Well-known industry analyst Alan Wolk is publishing his popular Week In Review columns first on FierceVideo every Friday. This means that FierceVideo readers are the first to get all Wolk's insights as they navigate the fast-moving television business.
1. Everybody loves addressable advertising
It’s been a busy month for addressable TV advertising. All the ViacomCBS networks and all of the Scripps local stations joined Project OAR. Univision joined Nielsen’s linear addressable beta. iSpot and Neulion struck a deal to share their digital and TV data to (among other things) make it easier to understand business outcomes. LiveRamp and Comscore struck a somewhat similar deal that also lets brands use LiveRamp’s identity data to create viewer segments. And Ampersand struck a deal with Verizon to sell their FIOS inventory along with digital inventory from Verizon Media.
Why it matters
Addressable has always been something the industry intended to do, like losing weight or taking up snowboarding. It’s just that there was never a really compelling reason to get serious about it.
The pandemic has created a vast amount of uncertainty in all areas, but the one that affects the TV ad industry most is that no one knows when different areas of the country will be opening up and shutting down. Since that is far more likely to happen on a region-by-region basis than on a national basis, it makes it tricky for brands to buy and run national ads.
Enter addressable TV advertising, which makes it feasible for them to send different creative to different regions and/or to heavy up in areas that have relaxed restrictions.
And so addressable has suddenly become the belle of the ball.
There are other reasons to like addressable. It offers better metrics, both around measurement and business outcomes, and it allows many more brands to have access to the world of TV advertising.
The measurement company iSpot recently released a stat that there were over 1,200 new brands advertising on TV in March/April 2020 versus the same period in 2019. Many of those are presumed to be DTC brands, who already have TV commercial-like objects they created for Instagram and YouTube, and so the ability to run addressable TV campaigns that allow them to target the consumers they’re missing on their favorite digital platforms should mean that even more brands jump on the TV bandwagon in the year to come.
The final piece to note in the rush to addressable is that several of these deals increase advertisers ability to track video ads across digital, OTT and linear television, so as to ensure they do not bombard the same consumer with the same ads, albeit on different platforms.
What you need to do about it
If you’re one of the companies involved in making linear addressable happen, remember that the one thing all your potential customers want is scale, so you’re going to need to work together to make that happen. Or else linear addressable is not going to happen. Your call.
If you are a DTC brand and you haven’t looked at TV yet, addressable can be the way you reach all those people you’ve missed on Instagram while still getting all the groovy metrics you get from digital.
If you work for a brand or ad agency that traditionally makes use of TV advertising, or you are a network or adtech or digital executive and you wish you had a comprehensive guide to addressable television advertising that was written in plain English, then our recent TV[R]EV report on the State of Addressable TV Advertising is just what you’ve been looking for.
2. Peacock will have some originals after all
Everyone was having feels for NBCU because their new Peacock Flix was due to launch in July with no Summer Olympics and no originals.
But now it seems there will be originals after all.
Why it matters
Peacock seems to be a model for what a postmodern TV network will look like, with its large library, next-day episodes of current TV series from the linear channels along with special events like the Olympics and a slate of only-on-the-app original series that people will actually pay cash money to have access to.
At some point, maybe five to 10 years down the road, NBCU will probably put they linear feed onto Peacock and then all their programming will live on the app. But until then, they will have both their linear channels on rapidly shrinking MVPD pay TV systems and their originals and library programming on Peacock.
But back to that July 2020 launch, the presence of originals gives people a reason to actually pay for Peacock. This is going to be key, because with unemployment at record levels, people are going to be fleeing traditional pay TV in much bigger numbers than the one to three percent we’ve been seeing thus far, which means they’ll be looking at subscribing to a handful of Flixes.
So having those originals, which at this point consists of a series based on Aldus Huxley’s 1932 classic “Brave New World” and a reboot of USA’s popular Psych crime series, along with some animation and a NASCAR documentary, could give consumers a reason to sign up for Peacock, which, because it is ad-supported, will be considerably less money than HBO Max, which will be the other new Flix on the block. ($4.99/month for the ad-supported Peacock vs $15/month for HBO Max.)
What you need to do about it
If you’re NBCU, give a giant raise and a whole lot of love to whoever decided to get “Psych” and “Brave New World” done early.
If you’re Peacock, you’ll need to realize that there are a lot of people who don’t find that handful of originals compelling, so you’ll need to find another way to get them on board, or at least remain patient until production can resume once more.
If you’re AT&T, you’ll need to figure out why your service is worth three times as much money as Peacock, especially for someone without a job.
If you’re a smaller cable channel without any sort of passionate audience, Peacock is another reason people are going to stop tuning in. So, it might be time to look at Plan B and a graceful exit from the 24/7 TV network business into a more studio-like role.