In recent years, TV networks have started to position ad inventory more like digital: highly targeted and performance accountable.
But advanced targeting inventory likely accounts for 3% or less of all national TV ad volume, most of which is transacted on the basis of age/gender audience segments, said Gerard Broussard, author of a new eMarketer report on advanced TV targeting.
With this year’s TV Upfronts approaching, the question is, will the Upfronts accelerate advanced TV targeting sales?
The Upfronts provide TV networks a platform to showcase fresh and returning shows as a starting point for developing advertisers’ TV ad plans for the coming year. As is the typical bullish fashion of the TV Upfronts, networks are making optimistic pronouncements about weaving their advanced TV target products into upfront transaction deals.
By media agency accounts, spending on advanced TV targeting ads will be a fraction of the overall $69.87 billion eMarketer expects to be invested in TV this year.
Julie Anson, associate director of partner innovation for advanced TV at Magna Global, estimates advanced TV targeting spending for 2018 will total $500 million across all advertisers and TV networks—equivalent to 0.7% of total US TV advertising spend.
Despite the initial low ad spend, there’s a solid realization that advanced TV targeting has been set in motion and is likely to stay in motion, given the ultimate rewards for advertisers and the potential for the TV industry to maintain vitality.
Media agencies and TV networks are in agreement on the value of advanced TV targeting, but the road to implementation appears to be in need of standardization.
“It's a marketplace that, on one hand, knows that it wants to go in a particular direction, and on the other hand, it's a leap of faith for everybody to move that way because of the lack of standardized data plumbing,” said Jonathan Steuer, chief research officer at Omnicom Media Group.
Given the amount of time and resources required for advertisers and media agencies to address standardization issues and sort through myriad advanced TV targeting offerings, progress is likely to be gradual, said eMarketer’s Broussard.
“On the sell side, TV networks will need to re-engineer their inventory yield management systems that were built for age and gender transactions,” he said.
Subscribers to eMarketer PRO can click here to access the full report, "Television Update Spring 2018: Advanced TV Targeting and Cross-Platform Deals at the Upfronts/NewFronts."