- October 21, 2020

Predictive Audiences for Connected TV

Sarah Kelleher
Sarah Kelleher
Senior Corporate Marketing Manager

Comscore’s Rachel Gantz and Guido Fambach recently hosted a webinar about predictive audiences for connected TV (CTV). The session, facilitated through Mediatel, introduced Comscore’s latest innovation in audience targeting for Europe.

Let’s talk about CTV advertising

The industry has largely referenced two different definitions when talking about CTV advertising.  In the first definition, CTV advertising means advertising on a connected TV, where the ad would appear on an ad-supported streaming service. In the second definition, which we also frequently talk with advertisers about, CTV advertising means how advertisers reach CTV watchers with their digital and mobile ad campaigns. This tactic is a commonly used strategy to reach cord-cutters and cord-nevers. In this article we’ll explore both definitions.

Advertising on Connected TVs

Since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force, the option of audience-based targeting has been off the table, leaving us with an opportunity to perfect contextual targeting. When it comes to CTV what we mean here is the content that an ad will run in, on an ad-supported streaming service. So, while these ads will look and feel much more like traditional TV advertising, there are digital tools that can be applied for targeting purposes. For CTV audience targeting we’re considering who will see the ad, leveraging these tools to make sure an ad appears when the right person is sitting in front of the screen.

Contextual targeting for CTV has evolved considerably in recent times. The ‘old’ method of contextual targeting for CTV was to apply brand safety or positive contextual category targeting at app level, or at best based on the content’s title and description. This approach is limiting because, for example, ‘This Morning’ on ITV would be categorized at a news programme - but this categorization doesn’t take into account the fact that the food or retail segments of the programme could be a prime spot for fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) or retail advertisers. Even having the correct title and description, which is the information that is often not available when buying inventory programmatically, would probably not be enough to make a thoughtful targeting decision.

Comscore’s new solution utilizes the latest technology so that instead of basing brand safety or positive targeting on limited information, advertisers can now do so based on the complete audio and visual components of the CTV or digital video content. This gives advertisers far more control over their campaigns and we expect that it will become the standard in short order. With such nuanced differences between high risk and low risk content, relying on the app name or content title as the source for determining what the content is actually about and whether or not it’s a good fit for a campaign could be causing advertisers to miss out on prime opportunities.

Advertising to Connected TV Viewers

We are excited to announce the launch of predictive audiences to European markets, which will deliver accurate audience targeting, driven by context and quality data assets. 

Comscore’s unique set of data assets, comprised of the opted-in digital panel with rich behavioural, CTV ad exposure and viewership data, and our superior contextual crawler, combine to create the first cookie-free audience targeting solution. As an advertiser working on attribution, identifying and targeting under-exposed audiences is key. With Comscore’s predictive audience solution advertisers can identify those who were under-exposed based on CTV consumption, then look at what types of content that audience consumes digitally and the content this matches. These predictive insights help to provide advertisers with a narrow search that can be taken to any DSP to allow for the targeting of the desired audience. 

Contextual predictive audiences are coming soon to a number of European markets, starting with the UK, with Germany following in the first quarter of 2021. For those who want to prepare themselves for precise targeting in a cookie-free world, get in touch with Comscore to learn more about how to be among the first to take advantage of this advanced solution.

Why it matters 

Premium video consumption continues to grow rapidly, and along with that growth overall content consumption over connected TVs has been booming. The pandemic further accelerated this growth. As millions of people remained indoors to comply with coronavirus public health measures, they were hungry for news and entertainment, so streaming options became an increasingly important piece of the consumption pie, along with traditional, linear TV. The Ofcom Media Nations 2020: UK Report shows that an estimated 12 million online adults in the UK gained access to a new SVoD subscription during lockdown. This is a trend which is set to continue, with IAB Europe estimating that the number of OTT subscribers in Europe will increase from 133M in 2019 to 159M in 2023. 

As a result of this changing consumer behaviour, advertisers are investing in connected TV advertising to capitalise on this attentive and growing audience. In a report that Comscore published in January 2020, UK marketers revealed plans to increase spend in CTV advertising by 54% and, despite the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic on marketing budgets, there was still an increase in video-on-demand spend by over 11% in Q1 2020. This shift in focus to CTV advertising means that now more than ever, advertisers need the tools to make the most of this growing opportunity. 

Download the full presentation from the webinar for more details.