoption,” says Xandr’s Harms. “Measurement is required to build trust and allow buyers to kind of go all-in on programmatic activation of connected television and because of the fragmentation and the inability to measure it as easily as they measure TV with Nielsen. I think that’s very pressing.

“If we solve measurement, we can kind of get the whole flywheel of planning to frequency, to currency and then measurement all over again.”

But Harms says the sector is “getting there”.

I think there’s big advancements in measurement,” she adds. “There’s big advancements in yield management for suppliers.

“My hope is that both the sell and the buy side community have the tools they need to kind of take this leap of faith together.”

You are watching ‘The Advanced TV Industry Connects’, a Beet.TV Leadership Summit at Cannes Lions 2022, presented by DIRECTV Advertising.

For more videos from this series, please visit this page.

Beet.TV is an official partner of Cannes Lions.