Global TV Group arms advertisers with latest TV effectiveness evidence from around the world. Research collection demonstrates how TV works in every market, for all customer objectives.

The Global TV Group, the informal grouping of TV companies and sales houses’ trade bodies in Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia and Latin America, whose common goal is to promote television, has released the first of three topical updates of its Global TV Deck planned for 2021.

The compendium gathers research summaries from various countries and covers critical studies as “The Halo Effect: TV As A Growth Engine” (VAB/Effectv), “Not all reach is equal” (Screenforce DACH/Karen Nelson-Field), “TV Drives Advertising Effectiveness that Lasts” (Accenture/thinktv Canada), “Profitability: The Business Case for Advertising” (Thinkbox/Ebiquity/Gain Theory) – and more.

In this collection, they will find, for example, research showing that:

  • Within the first fortnight of a campaign, TV delivers on average 23% of media-driven sales. (“Demand Generation” – UK)
  • TV is fundamental to Search, a strong driver of short-term sales demand (“Payback study” – AU)
  • Campaigns with a 70% to 90% coverage deliver the best possible impact in terms of contribution to sales and penetration. (“How Does TV’s Reach Impact Sales?” – ES)
  • Younger brands (three years or less) see the most significant impact of TV as they are establishing their story and identity in the market (“Halo Effect” – US)

This brand-new research collection is indispensable for marketers seeking to make the most informed decisions regarding their ad investments – illustrating how TV drives business outcomes and provides them with the best leverage for their marketing activities.

The Global TV Deck update can be freely downloaded on the Global TV Group website.

Sean Cunningham, President of The Global TV Group and CEO & President of the VAB:
“Advertisers choose TV for the most important role in their marketing plans, that of ‘lead outcomes-driver’. To best achieve the full range of business results – from quickly activating customer traffic at scale to securing brand loyalty beyond reason, whatever is most mission-critical to sales goals and brand goals should be trusted to TV.” 

The Global TV Group is an informal grouping of broadcasters’ and sales houses’ trade bodies in Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia and Latin America, whose joint objective is to promote television.

Alain Beerens – Marketing & Communication Manager, egta

Phone: +32 2 290 31 38 – E-mail:


With a highly anticipated Enders report into TV advertising out this week, Bobi Carley looks at a linear medium firmly back on planning agendas

I’d say I first heard that TV was dying a good ten years ago.

When it didn’t happen, it seemed that people may have jumped the gun a little. “Are reports of the death of linear TV a little OTT?”, asked the Guardian in 2013.

Were commentators exaggerating? Was death imminent? Or was everybody simply being a bit premature?

The reality of course, is that what we were seeing was not dissolution but evolution.

However, headlines have consequences; and the words “TV is dead” have changed the way many think.

Even before TV started to lose its allure, digital was where the action was. Young, hip digital teams attracted the talent, as those entering the industry already enjoyed a relationship with Instagram, Snapchat and the platforms audiences were migrating towards.

As an aside, there really is some incredible talent out there. I was fortunate enough to do a mentoring session for Brixton Finishing School this week. The maturity, knowledge, and passion astounded me. Any company would be lucky to have the young people I spoke to.

But if everybody is heading for digital, what does this mean for TV’s talent and knowledge base?

Among some brands, we know that TV knowledge can be limited and that in the past agencies have been relied on for expertise. Sadly, within some agencies, the TV and digital teams were completely siloed.

Well, those silos are breaking down. A mutual language is developing and data is sexy. New TV platforms have adopted digital metrics rather than TV ones.

This is all borne of necessity. Different measurement, prices, audiences and processes mean complications. One of the benefits of the new TV world is that it is bringing different industry skillsets together. You only have to look at how many people have completed Thinkbox’s TV Masters online training course to see the need and, more importantly, the interest.

It’s an overdue correction, because killing TV before its time made marketeers’ lives harder.

Much has been written about the battle of short-term versus long-term. The board wants immediate results, and marketeers have had to fight harder than ever to prove TV’s value.

A marketeer who had just joined a large financial institution came to me last year with his head in his hands. His business was about to launch its first brand ad for many years, but the senior team were adamant that TV should no longer be on the plan.

His solution was to talk in their language by starting with AdSmart and BVOD. Within six months he had his full TV plan – but he was frustrated at how hard it was to get there.

Advertisers want the best attributes of television, including high-quality programming, but available wherever, whenever and however people want to watch.

They want innovative advertising products and to harness some of the best attributes of digital advertising – greater targeting, more measurable outcomes, greater flexibility. But more than anything, they want a TV ecosystem that’s fit for the future.

This ambition drove advertisers to commission Enders Analysis to review the strengths and weaknesses of the TV advertising market, and consider how it should evolve to the benefit of the wider ecosystem.

Led by advertisers but with input from across industry, the report, which launches tomorrow, is a must-read.

At last week’s Mediatel conference, I had the pleasure of discussing it with L’Oréal’s Gayle Noah, Tim Pearson from Sky, and Omnicom’s Bhav Balvantrai.

So, TV is well and truly back on the agenda. It’s just taking time for the industry to catch up with consumers … who have just sped up again.

People’s relationship with TV has changed this year – largely down to necessity.

It’s what has kept a lot of us sane. There weren’t many chats on socially distanced walks that didn’t revolve around what’s been on TV. As I write this, like most of the country I am waiting on this week’s episode of Line of Duty.

TV has been a ready-made comfort for so many over the last year.

We have seen global upheaval and we are simply not wired to deal with it. We love a comfort zone, and our brains love coasting. We need to know what to expect, which is why it’s so unsettling when things change – let alone so dramatically.

TV has given us stability and escapism … proof positive that it’s alive and kicking.

When you work in TV, of course you don’t want to hear words like death, demise, the end.

You expect progression, innovation, and change. We’ve gone from “TV is dead” to “Linear TV is dead” to “What is TV?”.

Now, thankfully, we’ve arrived at “the future of TV”.

Lindsey Clay, the CEO of Thinkbox, coined the phrase “TV isn’t dead, it’s just having babies,” and managed to shut everyone up. So, here’s to embracing change.



Around a third of consumers say TV advertising is ‘entertaining’ (34%) and ‘informative’ (30%) – far more than the equivalent figures for social media advertising (17% and 19% respectively).

Why it matters

Despite growing levels of advertising investment, social media campaigns are most often called ‘excessive’ or ‘intrusive’ by audiences. The largest consumers of digital media are also most resistant towards targeted advertising, undermining one of the main benefits of digital campaigns.

The finding comes from an analysis of consumer attitudes to advertising, digital media, brand safety, and data-driven targeting in the UK and US, as measured by target audience company GWI in collaboration with WARC. 

The details 

  • Younger audiences want to connect with advertising on an emotional level, while older audiences look for product information.
  • More than half (53%) of consumers say an excessive number of ads negatively impacts their view of the brand.
  • Younger audiences are easily distracted online – one in two (49%) say they regularly switch between multiple smartphone apps.

Download a sample report here. WARC Data subscribers can read the report in full.



Continued strong levels of consumption and an audience preference for its advertising means that diversifying media habits aren’t killing broadcast TV, says GWI’s Jason Mander.

Media consumption changes have attracted a lot of interest recently.

We’ve long known about the explosive rise of time spent on mobile phones (globally, GWI’s data shows an increase from about an hour per day spent on mobiles back in 2012 to more than 3.5 hours now).

We’re all very aware that social media now captures a significant chunk of time (almost 2.5 hours daily).

We all recognise that digital entertainment formats continue to become more prominent within the consumer’s life – with time spent on podcasts, music streaming and TV streaming all posting year-on-year growth.

Consumers are devoting their time to an ever-more diverse portfolio of devices and formats, so it can be tempting to assume that traditional formats must have lost some of their shine.

Mass digitisation during the pandemic has only fuelled these assumptions.

Now that eyeballs are spread across more screens and more places, how could longer-established formats continue to command the same level of attention? And, by extension, how could the ads they carry still wield the same efficacy?

It’s a logical theory, but what does the data say?

Diversifying media isn’t killing TV

Linear/broadcast TV has certainly been under pressure, with a gentle downward trend in the amount of time spent on it daily; the average global consumer now watches just under two hours per day, a decline of about 25 minutes compared to the early 2010s.

While almost everyone continues to watch at least some live broadcast TV, the devices that they’re using have diversified.

While a traditional TV set remains the top choice (64%), just over half of consumers globally are using alternative devices – with a mobile (33%), PC/laptop (25%) and then tablet (11%) being the most popular.

Meanwhile, a quarter of global broadcast TV users are not watching via a television set at any point in a typical month, a trend which increases in line with age to be twice as common among 16–24s as 55–64s. In turn, the notion of households sitting in front of their television for the evening has been challenged.

TV’s dominance can’t be ignored

Broadcast TV still accounts for more time than any other entertainment behaviour.

It also continues to post very high figures in some key demographics and parts of the world, particularly from an advertising perspective.

Consumers in the USA spend more time watching television each day than their counterparts in any of the other 46 countries tracked by GWI (nearly three hours daily – putting it considerably ahead of time spent on social media in the USA).

It’s reflective of broadcast TV maintaining a stronghold in North America and much of Western Europe.

By age, the ongoing power of linear TV among older groups is plain to see. Boomers still watch almost three hours of broadcast TV daily, three times the figure they spend on streaming.

Western countries have older population skews and there’s typically a disproportionate wealth distribution among older groups.

As long as boomers are a considerable force in the consumer market, TV will be one of the best ways of accessing this spending power.

Even among Gen Z – often seen as the trendsetters of media consumption behaviours – both formats capture equal amounts of time, at around 1.5 hours daily.

Very clearly, then, online streaming isn’t replacing broadcast TV.

Rather, consumers have a more diverse entertainment portfolio and this is driving increases in the overall time spent on media consumption.

The evolution of the formats and devices we engage with has opened up more times and opportunities across the day – but broadcast TV remains a fundamental part of our behaviours.

TV ads are the most favoured

Consumers have different tolerance levels for ads in various locations.

As we covered in part one of this series, GWI’s research shows consumers in the USA and UK feel that TV ads are less excessive than those found online, and much less intrusive.

In fact, when both positive and negative adjectives are combined into a composite score, we start to understand just how much more favourably TV ads are viewed compared to other ad formats.

This is a trend which transcends demographics.

By age, for example, TV ads come top for all groups but it’s among older segments where they establish the strongest positive differentiator vs other ad formats (and remember, this demographic are the heaviest engagers).

It’s a similar story among other audiences.

We see more positivity towards TV ads vs other media among those who are explicitly anti-advertising (avoiding it where they can) right through to those who are more positive towards it (feeling that they are represented in advertising).

Whoever your target audience is, they are likely to approach TV ads with greater relative positivity.

TV ads play by different rules

Clearly, TV ads are doing something right.

One way of exploring this is to dig deeper into the positive scores to see how they differ between ad formats.

When we do this, a plain distinction emerges: TV ads are appealing because they have the ability to entertain, whereas the other formats tend to be seen as beneficial when they provide relevant information.

We need to put this in context.

We live in a world where, like it or not, advertising isn’t exactly at the top of peoples’ interests and agendas.

The average person doesn’t spend their time looking for ads which catch their eye. Ads are something we live with, and we’re exposed to them throughout the day in many environments. Sometimes, they make a connection or a positive impression.

In their ability to entertain, TV ads have gained a level of acceptance which stands far above that of other formats, even among people who are actively avoiding any type of advertising.

The lower positivity scores for other formats and the need for them to be informative to make a positive impression tells us a lot.

It tells us that, while the other formats are still indispensable in any ad campaign, compared to TV their effectiveness is much more reliant on how strategically they’re used in the buyer’s journey.

Information needs will change at different stages of the journey and, seeing as irrelevant content is the third-leading cause of negative brand impressions caused by ads, the stakes are likely to be higher for these formats.

It also tells us that other formats can’t take the place of TV as the workhorse in brand building, and that while many advertisers might be hopeful for greater personalisation – even in more traditional media – this isn’t necessarily what people are crying out for in regard to TV ads.



Voyo wants to create space for its services in the prepaid video market. “In order to make progress, we will have to double the number of subscribers every year,” says the Director of Digital Media of CME, Daniel Grunt.

Daniel Grunt has been managing internet activities of Central European Media Enterprises (CME) since this March. He has also taken responsibility for the digital direction of the local TV Nova. In an interview with Daniel Grunt, we discussed the priorities of TV Nova’s digital strategy for this year and the transformation of the strategy.

Let’s start with the tasks in your new role in CME and TV Nova. The position is rather broad, comprising all countries within the group and local online activities of the Nova group. What are you going to focus on this year?

I am in charge of all CME digital activities and as we want to make fast progress with the Voyo video portal, my attention will focus nearly exclusively on the Czech and Slovak markets in the first year. We see the development of Voyo as key. We have set an ambitious goal to achieve one million subscribers in the Czech Republic and Slovakia within five years. In addition, we want to move the website closer to TV News. The third point on the agenda is the re-launch of Nova’s AVOD services.

Voyo is in all countries within the CME group. Does it mean that you are not going to address Voyo in Romania, Slovenia and Bulgaria?

The thing is that in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania we have launched a new platform while in other countries another platform is used. We want to integrate them in future but now, it is important to focus on the key markets and accelerate Voyo’s progress on them. And after that we will focus on other states. However, this does not mean that in other countries Voyo will not develop, we will just pay special attention to the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

It is interesting that already in 2012 when Voyo was launched Nova had a rather ambitious goal in the number of subscribers it wanted to win. At that time, about thirty thousand subscribers were attracted and then the group’s focus moved, Voyo support subsided and the number of subscribers was not growing.

It is true that the number of subscribers was constant in principle. But there was a change last year when the number doubled. In general I think that Voyo was introduced ahead of its time in 2012. In terms of development, it was an absolutely appropriate project but it was launched much earlier than people were ready and willing to pay for video services. Now the situation is different. Penetration of the high-speed internet and Neflix-like global players’ activities were of help. In order to make progress, we will have to double the number of Voyo subscribers every year.

Is it realistic to achieve a million subscribers in the Czech Republic and Slovakia in aggregate within 5 years?

If I were to answer this question half a year ago, I would have said that it was probably not realistic. Now I have been inside for a couple of weeks and can see great willingness and enthusiasm of CME and Nova to invest a considerable amount of money into the development of Voyo – both into content and marketing. We have a sophisticated strategy and a team that wants to move Voyo up. Seen from this angle, this goal makes sense and within five years, we could achieve one million subscribers in both markets. The market development also plays into our hands with Czech users learning to use paid services more and more. This makes the task easier.

On the other hand, with the development of video services including those provided by global players the market gets more crowded and less space is left.

Global competitors may benefit from economies of scale – they shoot at a large cost but their expenses may be covered by offering their products on global markets. We are playing on a substantially smaller playfield. Our big investments are incomparably lower than those of the global players. But I estimate that in our market, the theory of three may apply under which on any reasonably big market three players may coexist having a chance of a profitable life. I am convinced that Nova as a major producer of Czech content has a right to be among those three. It is the only firm that will provide professional and local content. Apart from Netflix, which has made significant progress in the pandemic, Disney+ will win its way in the local market as the second most important player in my opinion. I believe that if we do our job correctly and continue consistently we should be the third player to join Neflix and Disney+.

There are also other two strong local players – Česká televize, which is preparing a new form of iVysílání.cz, and the Prima group where you participated in the development of digital media in previous years including the development of the key platform

In the previous question, I was namely talking about prepaid video services (SVOD). But it is true that in order to achieve the required scale, a paid video library will naturally compete with AVOD services that are available free of charge. We thus have to show that our offering is substantially better than that available for free. In general, we want to attract people’s attention. We will fight for it not only with AVOD services but also with linear TV, Spotify and other services, so the battlefield is rather big.

In a meeting with journalists, CME’s CEO Didier Stoessel and the Programming Director, Silvia Majeská, have outlined Voyo’s strategy. How will you implement it?

There is much to build on, Voyo has become a famous brand over the nine years of its existence. We should considerably increase user experience, which should be data-driven and should adjust to specific users. This means for example offering content that the user will most likely want to watch. Users must receive sufficient amount of content through the best possible user interface. We will carefully monitor the metrics of time spent, which expresses satisfaction with the content offered. In terms of content we must offer the best shows of our own local production. This can differentiate us. It is unlikely to make some interesting acquisitions. Global players are building their own AVOD or SVOD services and withdrawing their own production from all potential competitors. Disney is withdrawing its shows from TV and Netflix and keeps them for itself and the same applies to other players. I don’t expect to make any strong acquisition within five years when the market pattern will start changing again. We thus have to have strong local content.

How would you like to expand Voyo’s content?

Already this year, we are planning to introduce miniseries that will be on Voyo only and will not be on TV. We are planning a new reality show, Love Island, that will be produced primarily for Voyo. We continue with previews of our original series that work well. But we cannot build just on them. This year’s investments will be relatively significant and next year they should be even several times higher and we will go on this way. We have addressed a number of local productions that should make series for us so that we can offer our viewers a new series every month. The view of the life cycle of content that is produced here has changed in the group. So far, an original series has been shown on TV and then placed on the internet on Before showing it on TV, a preview is offered in advance on Voyo. In the future, premium content will be produced primarily for Voyo. It’s the same as when a film is released in the cinema. First, it is shown in the cinema and only then it is on TV. Therefore, we want the most exclusive production to be on Voyo. After a year and a half or two years it will go to TV screens and from there to the AVOD service as a catch up for a week or two and then it will go back to Voyo to the full archive. This should help us invest effectively in the local content.

It was mentioned several times that Voyo’s development will require considerable investments and that CME has them ready for this purpose. How big are these investments?

Unfortunately, I cannot comment on this.

What will be the core of your effort to make Voyo more user friendly for its users?

Voyo has undergone a substantial re-launch recently, the service has been redesigned and I think it was done appropriately. But we will work on certain details so that, for example, users do not have to click several times before they get to what they want to watch. We want to offer them content based on our knowledge of their preferences and make the path to starting the video as short as possible. The longer they will search something or think the higher is the risk that they will leave. These details should lead to a notable improvement of the service.

If we take into consideration the Nova group’s five year goal to significantly expand the number of Voyo subscribers and if the plans are implemented, the paid services will generate much higher yield. This would result in a different pattern of revenues from advertising and paid services of the entire group. Is it possible to outline how strong digital should be within the Nova group in terms of revenues?

In the long-term I can imagine that income from users and from advertising should be balanced. It is in line with the general market development. Income from advertising will not skyrocket but income from users may rise considerably, which may be a large source of money for the group.

Apart from Voyo, which is paid, Nova has the and Nova web sites where videos are available for free. You have mentioned that you will address AVOD services as well this year. What will be their profile?

Our goal is to make our AVOD services more clear and simple. works as a link site from which users go to This is not user friendly in my opinion. There are too many brands, my concept is simpler, we should build a single brand. This should be another digital channel of TV Nova allowing users to watch what they haven’t seen on TV for some reason. Long-form videos should be the core of this service. Nova Plus is now focused a lot on bonus materials and articles. But what users want the most are long-form videos that are on TV. That’s why I want to change the logic of the AVOD service so that it focuses more on entire episodes that will be supplemented by bonus materials.

Wouldn’t it be better for Voyo and its development to place entire episodes to Voyo only?

For Voyo development, this would be the simplest and cleanest solution. But video advertising generates not negligible amounts in Nova. If we are investing massively in Voyo we cannot cut off such a big source of income. SVOD will now be in our focus instead of AVOD. The primary portion of our ideas, sources and marketing is directed at SVOD. But we want to keep AVOD as well because it works well for our advertisers. The service just should be fine-tuned and cleaned to work even better.   

For some time, we can watch previews of original TV series on Voyo. Do they work well as a source of traffic?

They do, definitely. It is one of the largest attractions. With new subscribers, they form at least half of their first visit. In the total rating, previews represent tens of percent. It is an important element of Voyo’s offer and the easiest way to lure viewers to a paid service. As I have already said, we cannot build on previews only, we have to expand Voyo to include shows that were not on TV.

Do you consider a Voyo subscription price different from the existing CZK 159 per month?

The price has been continuously tested and it seems to us that it has been determined correctly. We will see what to do next. Now our priority is to enlist as many subscribers as possible. Profitability comes second and possible new packages may be considered later.

So should be the key pillar in the AVOD offering and should be key in the SVOD offering. Is it realistic to consider development of websites connected to the thematic stations of the Nova group? Unlike its competitors, Nova does not have any such websites.

We are not thinking about this. These websites had their purpose when it was possible to generate interesting income from display advertising. But now this advertising makes less than a third of digital income for TV players. On the contrary, video advertising represents a large portion, which is key to us. Our goal is our AVOD service capable of concentrating content of all of these stations.

When will the website be introduced in its new design?

We want to be able to launch the new design of this year, we have just started working on it. The new design of should be more connected with TV News and should be its extension.

The last question relates to HbbTV where Nova has not been too active. Will this change?

We definitely plan a more significant development of HbbTV but now we concentrate on three basic issues that I have described – Voyo, and AVOD. But I perceive the red button as the easiest way to increased inventory. Its conversion from linear broadcasting is also very good as it is easy to use. We know that we should work on HbbTV. I would be satisfied if we make at least a new design of the entry page to the red button world and launch Voyo’s version for HbbTV. 

Daniel Grunt, Head of Digital, CME

He started managing digital activities of CME in March 2021. At the same time, he became the New Media and Diversification Director of TV Nova. From 2012 to spring 2020, he was the New Media Director of FTV Prima. Before joining Prima, he led new media in the former publishing house Sanoma Media Praha, where he worked for a year and a half. Before that, he managed all internet activities of TV Nova for more than two years. He was the Marketing and Product Director of the internet portal He also worked as a Multimedia Manager in Nokia Czech Republic.



The SVOD market is expected to attract more than 100 million subscribers in Europe by 2026. Number one is Netflix but the growth will be driven by Disney+ or HBO Max.

The number of SVOD subscribers in Western Europe is expected to grow to 234 million by 2026 increasing by 70% compared to the end of this year. Netflix is assumed to be the major player of the SVOD market but Disney+ will grow quickly. This is the outcome of a new study by Digital TV Research.

Netflix is expected to grow by more than 20 million in the following five years and achieve 74 million subscribers. Disney+ is forecasted to grow to 55 million in the same period. It will get ahead of Amazon Prime Video, which will achieve 53 million subscribers according to the forecast.

Other, predominantly regional, services such as Viaplay (the NENT group, Nordic countries) and BritBox, will add 20 million subscribers in aggregate and will report 46 million subscribers together within five years.

The lowest growth in Western Europe is forecasted for HBO Max, which is expected to start in Europe in the second half of this year. It is namely because the service will not enter all European markets according to the available information. It will only be accessible in the key countries such as Great Britain, Germany or Italy where the HBO owner, Warner Media, has agreements with Sky. This operator holds exclusive rights for HBO content. If HBO Max appears in twenty countries in Western Europe it would get 10 million subscribers within five years according to the forecast. If not, it will have 3.3 million subscribers by 2026.

Odhad vývoje SVOD v západní Evropě (tis.), zdroj: Digital TV Research

Estimated SVOD development in Western Europe (ths), source: Digital TV Research

Also the East European region is expected to report an increase in the paid video streaming in the above-mentioned time period according to the same source. In 2026, 40 million subscribers in Eastern Europe are expected to use the service, which is 2.5 times more than at the end of 2020.

The paid video development in this European region will be driven namely by new services Disney+ and HBO Max, but the strongest player will be Netflix. The number of Netflix subscribers is going to grow to 12.3 million in Eastern Europe, which is more than twice as many compared to 2020 (4.7 million in 2020). Disney+ is expected to grow to 7 million by 2026 and the number of subscribers of HBO Max is forecasted at 1.2 million. 

The Russian market with the expected increase of 10 million subscribers and the Poland market with 6 million subscribers are expected to have significant shares in the growth.

Update on Thursday 7:50: Viaplay informed on Thursday morning that it had increased the number of subscribers by 25% for the first quarter of 2021 year on year to 3.147 million. It expects that this year its subscriber base will be expanded by at least 650 thousand people.



Ad spend increased as brands gravitated to the space

While linear TV got pummeled by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, connected TV and direct-to-consumer players have been thriving over the past year.

For instance, Vizio saw a 95% increase in streaming hours on its platform from the end of 2019 to the end of 2020. “That’s a seismic sea change in the business,” Adam Bergman, vp of national ad sales for Vizio, said during a panel at Adweek’s Mediaweek event moderated by TV Editor Jason Lynch. “It was just the accelerant of being home. We accelerated a huge amount of our free streaming product.”

Bergman noted that prior to the pandemic, Vizio had a few hundred channels of free, ad-supported television, but in the early months of 2020 and the first three months of the pandemic, the company added an additional 150 channels to its SmartCast platform.

NBCUniversal first unveiled its One Platform offering in January 2020, enabling the company to sell ad inventory across all its screens. The company was set to debut its streaming service Peacock nationally in July 2020, following a soft launch for Xfinity customers in April. Despite the challenges of rolling out during a pandemic, Peacock has logged 33 million subscribers since its launch.

“Last year was just filled with so many obstacles and tragedy, but also gave marketers and places like NBCU permission to just break legacy,” said Brian Norris, svp of direct to scale at NBCUniversal. “And really specifically, really be able to meet advertisers where they are and what they’re looking to accomplish.”

Norris said for NBCUniversal, that meant being able to accelerate transformation across every aspect of the media and entertainment space.

“We had built the framework of this direct-to-consumer and direct to scale team, so when the pandemic hit, it was like, OK, we have already gone to market with One Platform, we had already gone to market with our direct to scale offering, we had already gone to market with our One Platform commerce opportunities,” said Norris. “And so during the pandemic, it gave us permission to just really accelerate the growth within those areas.”

‘Everybody knows that connected TV is only going to grow’

The upcoming Tokyo Olympics are set to be a huge opportunity for NBCUniversal’s direct to scale team.

“When we think specifically about the brands that I work with, whether it’s in a connected TV environment or not, we have completely opened up our doors for sale, no matter what the brand is,” said Norris. “Everybody knows that connected TV is only going to grow.”

Vizio is seeing that spend growth in connected TV, specifically with companies raising their investment into connected TV over linear television.

“We start with every one of our brand partners in the planning space,” said Bergman, noting that the team uses ACR data to look at linear campaigns to understand how much of the Vizio audience brands are reaching with linear and streaming ad campaigns.

“What we’re finding is that even with the heaviest of GRP spenders, major brands are missing upwards of 40-50% of our audience,” said Bergman. “And what we’re seeing is that those campaigns are only getting a one, two, maybe three frequency on linear alone. So what that means is the two have to work in concert. Every brand not only needs to potentially consider raising their overall budget, but use it more effectively.”

Bergman said that Vizio has been able to prove extended reach and frequency returns for brands without changing its overall budget, and instead using share shift to think about how linear and OTT can work together.

“It isn’t just about raising your whole budget. It’s getting it in the right places for effective reach,” said Bergman. “I don’t think there’s many marketers and agencies that you have to convince that streaming is where dollars need to go. I think what every advertiser knows is that they’re just not going to hit the required reach frequency they need by just being on one platform or the other. They have to be thinking about linear and streaming collectively.”

Norris observed similar trends in the connected and DTC space. “These brands have no real thought process on how to reach audiences,” he said. “They’re really looking to us to give them solutions of how to operate in a One Platform world. We’re finding the audiences where they reside. More specifically, we have found that brands that have gotten their start in a social environment, they’ve leaned a little bit more into streaming and CTV. It’s a less cluttered environment, and the measurability and the targetability that exists within that environment are all areas that they lean into.”



As viewer interest in ad-supported video on demand accelerates, marketers are trying to determine how to navigate the channel and avoid new walled gardens.

The rise of ad-supported video on demand (AVOD) services has been a quiet development amid numerous new consumer behaviors spurred or accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic. Yet the proportion of consumers using an AVOD service is now noteworthy, having increased from 34% in February 2020 to 58% in February 2021, according to Hub research emailed to Marketing Dive.

As pandemic-era behaviors calcify, AVOD looks poised to become an important marketing lane, especially as other trends — like consumer fatigue over paying for multiple subscription video services (SVODs) and a tightening data privacy landscape — affect digital channels.

“If the consumers are migrating towards VOD, whether it’s SVOD, or AVOD, [marketers] are going to have to follow up in that way,” said Jim Spaeth, co-founder of marketing analytics firm Sequent Partners.

The maturation of AVOD means further fragmentation of digital marketing channels, but also potentially new opportunities to engage viewers for marketers who understand how the use case differs from subscription video services.

“We’ve been seeing an escalating trend of creative being used for both traditional TV and all of these new end destinations, but also an explosion of content being created for these sort of bespoke consumer moments, with a substantial increase in ads going to AVOD, streaming, CTV and OTT,” said Melinda McLaughlin, CMO at ad asset management firm Extreme Reach.

Targeting and measurement

As consumers find a convenient entertainment solution in AVODs, marketers are following them to the channel and finding plenty of inventory, as AVODs operated by media companies (ViacomCBS’ Pluto TV, the free version of NBCUniversal’s Peacock) and original equipment manufacturers (LG’s Xumo, Samsung TV Plus) look to build out their ad businesses. Still, at this point, the inventory might exceed demand — one of the reasons for an ad experience where consumers see the same ad repeated. This is likely to change as marketers further embrace the channel and better understand how it works.

“Advertisers haven’t completely jumped in to all of this CTV/OTT yet because of the measurement issue: they haven’t really been able to understand the incremental reach from linear, or from premium video,” said Jane Clarke, CEO at the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM).

Still, AVOD offers the promise of digital targeting and measurement in a TV-like video environment without the use of third-party cookies or Apple’s Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA), which will soon be restricted or deprecated altogether. While marketers determine how these changes will affect their strategies on Google, Facebook and other digital platforms, AVOD could be a place to reallocate spend thanks to its targeting capabilities.

“A marketer can bring their own data to any of these providers — Hulu, Samsung, Roku — and they can match their data in privacy compliant ways, find their target audience and they can match other data to find prospects that they might not have,” Clarke explained.

AVOD and CTV offer marketers the ability to create audience segments, optimize campaigns, manage frequency and get attribution data on the backend, which Clarke described as “the whole picture.” However, as content that fits somewhere between traditional TV and digital video, AVOD is yet to be fully utilized.

“It’s appealing to marketers, but it’s just new enough that it doesn’t fit into all their models — it tends to be out there as like a test plan,” she said.

New walled gardens

While AVOD offers marketers a wealth of targeting and measurement capabilities, the proliferation of platforms — whether Roku, Pluto, Tubi or Xumo — further fractures an already fragmented media market.

“We used to complain about the two big walled gardens, while we probably now have 15,” said Sequent Partners’ Spaeth. “It really challenges the promise of advanced television, because you can certainly do all that measurement and all that targeting and all that optimization within your walled garden, but you can’t coordinate… You have no idea how much frequency this particular viewer has had elsewhere.”

The problem has been exacerbated by OEMs like Samsung, LG and Vizio that originally worked to license their data to different measurement applications before pulling back to create walled gardens, CIMM’s Clarke explained.

“You can only get that data, if you buy advertising in their environment now, but then what that does is make more work for the agencies to pull that all together. And that tends to drive people to the DSPs, to the networks, the exchanges, whatever they are,” she said.

To a consumer, who may have a Samsung in the living room and an LG in the bedroom, for example, the AVOD offering is more opaque and the ad experience more frustrating.

“Walled gardens work against the consumer and I think that that destroys value,” Spaeth said.

Subscription fatigue

Despite their challenges, AVODs — with no price tag and libraries of familiar, comfort-viewing content — have become a more attractive option for consumers as the pandemic put pressure on the economy and forced them to rework their housebound habits. And while SVODs like Netflix, Disney+ and HBO Max are buzzier, consumers were already feeling fatigued by subscriptions as costs piled up.

“There’s got to be some breaking point where people say, ‘I can’t take something else on,’ and then AVODs come in,” said Peter Fondulas, Hub Entertainment Research principal. “This is a way to fill your time — especially if you’re spending more time at home because of COVID — that’s free, so you don’t have to worry about adding a burden on your wallet.”

Along with libraries of classic TV, companies have made their AVOD offerings even more attractive by adopting channel guide interfaces that mimic traditional TV, and by adding news and sports content. For example, the livestreamed NBC News Now channel is available via Peacock, while Pluto TV recently launched a channel for curated MLB content.

“The bread-and-butter for live TV has always been sports and news — that’s what’s continued to keep people with those live TV services — and now AVODs are starting to get in that,” Fondulas said.

As it becomes more attractive to consumers and a larger part of the marketing mix, AVOD represents the latest swing in the content proposition pendulum from premium ad-free services back to ad-viewing in exchange for free content.

“The emergence of the empowered consumer to manage and personalize the dynamic array of video is really cool, but I think there will still be in large part a mix of AVOD, however that, plays out exactly,” said Extreme Reach’s McLaughlin.

When a consumer has such a personalized stack of content, they’re likely more in tune with the content and surrounding ads — engagement that is great news for marketers. But to capitalize on that engagement, marketers must deliver great ads.

“The conversation about AVOD really needs to lead to a passion for storytelling and a passion for achieving the promise of those more personalized and engaging encounters with great stories and what drove the golden era of TV advertising from the beginning,” McLaughlin said.



With the deprecation of third-party cookies and its implications on media targeting, advertisers are increasingly looking for opportunities to leverage both their first-party data and third-party data to effectively reach audiences. Advanced TV (ATV) offers the opportunity to do just that, providing marketers a brand-safe, person-targeted medium that is more measurable than traditional linear TV buys.

Before diving into advanced TV, however, advertisers need to consider the options available, have a clear picture of their audience definitions, and understand the limitations that currently exist.

Understanding the advanced TV landscape

Advanced TV represents any TV opportunity that allows the advertiser to leverage data to target, plan, buy, and measure delivery against an advertiser-defined audience. There are several types of media that fall within the ATV umbrella, with varying degrees of targetability.

Audience-based linear is closest to traditional linear TV, with advertisers buying space on shows and dayparts that index closest to their target audience. This goes by many names in the industry, including audience-based buying (ABB), data-driven linear (DDL), and index-based buying.

Addressable TV goes a step further, allowing advertisers to target at the household level with cable companies via set-top boxes within linear addressable (the two minutes per hour that networks leave blank) and video on demand.

Connected and over-the-top (OTT) TV have emerged more recently and involve delivering ads to viewers’ devices via the internet on platforms like Roku, Hulu, Samsung, and hundreds of other partners.

Programmatic TV, or automatic buying and planning of these TV ads, applies across all three media types, though it is most prevalent in connected and over-the-top TV. In addition, there is an emerging flavor called national linear addressable, where the ad is purchased nationally and can then be replaced with a different version as it is viewed across different addressable platforms.

The numerous partner options, and the differences that exist between them, make the advanced TV landscape challenging to navigate. Marketers must understand their different options to identify the right fit and determine how they’re going to manage these different relationships, whether that’s through an in-house team or an agency.

Leveraging first-party data in advanced TV buys

Before moving toward identity-focused advertising, marketers must first understand the landscape and how the different types of advanced TV media actually work. Next they must be experts in their audience definitions and know exactly who they want to reach and how each audience is constructed.

Once audience definitions are clear, marketers should determine where to activate and allocate budget primarily based on their goals. Is return on investment or incremental reach more important? Are there key reporting capabilities that are must-haves for a partner?

A marketer might also choose its approach based on its current advertising focuses. A digital-first brand, for example, may start with programmatic, effectively expanding its digital buys into connected TV. A brand that’s historically invested heavily in linear TV may opt to start with audience-based linear. Regardless of the approach, it’s common for a marketer to pick just one addressable TV partner to test, run a campaign, then expand after seeing positive results.

There are some limitations to first-party data activation, which vary by partner. Regardless of partner, one of the most important limitations to think about is privacy, especially for advertisers in finance, insurance, health, and similar verticals. It’s important for either the marketer or their agency to ensure compliance within sensitive industries.

Creating a seamless customer experience through advanced TV

Because advanced TV advertising means talking to consumers while they’re enjoying an experience, ads must be thoughtfully paired with content. While audience-based linear and linear addressable TV both give viewers a similar ad experience as traditional linear TV would, CTV has more potential to disrupt the viewer experience.

The key pitfall to avoid with connected TV is showing an ad over and over to the same viewer within a short period of time, making the ad uninteresting and annoying. Marketers leveraging connected TV should keep a very close eye on frequency reporting and work with partners with a strong track record of managing frequency to avoid upsetting consumers.

Measurement varies by media type and can be complicated

The measurement sources for advanced TV depend on the media type you’re buying, but different partners use different methods.

For audience-based linear, a partner may leverage proprietary reporting or lean on a provider like Comscore or Nielsen, leading to a complicated mix of disparate sources. Some groups are working to standardize this reporting, but the industry isn’t there yet.

Similarly, addressable TV providers have differing philosophies about building the event stream – some use third-party processors, while others build it themselves. Some players will provide event streams for free, others provide them for an additional fee, and some don’t provide them at all.

On the user side, viewers may or may not be logged in when seeing a connected TV ad, which can make linking between a conversion and the event streams to determine ROI complicated. So it’s important to understand the data available from a particular measurement partner before launching a campaign.

While there are challenges in working with advanced TV, advertisers that understand and can activate against their first-party data now stand to benefit greatly from advanced TV’s explosive growth, while adding another seamless touchpoint to their customers’ journeys.



As ISBA pushes ahead with its plans for a cross-media measurement system – despite the TV broadcasters’ hesitancy – the head of its AV Steering Group encourages marketers to evolve how they see TV.

If you look at what has been grabbing the marketing headlines over the last few years you would be forgiven for thinking that what is keeping marketers awake at night is how we keep pace with the digital advertising supply chain and the challenges and opportunities, it offers.

However, for us at Direct Line Group, the role of television remains our biggest opportunity and our biggest threat. The recent successes we have seen with the launch of the “Fixer” for Direct Line in 2014 and the subsequent launch of “We’re on it” (with the superheroes) last year, as well as the launch of “Chill” for Churchill in 2019, boil down to a strong creative idea executed on a powerful medium – TV. 

While 2020 will be remembered as the year of the pandemic, it will also be looked back on as a significant year for TV. A year where parts of the industry stopped talking about advanced TV transformation and started doing it. A year where advertisers, agencies and media owners all stopped anchoring everything to the past and started reinventing the future.

Of course, we’ve known for some time that new technologies have been paving the way for emerging platforms, apps and content owners, but what has changed this year is that the sleeping giants have awoken and the big screen broadcasters themselves have started collaborating.

And it’s this shift that is making advanced TV mainstream. It’s no longer “emerging” and peripheral to your tried and tested linear plans but a real opportunity to make TV more efficient, more effective, more flexible – and for smaller brands, more accessible. 

To get there it’s taken a year of unprecedented levels of viewing with 2020 eclipsing 2019 with one-and-a-half hours more daily viewing on average, with average daily viewing of SVOD doubling year on year (Ofcom), and with challenging broadcaster revenues and increased advertiser agility leading to demands for more flexible trading.

All of which have forced us to pause and take stock. Take stock of how all TV should be planned, traded and implemented in a post-Covid-19 world. Take stock of how broadcasters, platforms and content owners can all work together to make TV the number one choice for any media investment, regardless of size of brand, target audience or budget. And take stock of how total TV can be measured in a unified way, with a unified currency, to increase the effectiveness of advertising budgets.

As a result, it is time for all of us advertisers to lean in and understand this new TV landscape. To welcome it, embrace it and leverage it. At DLG we have always had a curious, test, learn and adapt culture. It’s how we grow our brands.

And for us, the journey has already started. I guess with concerns over the long-term effectiveness of TV in a market of continued year-on-year inflation coupled with reductions in commercial audiences, our patience was starting to wear thin. Dovetail was taking too long, Sky’s confidence in C-Flight wasn’t yet shared by the other broadcasters and ISBA-led project Origin had barely been conceived. So, we set out to answer what everyone industry-wide has been asking… 

  • Can we understand the relationship and choices between TV and video in driving TV-like incremental reach? 
  • Can all of the audio-visual channels and platforms available to us be measured in a unified way to understand their relative efficiency and impact?” 
  • And, as a result, can we plan, buy and implement TV and video media plans in a truly agnostic way to maximise commercial outcomes?”

Of course, the answer is yes, yes and yes. It was inevitable really.

So, what does this all mean for DLG? Well, we no longer talk about linear; we no longer talk about VOD; we talk about reach, frequency, impact and outcomes. We have transformed the complex into the simple – to us it is all just “TV”. And I invite you all to do the same. The difference now is that we have more options open to us to make our TV spend even more effective tomorrow than it is today.

As chair of ISBA’s TV and Video Steering Group I am privileged to be part of a group of informed and forward-thinking marketers who are as passionate about TV as I am and who want to work with broadcasters, agencies and tech companies to take advantage of the many innovations that we are seeing during what is TV’s most exciting growth spurt to date. A future-shaping period that is happening on our watch.

Last year the group set out to bring more flexibility to TV buying – and the broadcasters listened. This year we have taken on the challenge of demystifying advanced TV for ISBA members. Working with Decipher to help us make the complex simple. Starting with a straightforward guide, we believe this is something that advertisers need to take the time to understand because, when you make the complex simple, it is after all just TV.

Project Origin is now also pushing ahead with a proof of concept trial involving many major brands (including Direct Line Group), the tech platforms and three agency groups.

It’s no secret that TV works. It’s just gone up a gear – that’s all. So why not jump in, fasten your seatbelts and enjoy the ride.