The Association of Commercial Television


Investments in TV programmes approaches 140 billion dollars.

TV professionals around the world are celebrating World Television Day on 21 November to remind us that TV – as in Total Video – is so much more than linear viewing. As part of the annual United Nations initiative, a 30 second-spot  will be shown by broadcasters on air and online across the globe.

TV content that entertains, informs and inspires.

The topic of the 22nd edition of this global celebration is quality content. The outstanding quality of TV programmes is reflected in how this proven medium has the unmatched capacity to entertain, inspire and inform viewers, across all platforms.

Last year alone the production of TV fiction in the European Union amounted to about 920 different titles, representing over 16 400 episodes and more than 11 000 hours, according to the European Audiovisual Observatory’s latest report.

Quality content can incite viewers to broaden their mind and look beyond the everyday life through inspirational shows. It also has the power to entertain and unite scores of people around live programming,
such as the recent World Cup (3.4 billion people watched some of the World Cup this year, according to GlobalWebIndex). Finally, TV informs viewers through in-depth news broadcasts, makes them aware of current societal issues and provides learning through quality children’s programming or insightful documentaries.

“Television must continue to play its role as to educate and engage viewers, especially young audiences. This includes sharing success stories about individuals or organizations that are part of making our society better and more sustainable. This is amplified by the theme ‘premium content-content that unites, inspires and informs’ of this year’s World Television day, November 21st.“ asserts Caroline Petit, Deputy Director United Nations Regional Information Centre for Europe (UNRIC).

Nothing beats the unique combination of sight, sound and (e)motion.

A clear indicator of the good health of television is the vast amount of money being invested in programmes by broadcasters around the world, both in original content as in the acquisition of shows.  Figures1 gathered from IHS Markit for a total of 27 countries and a survey among egta members in 21 countries show that last year, close to 140 billion dollars was invested in programmes – with North America accounting for $ 61 bn –  surpassing any investments made by OTT platforms around the world. The most notable investments² in television programmes in Europe were made by the UK (€ 8,6 bn), Germany (€ 8bn), France (€ 5,5 bn) and Italy (€ 4,4 bn).

In addition to this, figures gathered from over 24 countries by The Global TV Group in the second edition of its Global TV Deck highlight TV’s resilience and effectiveness as an advertising medium.

For more information, please visit


World TV Day – spot TV Nova


World TV Day – spot TV Prima


World TV Day – spot Óčko


Press contacts:

Alain Beerens

Marcom Manager, egta

Association of television and radio sales houses

T : +32 2 290 31 38

Anne Brochot

Senior Project Manager,

Eurovision TV, EBU

European Broadcasting Union

T +41(0) 22 717 28 88


Grégoire Polad
Director General, ACTAssociation of Commercial Television in Europe

T +32 2 738 76 12




  1. IHS Markit Channels & Programming Intelligence – TV programming expenditure 2017 by region ($ billion) – data from 27 countries
  2. egta member survey in 21 countries



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 and remind advertisers, journalists, tech gurus, agencies and industry peers about the effectiveness and popularity of TV.


The Association of Commercial Television in Europe (ACT) represents the interests of leading commercial broadcasters in 37 European countries. The ACT member companies finance, produce, promote and distribute content and services benefiting millions of Europeans across all platforms. ACT engages with the EU institutions to achieve a balanced and appropriate regulatory framework which will encourage further investment and growth in our sector.


The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) is the world’s leading alliance of public service media, with 73 members in 56 countries from Europe and beyond. The EBU operates Eurovision and Euroradio and is devoted to making public service media indispensable. The EBU supports and strengthens public service media, provides first-class media services and offers members agile platforms for learning and sharing.

ABOUT egta

egta is the association representing television and radio sales houses, either independent from the channel or in-house, that markets the advertising space of both private and public television and radio stations throughout Europe and beyond. egta fulfils different functions for its members in fields of activities as diversified as regulatory issues, audience measurement, sales methods, interactivity, cross-media, technical standards, new media, etc. During its more than 40 years’ existence, egta has become the reference centre for television and radio advertising in Europe. egta counts more than 140 members operating across 40 countries.


The Brussels-based United Nations Regional Information Centre for Europe – UNRIC – provides information on UN activities to 22 countries and is active on social media and websites in 13 languages. It acts as the European communication office of the United Nations and its aim is to engage and inform European citizens about global issues. It also liaises with institutions of the European Union in the field of information. Its outreach activities, joint public information campaigns and events are organized with partners including the EU, governments, the media, NGOs, the creative community, and local authorities.


Headlines would suggest that TV is dead, or at least is enduring a slow death.

The reality is that TV viewing is very different than what it was three years ago, let alone 10. How we define “TV” is still being debated. Is it the content, device or pipe that presents it to the viewer? But one thing is clear: With the proliferation of devices now powering TV content in the home, the living room dynamic has radically changed.

The new living room is a hybrid environment, home to the best of linear and digital television. While viewers are increasingly choosing to build their own schedules—comprising a blend of live, on demand and DVR—they tend to gravitate toward the best (and usually largest) screen possible.

FreeWheel’s latest Video Monetization Report (Q2 2018) shows that with every quarter, increasing volumes of digital and dynamically delivered video advertising are accessed via set top boxes (STB) and over-the-top (OTT) devices on the big screen. This now accounts for 57 percent of all non-linear impressions.

As a result, the new living room is not only the point where traditional TV viewing and online content converge, but also the center of a multi-viewer experience. With multiple members of each household gathered around a single TV set powered by an increasing number of devices, the potential for ads placed within premium digital video and broadcast content is vast.

The power of TV, in all its incarnations, to drive advertising impact is greater than ever. Yet, so far, it remains underutilized by many advertisers. As TV evolves, knowledge and capabilities across the value chain must evolve, too.

Keeping pace with viewers habits

The advertising industry must adapt and catch up with the viewing habits of the modern consumer. Unfortunately, legacy organizational, technology and measurement challenges have prevented advertising from following the audiences.

With enhanced addressability capabilities coming to the big screen, advertisers should be following eyeballs and working around the technology limitations that exist today to capture reach and precision opportunities in the most compelling advertising environment: premium video.

”The biggest opportunity for over-the-top and VOD is to recapture TV audiences that have shifted away from linear TV viewing to on demand and multiplatform TV, and maximize the full reach potential within total television across all forms of viewing. Additionally, there’s opportunity around being able to target with more precision within these environments, so, where we are able to identify households and attributes associated to these households, we have the ability to address them with improved precision for advertising.” —Rich Astley, chief product officer, Finecast

The FreeWheel Council for Premium Video has released “A Buyer’s Guide to the New Living Room,” which is intended to help those in the advertising planning and buying world fully grasp the opportunities offered by OTT, STB VOD and addressable linear, and how a holistic approach can harness them.

Some of the key takeaways from this guide:

  • Become a subject matter expert in the new living room to gain advantage for your clients while these channels are still nascent and growing
  • Create a plan using complementary channels to balance reach and precision, leveraging the common and unique attributes of each
  • Work through measurement hurdles and leverage the tools and KPIs that are available to access these engaged yet underserved audiences
  • Personalize messaging and manage frequency through addressable options with creative diversity on all campaigns delivered to the new living room
  • Optimize for scale by adjusting your KPIs for platforms as necessary such as viewability targets in channels that aren’t able to be measured

Globally, 81 percent of people use their TV set to watch broadcast TV at least once a month, making it the most popular media channel. Combined with streaming video (69 percent of all adults use the technology, but 86 percent of those ages 18-36), which is increasingly being viewed on the big screen, there is no question that the living room remains a core environment to engage with valuable audiences at scale.

As TV evolves and embraces the best of both linear and digital, there is a need to align video advertising delivery across common goals and tactics to deliver results, regardless of what your buying or selling approach has been historically.

Only then can advertisers take full advantage of what the new living room has to offer in terms of quality, value and addressability.

Download “A Buyer’s Guide to the New Living Room” here.



An educational and organizing resource, The FreeWheel Council for Premium Video assists marketers to reach desired audiences by conducting research and documenting the benefits of premium video environments. It also champions the interests of member publishers, including ABC, A+E Networks, Comcast, Discovery Communications, ESPN, Fox, NBCUniversal, Turner Broadcasting System and Univision Communications. Learn more at or follow us on Twitter: Twitter @fwcouncil.




Let’s set the scene. The 1950s. A boom in affordable TV sets causes an increase in the number of small screens in homes across the United States. Families flock to their living rooms to watch new programming. With this boom comes the dawn of new advertising, as marketers can now directly reach consumers through TV program sponsorships, commercials and more.

Today, we’re experiencing a reboot of this lean-back media – content that allows audiences to simply sit-back and enjoy.

Despite the fragmentation of media and consumers’ media consumption across platforms – a topic that discussed at length at Advertising Week in NYC – the television itself has a renewed and major role in the household: Hulu reports that 78 percent of their streams are on a connected or smart TV.

Two things happened to make this a reality – great content and easy-to-use technology.

Emmy winners demonstrate that fantastic premium content is coming from all kinds of sources. Whether it’s broadcast (“This is Us”), cable (“The Americans”), premium cable (“Barry”) or over-the-top (“Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”), the bar has been raised for quality programming and audiences will go wherever they can watch.

And along with great content, technology is finally catching up to the consumer allowing them to watch whatever content they want, whenever they want, and on the biggest and best available screen available – which often is the television screen (thank you, smart and connected TVs).

Other advancements such as the rise of the skinny bundle and virtual multichannel video programming distributors (vMVPDs), are further supporting this convergence of the “old” (linear TV) and “new” (digital).

We’ve got the content, we’ve got the technology and the user experience. Consumers are back on the couch – perhaps with an extra screen or two – leaning back and eager to be entertained.
Now the advertising experience must follow suit.

First, advertisers need an accurate and honest read of their audiences. How often are they watching (to optimize frequency)? Where are they watching (to optimize reach)? Who are they watching with (to account for co-viewing)? This requires a holistic view of audiences across all platforms, so advertisers can truly optimize their efforts.

We must also develop more precise and personalized targeting to reach the right audiences with the right message at the right time and frequency.

While this seems easy enough, how many of us have been served the same ad multiple times during one sitting or even *gasp* during the same commercial break? It happens too often.
To prevent this, marketers need more sophisticated advertising tools – be it to plan their advertising, buy ad inventories or evaluate their campaign efforts. Advertisers need to be planning and buying at the person-level based on advanced descriptors like interests, behaviors, and lifestyles.

Addressable is a step in the right direction as it aims to deliver the promise of digital’s increased targetability to TV advertising. But it’s also still in its infancy. In fact, a joint survey from Forrester and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) found that of the ANA members who responded to the survey about 15 percent of advertisers are regularly including addressable or advanced TV buys in their media plans. Another 20 to 30 percent will test an addressable or advanced TV buying approach this year alone.

But beyond these tactics, there’s a bigger strategic shift that needs to occur.

Like the influx of affordable TV sets in the 50s that brought about a new medium of advertising, so must this next evolution of media consumption. But that takes both the digital and TV worlds relinquishing their fiefdoms for the greater advertising good.

We’re already starting to see these neat silos disintegrate. In fact, they already have completely from a consumer experience standpoint. Now advertisers and measurement need to catch up. We must stop thinking in terms of TV versus digital and embrace the new reality: The convergence of digital and TV is inevitable. Consumers are there already. Advertising needs to be, too.




The back-to-school season this year was also the back-to-TV season for department stores. The top brands in the category spent $247.8 million from July 1 to Aug. 31, according to iSpot. That’s a 9.3% jump over the same period last year.

Indeed, a new study from Adobe,’s parent company, which surveyed 1,000 U.S. TV buyers, found that marketers still rank TV higher than most digital formats—including audio, display, native, out-of-home, search, and social—in the “ability to build an emotional connection with a brand.”

However, less than a third (28%) of brands have integrated digital audience data into their TV ad buys, though 68% plan to do so in the next 12 months. Adobe’s survey results confirm what many in the industry already know: Despite recent progress in extending automation and data-driven buying to TV, most TV buys are still planned and executed manually with limited targeting and measurement.

Chris Geraci, chief investment officer at OMD, said he’s seeing a 5% jump in linear TV sales this year. “What you’ve got is a relatively strong economy, you’ve got good business results from consumer-facing companies, so you’ve got larger marketing budgets and you end up with more television spending,” he told

Ralph Heim, VP of media and sponsorships for Sonic Drive-in, concurred. “It still remains the biggest reach vehicle out there,” he told

That wasn’t the script analysts had in mind for 2018 after digital ad spending overtook TV ad spending for the first time the year before. Audiences for individual TV shows also continue to dwindle, with younger viewers cutting the cord in droves.

But as Walmart, Target, and the other top department store brands realize, people are still watching TV programming—whether it’s on a TV set or another device. The days when the whole family used to watch TV together may be rare, but marketers can be more sophisticated about their TV spending now. Addressability lets them target by personality and interest rather than demographics. New metrics connect ad exposure to results in real time and identify which ads are working best. Innovations are making TV advertising more compelling.

TV Is Still At The Center
One reason for TV advertising’s continued viability is, quite simply, it works. WARC, for instance, found that among the 100 global campaigns it has deemed most effective, a greater proportion were TV-led in the 2013 to 2016 timeframe than in the prior three years. After leading with social media, WARC saw more advertisers returning to TV to ensure maximum reach.

Research has shown that consumers pay more attention to TV advertising. A study by professor Karen Nelson-Field of the University of Adelaide, for instance, used eye-tracking to show that TV commanded twice the active viewing of YouTube. It also commanded 15 times the active viewing of Facebook.

“There is a reason most brand advertisers start their annual media planning around the TV upfronts. TV still commands a lion’s share of ad dollars and is unique in its ability to make an emotional connection with consumers,” said Keith Eadie, VP and GM of Adobe Advertising Cloud.

The challenge, Eadie said, is that TV viewing is now splintered across so many devices, apps, and networks. That makes reaching a critical mass of the target audience with the right creative at the right frequency hard. It can also “lead to issues like bombarding people with too many ads or not reaching a target audience in sufficient numbers for a campaign to work,” he told

Advertisers are navigating this environment by combining data about consumers with new delivery mechanisms for TV advertising, like addressable ads. Savvy advertisers are also putting TV at the center of omnichannel campaigns. If a consumer sees an ad on TV, they’ll then see an ad on their digital devices reinforcing that message.

New Ways To Target
Like outdoor or radio, television is a mass medium best-suited for reaching large, anonymous audiences. The prime metric for traditional TV, the Gross Ratings Point, is based on an estimation. Advertisers have no way of knowing whether the people who were theoretically exposed to an ad during such programming actually saw it, and they don’t know much about them except for their age and demographic.

But in the age of digital advertising, marketers can target on a more granular, addressable level. Behavioral targeting, which parses consumers’ online activities to gauge interest, has been around for more than 10 years. For instance, L’Oreal has used behavioral targeting to show TV ads to everyone who has bought lipstick in the past 30 days.

“It interests us to connect to see that a household is a QSR user and that household just went to [a competitor]. We know we share customers with [that company], and we’d like to get them back,” Heim said. “’Creative conquesting’ is the term that’s often thrown around for that type of targeting.”

The problem is, addressable TV represents just 3% of the overall market right now, according to eMarketer. Addressable TV is also expensive; marketers often find it’s cheaper to do a national buy than execute a targeted buy.

“Addressable appeals to certain advertisers at certain times when they’re trying to do certain things,” OMD’s Geraci said. “By and large, television is still a mass-reach platform.”

New Ways To Measure Results
It’s no secret that using sales as a proxy for TV advertising success just doesn’t work. Historically, the lag between exposure and sales results has been weeks, making it impossible to reshape a campaign if it’s not working. But nowadays marketers are more equipped to assess what’s working in real time.

According to Adobe’s Eadie, tools are available that measure television advertising by brand recall, sales, store visits, and more. Additionally, advertisers can also solve common attribution problems, such as in-market bias—where a viewer who was already going to buy a given product sees an ad and the marketer incorrectly attributes the sale to the ad.

“Many attribution models are flawed today, and some platforms still grade their own homework, so we’re taking a statistical approach through experimental design for brands to independently measure results across media,” he said.

In addition to connecting exposure to results, marketers can also measure things like interruptibility—the frequency in which viewers tune out of an ad.

New Ways To Buy
The final way in which TV advertising is evolving is in how it’s bought and sold. While about 80% of display ads are bought and sold via programmatic, programmatic TV makes up just 2.8% of the overall TV spend, according to eMarketer.

Programmatic TV lets marketers execute TV buys on the same dashboard in which they execute their digital buys. It also lets marketers experiment with A/B testing and ad select, allowing viewers to pick the ads they want to see.

“When TubeMogul PTV—which subsequently became Adobe Advertising Cloud TV—first launched nearly four years ago, it was unthinkable that a major media company would open its entire portfolio of broadcast and cable television to automated, data-driven buying through private marketplaces,” Eadie said. But NBC Universal has since offered that level of inventory in partnership with Adobe Advertising Cloud.

The result of all these innovations is that while TV has become much more fragmented, there are new ways to make TV advertising more effective.

“If the world was passing TV by, if there was no way to optimize television, and you didn’t have this more sophisticated data, you wouldn’t be seeing the trends we’re currently seeing, which is a continued strong marketplace for ad-supported TV,” Geraci said.




Ignore the doom-mongers, writes Ebiquity’s Dr Nick Pugh – here are five reasons why TV is in rude health

Throughout the infancy, childhood, and teenage years of the digital revolution, the obituary of TV has been written time and again. “It’s too slow”, “It’s not interactive enough”, “it’s a medium of monologue not dialogue, so digital natives have abandoned it”. Op eds and bylined articles have read like funeral orations. Unsurprisingly, many of these pieces were written by the founders and the funders of the very channels and platforms their authors predict are chasing TV into its grave.

The facts are rather more nuanced. Despite the gradual appearance of some clouds on the horizon, the truth is that we are living during a golden age of TV. Misperceptions and actual channel performance are very different realities. Here are five reasons why TV is in such rude health.

1. TV delivers audience

It is often claimed that TV audiences are drying up and the opportunity to share commercial messages with consumers is receding. Between 2010 and 2018, all adult impacts in the U.K. have remained remarkably stable – in fact, according to BARB data, they’ve actually increased, from 867.4m to 873.6m. Added to that, there’s a well-established relationship between TV and PPC results.

Why else would so many digital-only companies and brands choose prime-time, destination TV slots, including X-Factor and live sport?

It is true that among the much-coveted 16-34-year-old demographic, impacts have shrunk by a little over 20%, falling from 203.5m to 158.1m (BARB again). And it’s also true that 16-34s are both the economic powerhouses of the future and are the most active on social and digital media channels.

The question is, will they sustain today’s viewing habits as they age, or revert to the habits of their parents?

2. TV commands attention

The rise and rise of ad-free, subscription-based television platforms – with Netflix and Amazon Prime the market leaders both in the U.K. and around the world – has been taken as proof that advertiser-funded TV is on the wane. Yet again, the evidence suggests a different story. Yes, more and more consumers are watching – often binge-watching – box sets, films, and series on subscription TV.

But this viewing and these subscriptions are incremental, not substitutional. While 2018 can boast record subscriptions in the U.K. to Netflix (9.1m) and Amazon Prime (4.8m), the same is true of subscriptions to the three leading pay TV cable and satellite platforms, all of which carry advertiser-funded channels: Sky, Virgin Media, and BT Sport (15.1m).

3. TV dominates spend

The spend behind TV advertising is reliable and robust. In 2010, advertisers in the U.K. invested £4.1bn in TV advertising. In 2017 – following the great recession of 2008-2010 and its medium-term consequences – the figure had risen to £4.8bn.

The same pattern is repeated in all major media markets around the world. Brands know that, if you want to build a brand and drive awareness at scale, the way to achieve this is through TV. TV is very often still the centrepiece of the media plan.

4. TV delivers the best efficiency

Across every sector and every category, the ROI data indicate that TV is the most efficient media available to advertisers. TV delivers the strongest ROI in the short term (£1.73 for every £1 invested), more than radio (£1.61), print (£1.44), online video (£1.21), online display (£0.82), and out-of-home (£0.57). Short-term – for campaigns measured in weeks and up to six months – ROI is holding up. In 2008, TV’s ROI was £1.70, whereas today it’s £1.73.

What’s more, TV has the strongest impact in the longer term too, and offers the largest multiplier effect of any medium. TV’s long-term ROI is £4.20 for every £1 invested, compared with £2.44 for online video, £2.43 for print, £2.09 for radio, £1.11 for out-of-home, and just £0.84 for online display.

5. TV is the most effective medium

No other medium delivers ROI at scale or offers as strong profit return as TV, enhancing profit better than any other channel. In a major meta-analysis of almost 2,000 campaigns by major brands from 2009 to 2016, our Profit Ability study for Thinkbox found that TV delivers 71% of profit return of all advertising investments, despite accounting for just 54% of total spend.

This study compared TV with radio, print, out-of-home, online display, and online video, as detailed in Figure 1., above

Emerging challenges

TV is clearly evolving and changing, with advances in addressable TV making it more targeted yet. Also, when linear TV is flighted together with video on demand and other online video, it is possible to extend reach in saturated markets.

Although the figures show that, on average, people spend only a few minutes less each week watching linear TV, advertisers are starting to face up to very real challenges of building reach, which is increasingly hard and expensive to deliver. And while broadcaster video on demand – think ITV Hub and All 4 – is growing in popularity and usage for streaming, the amount of information available regarding programme access is limited at best.

But for now, and for many, measurable reasons, TV is decidedly not dead. Because of its ability to capture audience and attention at scale, it is still often the single biggest line item in a media budget – particularly for FMCG brands, but also retail, financial services, travel, and automotive.

Not without reason, these are the biggest spending advertisers on the planet. TV is demonstrably more efficient and effective – and creative – than other channels, both for short-term sales activation and long-term brand building.

TV is dead? Long live TV!


Dr Nick Pugh is Head of Effectiveness UK at Ebiquity

Interested in the TV advertising landscape and want to hear more? Attend the Future TV Advertising Forum in London on December 4th, 5th and 6th to with keynotes from Europe, US and Asia and over 750 attendees.




The ad-supported TV industry in Canada is moving fast to provide the data-driven environment that advertisers want, including more defined audience planning and better attribution to prove the value of television buying. The stand-out message from Future TV Advertising Forum 2018 was that Canadian TV has its self-confidence back, with a better product to ‘sell’ to advertisers.

Buyer-sentiment towards TV, which was on a negative trajectory in 2015 when this event launched in Toronto, has improved. Everyone can see the progress as Canada belatedly modernises its ad-supported TV ecosystem. This coincides with growing concerns that increased digital buying may boost efficiency but does not help effectiveness, especially in the long-term and especially when it comes to brand health.

Here are some of the themes that emerged from this year’s event, with our three big take-aways at the bottom.


Theme 1: Prove it and we will buy it.

Attribution is one of the top priorities for ad-supported television in Canada – and perhaps the single biggest priority. Time and again we heard the sentiment that ‘if you prove it, we will buy it’, and this applied not only to agency/broadcaster relationships but to brand/agency relationships.

There is a pressing need for agencies to prove the value of their work – including their media plans and buying – to brands who are cost-driven and who may well use procurement officers to oversee spend. Most agencies are convinced they can do a better job if given more budget, but they need to justify extra fees by proving outcomes.

There is a sentiment in Canada that moving back towards an agency fee model, where agencies are paid primarily based on the time/talent they put onto accounts, would be desirable. Proving outcomes is therefore a cornerstone to improving overall transparency in the ecosystem.

Meanwhile, the channel owners need to prove that exposure on TV is causing good things to happen, whether that is more sales, more people visiting showrooms, more traffic to websites, improved brand sentiment or greater brand market share, etc. Attribution underpins much of the progress that can be made. Given that TV is a proven winner (and a major econometrics study presented by Ebiquity confirmed the short-term and long-term profitability of using TV), better attribution is a potential game-changer.

The good news is that TV providers are now showing direct outcomes, like sales lift, that is linked back to TV exposure. Rogers Media (the media solutions/sales arm of Rogers, one of Canada’s major BDUs (and broadband/wireless providers), Volkswagen Group Canada and the Montreal-based agency Touché presented a case study showing audience-based buying of auto-intender segments with verified vehicle sales lift tied to the TV campaign.

The science behind attribution and econometrics is advancing quickly. For a long time, digital sellers from the non-broadcast world (i.e. Google/Facebook) have benefited from the ability to demonstrate direct (albeit often short-term) outcomes from media placement. This significant advantage over TV is about to be diminished.

As the media data and analytics experts at 605 demonstrated at this Toronto event, STB viewing data is the foundation for some powerful attribution capabilities. The company flagged is work with Walmart in America (see this story) to enable ongoing analysis of brand sentiment, focused on ‘persuadable shoppers’. There were campaign optimisations to find this segment more effectively on linear schedules and focus on the most successful creatives, with evidence of outcomes.

That impressive body of work was possible using a large population of STB devices for viewing data – totalling 10% of all U.S. households. One of the important messages for the Canadian market is that you do not need 100%, or 50% or even 25% of homes providing STB data to deliver some comprehensive attribution on brand health as well as sales impact.


Theme 2: TV as a platform

There was a view in Toronto that TV needs to become more like Google in the sense that Google (and indeed Facebook) present themselves as a platform/ecosystem that delivers a good deal of scale from one buy. The call for ‘TV as a platform’ was led by Noah Levine, SVP, Advertising Data and Technology at Fox Networks Group, whose company is one of the founding members of OpenAP, the U.S. initiative that provides audience-based buying at scale across the inventory of multiple broadcaster groups who use the same commonly-defined audience segments so there is complete consistency for advertisers that want to find first-time home buyers or car lease expirees or travel enthusiasts or luxury shoppers, etc. via standard linear TV.

Levine argued that broadcasters should stop trying to differentiate themselves with proprietary data-sets that nobody else has. He flagged the need for combined scale, especially when selling smaller (niche) audience segments.

It emerged at this event that there is meaningful support for a Canadian version of OpenAP, and three major channel owner groups (Corus, the public broadcaster CBC and Blue Ant Media) revealed publicly that they would back such an initiative.

OpenAP is one of the most important collaborations in TV advertising worldwide. Another important initiative globally comes from Finecast (backed/owned by GroupM), which is trying to create a single unified buy for all addressable TV inventory that resides on television screens (via broadcast or connected TV and covering both linear and on-demand).

You can see how, if an advertiser/agency could cover a decent proportion of their audience-based linear TV planning and buying (and reporting) through a single platform, and a decent chunk of their addressable TV buying through a single platform, life becomes noticeably easier. One of the biggest challenges for advanced TV advertising everywhere is to remove complexity from the planning and buying process, so that it can be normalised.

Initiatives like OpenAP and Finecast (accepting that Finecast is focused on helping GroupM agencies today) do demonstrate how TV can become something of a ‘platform’ buy rather than a succession of individual broadcaster/BDU sales house buys.

Finecast was in Toronto, as was Sky from the UK, which provides its own example of collaboration and unified buying, planning and reporting in the addressable space, thanks to its far-sighted decision to partner with its No.1 Pay TV rival, Virgin Media, and make the Sky AdSmart addressable system available in Virgin households as well as Sky homes. See story here.


Theme 3: Addressable advertising remains elusive

Addressable advertising on BDU (Pay TV) systems remains elusive in Canada. At the debut 2015 Toronto event, addressable formed a large part of the debate but the difficulty establishing the business case for BDUs, and in establishing multi-BDU commitments to deliver combined scale, and the lack of dynamic advertising insertion technology in set-top boxes, has limited progress.

There is growing optimism that the technology nut can be cracked, at least, especially as the Canadian BDU market splits between operators using the X1 set-top box platform (licensed from Comcast) and the MediaKind (formerly Ericsson Media Solutions) MediaFirst/Mediaroom platform. That consolidated vendor landscape for the STB/user experience/service delivery functions will make it easier to get the STB population upgraded.

There is good news from Canada for other markets where it is hard to get Pay TV operator or free-to-air addressable TV moving. This market is demonstrating (as Australia is) that you can dramatically improve the television advertising ‘product’ even without addressable if you focus ruthlessly on improving your understanding of data, covering audiences and outcomes. There is much to be gained in linear planning/buying alone.

It is increasingly clear, globally, that addressable TV (including household-level addressable TV advertising) is part of a continuum anyway – one that will include classic linear spot buying, audience-based linear buying and addressable. Addressable is one part of a fast-growing toolbox.

Thus, an advertiser could run a mass-awareness linear campaign, focus on some key audience segments with audience-based linear buying (still at large scale) and then use addressable to get in front of hard-to-reach consumers, achieving incremental reach in a cost-effective manner via TV (once the cost-of-additional-reach curve starts to become unfavourable on standard TV).

Canada, like Europe, does not benefit from the inventory share that U.S. MVPDs get, and which drove the business model there as operators used addressable advertising on their share of the ad breaks. It was pointed out in Toronto (by Jeff Eales, Director of Systems and Development at Sky) that one of the business justifications for addressable is the ability to target the right content and package promotions to the right customers.


Theme 4: Be more like Google

The sentiment was expressed more than once that TV needs to be more like Google. This means, as Noah Levine at Fox noted, treating TV as something closer to a unified platform than a collection of isolated audience pots.

There were separate calls for TV to demonstrate business outcomes like brand lift and sales lift, rather than only demonstrate media outcomes like reach and frequency. Marketers believe this is what Google provides.

Some in TV will argue that Google (and Facebook, and much other digital) outcomes are short-term in nature but that is not the point. Marketers feel they are getting outcomes from Google, and they like it. The ability to deliver outcomes takes us back to attribution (Theme 1) and econometrics.

There were also suggestions that TV needs to more of a solutions partner than a media seller. This can apply to agencies (who are looking for ways to move up the value chain) as well as to broadcasters and BDUs. An obvious example is using advertiser data to create custom audience segments that TV can then target, whether as an audience-based linear buy or an addressable buy. That, however, requires buy-in from the brands who need to share their own data and insights. This is happening in leading markets (e.g. the U.S. and UK) and is now starting to happen in Canada – with a couple of FTVA case studies proving the point.


Theme 5: Industry collaboration

Collaboration was not an explicit theme of Future TV Advertising Forum Canada, but it underpins the best examples of progress in the market. Audience-based buying uses advertiser data to determine the audience targets that are needed, combined with BDU data to understand the homes where you find the target consumers and what they watch, combined with outcomes data from an advertiser (like website traffic that can be linked to TV exposures).

Historically, the Canadian market has been a hard place to get everyone working together as there are so many powerful, competing vertically integrated companies who are fighting big battles around broadband and wireless. Nevertheless, progress is being made on this front. Think TV Canada is a unifying force and there are media companies who are willing to lead and bring others with them.

On a separate level, it is the collaboration between Numeris (the Canadian audience ratings service), Kantar Media and comScore that is making the next-generation, total TV (multiscreen) audience measurement system, VAM, possible (VAM stands for Video Audience Measurement). As we heard last week, the beta trials for the new measurement system start in Ontario next April and in Quebec next July. Few companies (if any) can do everything on their own today; this is another example of the need for expanding ecosystems and new partnerships.

Some collaboration in Canada is being forced upon the industry from above: the regulator, the CRTC, has demanded the creation of a shared STB audience measurement system. This is due to be ready next year, giving channel owners access to STB viewing data, though the exact output from the project is either a tightly guarded secret or still a work-in-progress. This remains (to the best of our knowledge) the only attempt anywhere to regulate a shared STB audience measurement system.

This, along with addressable TV advertising, was a key focus for discussion at the first-ever Future TV Advertising Forum Canada, in 2015. As with addressable, it has been somewhat overtaken as a topic of conversation but could make an important contribution to the health of ad-supported TV in Canada moving forwards.


Our three big take-aways from FTVA Canada 2018

In conclusion, here are the three biggest learnings that we brought away from Future TV Advertising Forum Canada:

No.1. The Canadian TV industry has rediscovered its mojo and is aggressively modernising, led by some pioneers and determined leaders. The progress over the last 18 months is quite dramatic. The TV industry is more united. Canada is starting to close what was a worrying gap between its own data-driven capabilities and those found at the leading media houses in Europe and the U.S. The provision of audience-based buying, now proven in-the-field with some impressive results, is a major advance.

No.2. Closely related to No.1, the mood is more positive and not just from the supply-side. Marketers, in private conversations and on stage, are talking more positively about TV than they were three years ago. There are television fans at brands who are increasingly imposing their views and that is being made easier for them now TV is presenting a more united front and providing more evidence (thanks in no small measure to the work of Think TV Canada).

No.3. There is increasing potential for some very meaningful collaboration between the broadcast groups, like a Canadian version of OpenAP. The U.S. initiative (OpenAP) brings Fox, Turner, Viacom, NBCU and Univision together and is the embodiment of broadcast industry collaboration. It is a big step on the road to where TV needs to be as an advertising ‘product’. Canadian OpenAP would be a potential game-changer, we think, in the battle with digital, especially if you have this plus a meaningful attempt to unify, simplify and ultimately normalise addressable TV buying.

Find out more about Future TV Advertising Forum Canada here and check out Mediatel’s other FTVA events in LondonSydney and now Manchester.




From cord cutting, shaving and cord nevers to addressability, dynamic ad insertion and increasingly ad free experiences, the ad environment is more dynamic and complex than ever before. And now—right now—we are at a critical inflection point. This can either signal an industry renaissance marked by more relevant ads (fueled by rich data) or it could be the industry’s death knell.

The more complicated media consumption gets, the more we retreat to comfortable metrics and our marketplace remains the same. In speaking with many peers and sales leaders, by all accounts our recent upfront was nearly entirely transacted on an age/sex currency. We simply cannot continue to create, buy, sell and deliver multi-channel ads using outdated currency and measurement metrics.

At the risk of being overly dramatic, the future of the ad supported video ecosystem lays in the balance. It was a sobering and pervasive theme at this year’s upfront and it has roused top executives throughout the industry to work for crucial change.

Shifting consumption patterns combined with the growth of data and custom audiences have created a perfect storm – one that necessitates a different market approach and changes the paradigm by which we operate. We all find ourselves grappling with the same questions: Why do we not have a true cross-channel currency that works across linear and digital in a similar manner? Why do we continue to commoditize the business, driving efficiency against an outdated metric? Will the industry survive if we continue to operate this way?

Through the years we have seen a number of industry initiatives that have required collaboration across all parts of the ecosystem. I have had the good fortune of being intimately involved with two of these, namely the 4A’s/IAB Terms & Conditions 3.0 and 3MS (Making Measurement Make Sense). These kinds of efforts are time consuming and sometimes frustrating, but ultimately very helpful in keeping the industry relevant and in line with consumer, marketer and agency expectations.

While these initiatives have produced valuable industry standards, they have taken a very long time to bear fruit. As a case in point, the 3MS initiative kicked off in March of 2011 and took nearly three years to produce meaningful output. We no longer have the luxury of time. The pace of change is accelerating and our industry standards aren’t keeping up. We cannot go through another broadcast year upfront with the same approach.

At Magna, we have been following (and predicting) the steady decline of linear television ratings and the rise of streaming consumption. By next year, we will see over 50 percent of adults’ video consumption on demand. Additionally, we predict that in the next 5 years streaming will make up half of the weekly video time for adults (18 to 49). Mobile streaming and OTT video will be the dominant streaming modalities and we are already seeing astronomic growth in these areas.

Without much fanfare, a number of folks from all sides of the industry have been meeting to discuss issues like these. The initiative has been named “The Future of Television” (or FoT for short) and is being facilitated by EY.

It started with a discussion at the end of last year acknowledging the number of well-attended industry gatherings that clearly signaled a desire for change. The need was now to facilitate an ongoing dialogue and establish broad action items. A key part of our process included a discussion around what dystopia would look like (an ad free world with reduced consumer choice, radical consolidation and skyrocketing cost of content creation) and agree on what utopia would be (a new value equation for all parts of the ecosystem, putting an end to the commoditization of the business).

The initiative has now been divided into three work streams: Currency, Data/Measurement and Platforms, each of which is meeting independently as I write this and meeting again just before Q4 as a collective group. We are finally gaining momentum to make meaningful progress across the industry.

We simply cannot continue to utilize the same currency and measurement approaches of the past 50 years. We must work towards a common cross-platform foundation that acknowledges and addresses changes in media consumption and leverages the rich data in the ecosystem. The future of our industry depends on it.

David Cohen is president-North America for Magna Global.




The Association of Commercial Televisions has been continuing their education activities by organizing their third conference aimed at marketing professionals in the fall. For the first time they will join forces with the Slovakia’s Association of Independent Radio and TV Stations (ANRTS) to give Czech and Slovak marketers the opportunity to hear one of the most outstanding contemporary marketing experts, Australian professor Mark Ritson, live. In addition to him, the conference “Boost Your Media Performance“ will host the head of research at Thinkbox, GB, Nicole Greenfield-Smith, marketer Chris Goldson from the British commercial leader ITV, and other representatives of Czech and Slovak advertisers, who will speak about up-to-date topics within the client panel. Petr Šimůnek will be the host of the conference.

Last year, AKTV began their operations with a conference on the most common myths about television and online advertising with a presentation by Les Binet, British effectivity guru. At the beginning of this year, Australian professor Karen Nelson-Field accepted AKTV’s invitation to came and present the results of her research on effects of advertising via various platforms. The star of the third conference, which will take place on October 1st in Prague, will be university professor and marketing expert Mark Ritson.

Apart from world-recognized expert Mark Ritson, the conference will also host the head of research at the British marketing association Thinkbox Nicole Greenfield-Smith, who will present the results of this year’s research Profit Ability: the business case for advertising. Chris Goldson, Director of Creative Works and Commercial Marketing, from the most watched British commercial TV Group ITV, will share his best practice with the participants of the conference. Together with discussion participants in the client panel, we will discover the focus on Czech and Slovak conditions and needs.

“After enthusiastic reaction to our previous event we decided to expand the concept of our conference to more topics and speakers, invite our Slovak colleagues as co-organizers, and thus give the opportunity to participate to significantly more interested parties. Our goal is to provide Czech and Slovak advertisers with the newest findings directly from leading world experts, who do not usually present in the Czech Republic, without the necessity of travel to London or Paris,” says Jan Vlček, AKTV President.

 ”I’m personally very excited about our first Czech-Slovak conference, in particular about our star speakers, leading marketing experts renown from major conferences abroad. It is a unique opportunity for us, as well as our guests, to get access to the newest findings and trends which will then help us in local business, too,” adds Marcel Grega, ANRTS President.

Media partners of the conference are Hospodářské noviny, industry-focused website, and Slovak marketing and media magazine Stratégie.

For more information please go to


Mark Ritson is a Professor of Marketing at Melbourne Business School and Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Singapore Management University and other world leading business schools. He has a PhD in Marketing from Lancaster University. He is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s best marketing experts. Outside the academic sphere, Mark has worked in brand strategy, market research, segmentation, CRM, and marketing communication. He has worked as an in-house expert for LVMH – the largest luxury group, which includes Louis Vuitton, Dom Perignon, Fendi, Tag Heuer, Dior and Hennessy.

Mark has been writing columns for Marketing Week regularly for 10 years. He has received numerous awards, both for journalism and academic work, including one of the most prestigious prizes in marketing, the Ferber Award, for his doctoral thesis.


As the media landscape has fragmented with the emergence of new advertising mediums, the television has had to radically evolve over the past two decades. Due to these changes, many have speculated on the relevance of TV ads in a digital world, and if advertising dollars ought to be reallocated elsewhere. While TV is unrivaled for its sheer, unadulterated reach, the problem has historically been that it’s difficult to measure and optimize its true effectiveness. But that’s all changing.

Today, TV is a true performance-marketing channel – one that can be highly targeted, quickly measured and optimized in-flight, just like its digital counterparts.

TV is changing, not dying

Despite the sensational headlines announcing TV’s death, television still dominates our media consumption. Yes, the amount of time we watch has declined each year, but if you look at the data, it’s really only by a few minutes.

What has shifted dramatically is the delivery and consumption of TV content. In the past, you had to tune in live to catch your program of choice or you’d miss it entirely. With VHS tapes, people started manually recording their favorite shows to watch later. Then came TiVo and DVRs, and with them a “set it and forget it” mentality. Enter Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video and the like, and you can get a sense for how viewing habits have kept advertisers on their toes in terms of strategy and ad spend.

Success requires real-time insights

TV advertising, once used primarily for brand awareness, is now driving people directly into the customer journey via digital devices. According to Accenture, 87% of U.S. TV viewers watch with second-screen devices in hand or nearby. These “active participation” viewers can respond to a TV spot in an instant, whether its via search, site visits, app activity or online purchases. Not only are viewers responding via digital, but they are doing so quickly after a spot airs. This, in turn, has provided advertisers with a treasure trove of real-time data to inform their TV campaign strategies.

With the right tools, advertisers can adjust campaigns in-flight and use real-time spot and response data to know the aspects of buys that are performing best, and those that aren’t. Having access to faster feedback on TV ad campaigns means knowing the buy elements that will lead to the best real-world response. This constant flow of information can then be used to continuously inform more targeted buys.

New metrics for measuring TV success

The old-school metrics of impressions and ratings can still be helpful in determining where to allocate funds, but to take full advantage of TV’s potential, advertisers need to tie TV initiatives directly to business outcomes. Success should be measured through brand-specific key performance indicators (KPIs), and the campaign must be optimized to benefit the most critical metric to your brand.

The question advertisers should ask is: “What is the real-world response I desire from my target audience?” If sales are the goal, then the campaign should be optimized accordingly as you look at accurate, same-day insights that tell you whether or not those online purchase journeys are happening in the minutes after your spot airs. And the immediate impact of TV isn’t the only thing that can be measured. Advertisers are increasingly quantifying the long-term impact of TV: how a spot drove interest in the days, weeks and even months after its airing.

If advertisers want a competitive edge in TV advertising, they need accurate, real-time data to understand if and how spots are resonating. Being able to attribute viewer actions, such as site visits, downloads, purchases, search activity, etc., directly to a TV spot is a powerful way to gain momentum as advertisers build the most effective campaigns possible.

Daniel Gulick is a head of customer success at TVSquared, a TV performance analytics and optimization company.




Automakers that increased TV ad spending in the fourth quarter of 2017 saw a statistically significant boost in digital key performance indicators (KPIs), including unique visitors and search.

According to a new report from the Video Advertising Bureau that examined 25 domestic and foreign automotive brands, 19 brands had a positive or negative correlation between TV ad spend and website traffic, with only six brands not having a clear correlation.

Of the 19 brands that had a correlation, 11 increased their TV ad spend year over year by an average of 15%, and saw website unique visitors rise by 48% on average. The other eight advertisers reduced their TV ad spend by an average of 15%, and saw their website unique visitors decline by an average of 28%.

That correlation continued when TV ad spend was compared to search queries. The VAB report found that the more automakers increased their TV ad spend, the more consumers searched online for more information about them.

As an example, Toyota increased TV ad spend by 10%, and saw its search queries increase by 31%. Land Rover meanwhile raised its TV ad spend by 45%, and saw its search queries rise by 170% year over year.

The report found similar results among automakers that reduced their TV ad spend, with search queries falling accordingly.

The correlation between TV ad spend and KPIs continued when the VAB examined “social chatter” around automotive brands, with auto brands that increased TV spending seeing social engagements rise.

The VAB report is meant to underscore how TV and digital advertising complement one another just as much as they compete with one another. While many marketers are shifting ad dollars to digital, the VAB’s data suggests that those digital dollars could be made more effective when paired with a TV campaign.