The Association of Commercial Television


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:


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.



The ongoing coronavirus pandemic did not bring any significant fluctuations in the number of delivered GRPs to the advertising TV market.

The aggregate number of advertising GRPs delivered by TV in this first quarter decreased by 2% compared to the last year’s first quarter. It is a good result given the adopted measures against the coronavirus. The result includes classic TV spots and sponsoring. This is the outcome of Nielsen Admosphere’s data monitoring.

The development in the first three months of this year shows that the most favourable situation was in March when GRPs had grown year on year. March is also the strongest month of the first quarter. On the contrary, GRPs decreased most in February year on year.

Out of individual business groups, Media Club (Prima, Barrandov, Óčko and other) and TV Nova continue to be the strongest. 

Share of business networks in delivered GRPs, 1Q/2021



In a clear indication of the lay of land in today’s TV industry, research from advertising technology platform provider FreeWheel has found that after a decade of change, and as people’s consumption of media has fragmented across devices over the past ten years, many have returned to the living room to watch connected TV (CTV).

In the tenth anniversary edition of its US Video Marketplace Report, the Comcast subsidiary drew a timeline of events that have shaped TV’s last decade of growth, drawing on data and observations from past issues to highlight the transformative moments of the last 10 years and contrasting the history with data from the second half of 2020.

The report reveals just how much consumers have embraced their connected devices to view premium content and how the device of choice has evolved over time as distribution has changed. It showed that in the fourth quarter of 2012, 12% of video views were on devices other than laptops but in comparison, in the second half of 2020, non-desktop devices made up 84% of ad views. This represents a 7x increase in share.

FreeWheel noted that CTV has played prominently into this shift, as consumers have moved back to the living room to consume TV. CTV now makes up 62% of all measured ad views, with Roku and Fire TV contributing 72% of ad views, 43% and 29% respectively.

Looking back ten years to the growth in adoption of TV everywhere in 2011, the report showed how content – and, therefore ad views – have spread across devices. In the second half of 2020, TV everywhere (TVE) made up 40% of ad views, while streaming was not far behind at 38% of ad views measured. Meanwhile, ad views continue to soar: the report found that in H2 2020, overall ad views increased by 57% when compared to H2 2019.

The report looked at the journey of programmatic advertising, as marketers have sought to streamline their tech stacks and find greater efficiencies in media buying. In 2015, programmatic was just starting to gain traction in the video space. Programmatic transactions have since exploded, currently accounting for 24% of premium video ad views in H2 2020. The use of audience targeting has also accelerated, comprising 91% of ad views, split evenly between demo and behavioural segments.

“We’ve observed enormous changes in the TV industry over the past decade, making it critical that marketers stay on top of trends in distribution, monetisation, audience behaviour and ad experience,” said FreeWheel general manager Dave Clark commenting on the US Video Marketplace Report. “For the past 10 years, the Video Marketplace Report has become a trusted source for data, context and commentary into these changes. In observing this time frame, the big story has been fragmentation, but ironically, fragmentation of video viewing has brought viewers back to their living rooms as connected TV continues to lead the pack.”



Streaming is changing the world of TV viewing. But, unfortunately for the advertising world, the vast majority of this viewing is ad-free, since most of the largest and most dominant streaming services carry no ads — Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, HBO Max (though that is changing), Apple TV+ — and the two larger services that do carry ads — YouTube and Hulu —  carry very light ad loads.

According to Nielsen data (crossed with second-by-second connected TV viewing data), almost 25% of TV viewing is now on streamed content. But only 4% of ad-viewing time is on streamed ads. Linear TV still represents more than 95% of total TV ad-viewing time.

This is why premium video streaming ad campaigns today are so expensive, and tend to deliver a lot of frequency and not very much reach. It’s also why ad fraud in streaming video is a real and growing problem. Ad demand exceeds supply, which is to practitioners of digital ad fraud what honey is to ants at a summer picnic.

Many folks in the media and ad industry want to change this situation. Advertisers, big tech platforms, large media and digital ad-tech companies all would love to see super-fast growth of ad-supported video on demand (AVOD).

This shift would move digital platforms into the center of the entire ad ecosystem. It would break down the separate silo that is the $65 billion U.S. TV ad industry. It would — theoretically — mean more yield from each ad for everyone.

However, the folks who really control whether ad-supported streaming services will take off — viewers — have yet to put their time and attention behind ad-supported streaming in a substantial way. And viewers are in charge of this shift, not the media industry.

The linear TV viewing shift to streaming will take many years. Older and lower-income viewers are a big part of TV viewership, are not early adopters of new technology, and face economic and structural barriers to shifting to streaming.

The latest Pew Research report tells us that 34% of U.S. households lack fixed broadband at home (that’s more than 100 million Americans), and many tens of millions of homes lack “smart” TVs. Plus, when it comes to watching live sports and news, TV’s “tent-pole” programming, broadcast and cable deliver high-definition viewing with no lag or latency.

Streamed ad experience needs massive improvement. Why does Hulu keeps giving you the same ad over and over in the same hour on the same show? How come YouTube TV leaves some ad spots blank, with dead time? How come only two major ad-supported streaming services do a human review of each and every ad they show their viewers?

Digital ad technologies may have the capacity to deliver better, more relevant ad experiences, but as we know with banners and the open web, the gap between potential and practice leaves a lot to be desired. If the industry mirrors the web ad experience on streamed TV, viewers will abandon bad-ad services in droves.

Streaming ad reporting and measurement is a mess. One of the reasons the streamed ad experience is so bad is that the streamed world is a fragmented mess. Most TV and dongle manufacturers have different operating systems. Apps on this services are different. And the ads within those services may have several owners and many paths to delivery, including: device manufacturer, operating system licenser, content owner, distributor, sell-side platforms, demand-side platforms, ad servers, creative servers, and data management platforms.

This means dozens of companies may touch each ad impression delivery, and collecting, collating and harmonizing reporting and measurement from that mess is a mess.

It’s certain that any company claiming to give advertisers an accurate, consolidated ad campaign report based on deterministic data is not telling the truth. That doesn’t exist. Broad, approximate and probabilistic is the best anyone can hope for today (and for some time).

All about time, iteration and long-term commitment. I do believe that AVOD will be a big part of the video ad ecosystem over time, but it will take years to change viewer behaviors, build a new TV-like digital ad supply and deliver on the promise of a better ad experience for advertisers, not better profits for digital ad exchange platforms that want to trade human viewers’ eyeballs like pork bellies (thank you, mentor and media legend Wenda Millard, for warning all of us about this more than a decade ago).

The winners will put viewers first, will stay committed to building ad-supported services over years and years, not quarter over quarter, and will test, learn and optimize their way to a better TV experience for all.

What do you think? Do AVOD services have to be instant successes now to be long-term winners?



It’s unclear what the future of TV ad buys will look like in connected TV. Since much of TV inventory — including much of CTV — is reserved in the upfronts each year, will programmatic auction-based buying eventually be used in CTV as it is for online digital?

Major content owners like Disney and NBCUniversal are making big investments in automated platforms. Disney recently unveiled its Disney Real-Time Ad Exchange, or DRAX, a premium video header bidding solution, and NBCU launched its One Platform last year and continues to build and test new tools and capabilities.

And so, we asked the experts: “Is the future of CTV biddable? Why or why not?” Most seem to agree that it will be, although to what extent seems to be up for debate.

Ben Hovaness, SVP of marketplace intelligence, OMG North America

Since the early 2000s, ad auctions have been used to transact increasing volumes of media across a widening variety of channels. Auctions have a great number of virtues — yield maximization for sellers, better targeting for users, improved outcomes for advertisers, and an all around more dynamic marketplace. If one is looking for proof that auctions can be the core of an ad sales business, we think the commercial success of Google and Facebook should lay any doubt to rest.

In 2021, we see the same future for CTV. The marketplace is more complex than those of the walled gardens due to the intermediated nature of programmatic buying, with a wide variety of deal types — fixed-price, dynamic-with-floors, no-floors, post-auction price reductions (PAPR).

And a lot of inventory is still transacted on an [Insertion Order] basis. But we see the fundamental strength of the auction model eventually coming to dominate transactions in this space, as it has in the worlds of search, social, and various other digital ad formats. We also see it as something to look forward to, because it is not written anywhere that auctions must undermine buying clout.

Jen Soch, executive director, specialty channels, GroupM

I believe CTV will continue to be purchased via biddable and non-biddable methods. I see a side where CTV will be about being addressable with advanced targeting. Likely purchased by biddable methods, brands will look for heavy optimizations and flexibility. I see another side where CTV will be used as a strong brand first platform. Purchased by Insertion Orders, programmatic guaranteed or preferred deals, brands will search out high impact units, contextual alignment and the increasingly important tentpole events and sponsorships.

CTV’s future will not be all biddable. We will need direct buying where pricing would be fixed and purchased outside of a biddable auction.

Joe Cady, SVP of strategy and development, NBCUniversal

The growth of premium content on CTV provides the best possible medium to deliver an advertiser’s message. A biddable environment enables more advertisers of different sizes to reach audiences through CTV, so we believe that bidding is going to become more prominent. CTV allows for publishers and brands alike to tap into an array of advanced advertising and targeting capabilities, making it even easier to get the right message to the right audience on the right platform at the right time. I envision this ecosystem becoming more and more attractive across the board.

Meredith Goldman, VP of publisher advertising solutions, Roku

We’ve always said that all TV advertising will be streamed. We also believe that TV advertising will be automated and biddable, but will have a trajectory that’s different and more expansive than digital. Streaming TV advertising has the unique ability to couple top-of-funnel needs of TV buyers with the performance needs of digital buyers. TV has always been about reach, and digital is about action. Streaming achieves both, and unlocks the first true full-funnel performance platform.

The immediate update required for biddable platforms to attract more TV streaming advertising is to leverage real-time data for incremental reach and frequency. As a premium supply source, there will be additional expectations that streaming TV publishers offer the same access to supply to programmatic demand as their direct ad sales teams. Biddable platforms that have identity at its core and leverage first-party consumer relationships across ad decisioning and attribution will have a clear advantage in attracting streaming TV advertising.

Matt Barnes, senior director of programmatic sales, Disney Advertising Sales

Over the last few years, we have seen tremendous growth in our programmatic business across programmatic guaranteed and biddable deals. As more viewers shift to CTV as their desired method of consuming content, we will continue to see the shift in our industry to programmatic buying. The benefits we see with automation, such as reach and frequency management and targeting, are some of the reasons why we expect programmatic sales to account for up to 50% of Disney’s addressable and linear revenue by 2024. Using a mix of programmatic transaction types is the future of CTV.

Aaron Letscher, VP of programmatic and audience products, WarnerMedia Ad Sales

Yes, the future of CTV will be biddable – to an extent. Although I predict we’ll always see high-touch moments and tentpoles direct sold, like all media channels, marketers want scale and efficiency, so I predict patterns we saw in media planning and buying in digital over the past 15 years to continue in CTV.

But CTV has very distinct characteristics and challenges on the road to true automation. The clearest challenge for CTV buyers centers around audiences, where you see a patchwork of approaches, from syndicated research to building device graphs from bid-stream data. There are also myriad hardware, operating systems, and distribution relationships today in the connected TV space, which can make it difficult to scale and manage frequency across different channels.

I predict media owners and distributors with direct-to-consumer relationships and rich audience insights will be differentiated in that they can make deterministic connections with consumers, helping marketers to better understand their consumer and to unify buys on the front and back end.

However, the ad tech ecosystem must evolve its collective approach in the meantime to account for the lack of persistent identifiers in CTV. This means tuning bid strategies, algorithms and standardizing creative capabilities to account for the uniqueness of CTV, and not simply retrofitting strategies designed for web and mobile app environments.

Leo O’Connor, SVP and head of programmatic advertising, ViacomCBS

The current state of CTV is biddable. As we look to the future, we will continue to see an enormous focus on direct programmatic transactions between marketers and publishers. There will, also, always be a place for reserved buying in premium CTV, especially in live tentpole events where sponsorships are sold on a slot basis.



This month: How advertisers can double their return on investment (ROI), some of the challenges and opportunities for B2B marketers and the future landscape of TV advertising and audiences.

Half of brands achieve an ROI of $1.06, but the most effective can double this

For every $1 spent on media, advertisers can expect an average sales return of $1.06, according to data from Nielsen. The most effective 25% of advertisers, however, can achieve a return on investment (ROI) of $2.09 – nearly double the average.

This can rise further still – the median ROI in WARC’s analysis of the most successful brands is $3.99.

Nielsen notes that there can be regional variation, though. Advertisers in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) see the smallest range of ROI between the 25th and 75th percentiles, suggesting some level of consistency in performance. In Latin America, however, the top 25% of advertisers achieve an ROI 450% larger than the bottom 25%.

The methods for achieving higher levels of return can also differ significantly between advertisers.

Among short-term factors, which advertisers have the greatest control over, reach and ad quality are the most important drivers of ROI.

For marketers in the food category, though, ad quality is of far lower significance while frequency proves to be of above-average importance. For those in the hygiene and health category, duration and daypart rank higher than ad quality.

Marketers also need to recognise the importance of long-term factors. Structural factors, like brand size and brand dollar, drive over half (57%) of advertising’s ROI. This is particularly true for automotive brands as this figure rises to 62%.

Again, the differences across categories are notable. Short-term creative is particularly influential for the tech, comms and retail categories, where it drives one-fifth (20%) of ROI.

While the specifics for each category may vary, research from WARC and Cannes Lions has uncovered some key recommendations for practitioners. A combination of informed budgets, insightful strategy and creative output can deliver greater levels of effectiveness.

The WARC Awards for Effectiveness is a new global competition showing how marketing delivers business results. Entries close on April 1st and all those shortlisted will receive feedback on how they have performed on the Creative Effectiveness Ladder.

Challenges with ROI but new opportunities emerge for B2B marketers

The effectiveness of video content is improving for B2B businesses, but accurate measurement is often found wanting and ROI remains a challenge. This is according to a survey of marketers and sales people in mostly B2B or B2B/B2C companies from Vidyard and Demand Metric.

Half of those surveyed said their video ROI is getting better (48%), a similar level to 2019. As well as this, the share of B2B companies saying their ROI is unknown has dropped from 48% in 2018 to under one-third (29%) in 2020.

However, the research also finds that measuring ROI remains the most common challenge for B2B businesses when trying to effectively use video.

Progress has so far been limited – just 7% of those surveyed say their measurement is ‘advanced’, considering metrics like viewer drop-off rates and sales attribution. Instead, ‘basic’ metrics like the number of views prove most common.

This lack of a clear ROI is a common concern – additional research shows three quarters of TV ads deliver no long-term growth for B2B brands. This can come from an over-reliance on short-term activation and a lack of clear brand building.

WARC’s research into B2B marketing, including a survey of more than 330 practitioners in the tech and telco sectors, reveals some interesting trends that may help boost effectiveness.

The disruption of the coronavirus outbreak means this is a time of learning and discovery for B2B marketers. For example, half of those surveyed said they are experimenting with channels they have never tried before. This has prompted brands to use a broader multimedia mix that includes newer channels like audio and streaming.

Although more channels may introduce more complexity, B2B marketers are pushing for a clear focus. Four fifths of those surveyed say they need to be more focused on building strong brands.

This aims to provide a secure base from which B2B content can work harder and more effectively. For tech and telco B2B brands, there is a new significance on storytelling and in finding relevant partners to help deliver those stories in compelling ways.

WARC surveyed more than 330 B2B marketers in 10 markets across the world who operate within the tech and telco sectors. Changing Channels in B2B includes a deep-dive into each of the four themes, CMO views, data analysis, and key takeaways. Download the full report here.

Next gen TV attracts audiences and advertisers

Linear TV advertising spend has fallen by $47bn over the last five years as online channels attract audiences and investment, according to WARC Data’s latest research.

Over the same period, online video investment has grown $38.7bn and more than doubled in size. This includes advertiser-funded video-on-demand (AVOD), broadcaster video-on-demand (BVOD) and short-form social formats.

While linear TV remains 2.5 times larger, this gap will narrow as advertisers follow audiences.

WARC Data estimates that two fifths of online consumers worldwide now have an internet-connected TV, a new high and a trend that is likely to continue.

There are clear regional differences for streaming, though. Mobile devices prove more popular in Asia, while over half of audiences in India (57%) and China (45%) say they watch live TV content on their mobile, tablet or PC.

However, many advertisers say they are struggling to leverage connected TV advertising effectively. Less than a quarter of digital video decision makers believe they are optimal in core areas such as reaching the right audience, delivering effective creative and selecting appropriate media types.

Success may instead be found in integrating the management of all forms of TV media, allowing advertisers to achieve better measurement and greater effectiveness across their investments.

WARC Data’s latest report analyses how video viewing has evolved and how brands are reacting to the next generation of TV. It also includes an analysis of TV spots during the coronavirus outbreak, drawing from over 15m measured ads.

WARC Data subscribers can access the full report here. A free sample report is available to non-subscribers here.



Advertising video-on-demand platforms (AVOD)– a subset of all connected TV — are expected to see skyrocketing growth over the next four years, rising to $17.8 billion, according to MoffettNathanson Research.

AVOD platforms were estimated to come in at $4.4 billion in 2020, with Hulu grabbing the bulk of that market — $2.5 billion.

In 2025, the analysis company projects that of the nearly $18 billion for AVOD, $5.3 billion will go for Hulu; $4.4 billion for Roku; $2.3 billion each for Peacock and Pluto; $1.9 billion for Tubi; and $500 million for HBO Max (an ad option yet to start.)

Looking at individual AVOD platforms, Hulu (its AVOD service) pulled in $653 million in advertising revenue in the fourth quarter. Pluto and Roku Channel, each had $173 million and Tubi hit $105 million.

In terms of total advertising minutes per hour of programming, Hulu was at 10 minutes; Pluto, 10 minutes; Roku Channel, 8 minutes; and Tubi, 5 minutes.

MoffettNathanson says the Roku Channel represented 65% or more of all Roku video ad revenues. The entire Roku platform’s advertising revenue for the fourth quarter was $265 million overall.

A smaller piece of its advertising revenue comes through ad revenue sharing agreements with premium video platforms carried on the Roku platform overall. For example, MoffettNathanson guesses Roku gets 15% share of ad inventory on Peacock.

For 2020, a connected TV projection from eMarketer says the total CTV ad market was at $8 billion in revenue. This accounts for all digital advertising that appears on home screens and in-screen video advertising, as well as YouTube’s video ad dollars.



When we talk about the potential demise of traditional linear TV, we’re talking about the potential demise of cable and broadcast delivery of linear TV, not linear TV itself.

That’s an important distinction as, like the difference between “OTT” and “CTV”, it clouds up discussions about the future of TV.

So far starters, linear TV is not going anywhere.

That’s one of the few developments around the future of TV I’m willing to make a firm bet on and it’s based on the fact that most people don’t like being their own personal programmer.

In my book, Over The Top, How The Internet Is (Slowly But Surely) Changing The Television Industry, I referred to it as the “Spotifyization of Television” and it’s a description that still holds up today.

On Spotify, users can listen to whatever song they want from a library of over 50 million songs. They can listen to a playlist they’ve created or one someone else has created. Or they can listen to one of the tens of thousands of radio station-like playlists that Spotify has created, including playlists that are personalized to their unique tastes.

Spotify’s own playlists have proved to be very popular with users as people quickly grow tired of their own music and want to listen to something new, only not too new.

That’s the basic premise behind the boom in linear-like channels on the FASTs, many of whom have hundreds of options ranging from genres like Crime and Horror to channels devoted to a single series.

The channels make it easy to use TV as background entertainment, to be able to click around, find something that is interesting enough for the moment, lean back and bliss out. (Or attend to emails, dinner preparation and similarly banal tasks.)

At some point soon I suspect we’ll have personalized linear channels too, either entire pre-populated channels (“Alan’s Crime Channel”) waiting for you, a personalized YouTube-like autoplay channel once the show you’ve just watched is over, or both.

Until then, there are certainly enough options on the FASTs where viewers have the ability to click from channel to channel the way they do on old school set top box cable.

Having these lean back options is important given how much of the current Second Golden Age of TV consists of “lean forward” options–shows you’ll want to pay careful attention to and watch with no distractions. They’re the yin and yang of streaming TV.

There’s another area where linear will find a home on streaming and that is live programming, be it news, sports or a special event.

There’s no reason why these three genres would not work on streaming, particularly if that’s where the bulk of their potential audience is.

Streaming is just a delivery system that uses the internet rather than broadcast signals or cable wire. If anything, it’s a superior delivery system as it allows for additional features like Amazon’s X-Ray, which shows the names of the actors in any particular scene. Easy enough to imagine a corollary feature that shows the athletes on any particular play.

The biggest advantage to moving linear to streaming is that it consolidates the number of inputs and allows viewers to take advantage of the ability to switch between linear and VOD at will, so that if a linear streaming channel plays a random episode of “Seinfeld” a viewer can quickly search for “Festivus” and watch that episode next.

It also allows for localization, so that streaming channels can be adjusted to reflect local tastes and news can be localized as well, right down to zip code-based weather reports.

Finally, it allows for better targeted addressable advertising, of the sort found on digital, that allows for better measurement and less wasteful ad spends.

One big caveat to all this: I wrote the aforementioned book in 2015 and much of what I wrote is still relevant today. Not because I’m any sort of genius, but because not much has changed over the past six years.

While there is the old saying “things change slowly and then all at once,” I’m not sure that applies to the television industry where things seem to change slowly… and then slightly less slowly.

We’ll know soon enough.