5 Things Ad Buyers Can Do To Overcome CTV Transparency Issues

The programmatic CTV industry has some transparency issues.

The programmatic CTV industry has some transparency issues. It will take some time to provide transparent and standardized CTV solutions that advertisers seek. Laura Taylor, a programmatic trader with the Center of Excellence at Goodway Group, discusses a few things advertisers can do to overcome this challenge.

Advertisers need more transparency from programmatic CTV. However, this is a problem that can be fixed. Adtech needs to invest in an infrastructure that will allow for standardized measurements of streaming audiences across different types of devices.

The biggest challenges for CTV (connected television) were elementary before the massive shift in user viewing habits. Media buyers had to deal with channel reporting limitations due to the fragmentation of unique identifiers (bundle IDs) across distributers. They also had to understand the varying capabilities and audience reach through buying platforms. But these kinds of hurdles are expected. They come with any new emerging media channel and deterred few early adopter brands from making initial investments in this up-and-coming space.

Despite the many TV seasons that have passed, there are still many problems with advertising technology that have not been solved. These problems have gotten worse, especially because buyers now need to deal with more advanced technical requirements and content distribution rights.

Today, buyers use technology to connect with sellers in an online marketplace. The industry has been around for a long time and has been through a lot of changes. This includes regulation from the FCC and how we measure things (with Nielsen). However, buyers cannot wait for the industry to catch up with current needs. We need to adjust our expectations and be creative to meet the current needs of CTV.

5 steps buyers should take

#1. Understand CTV’s current capabilities

Your media buying team should research how different buying platforms work and what limitations still exist between their capabilities and what reports are available. They should also identify an operationally-focused contact from the DSP (a skilled programmatic media trader, if possible) to ask them about any caveats to the CTV environment compared to online video.

Not all platforms have the same features. Some platforms don't have good performance measurement for cross-screen attribution or reach. Others have restricted audience targeting that is limited to a few data providers. And many platforms are still developing how to integrate bid stream signals, including ads.txt seller declaration, content categories and genre-level reporting.

#2. Create connections with publishers

You can buy through the private marketplace, but you can also work directly with content publishers to create custom deals. This way, you can target specific parts of their programming or content library. You usually can't do this with deals that are pre-negotiated by a Demand-Side Platform.

If you don't have a direct relationship with publishers, you're missing out on opportunities to improve your marketing. Exclusive first-party subscriber data can help you reach your target audience. You should also check in with publishers regularly to get insights, optimizations, and discounts based on how much money you spend.

An exclusive 1:1 publisher deal means you will have less competition than with other deals. You compete directly against others in the open market for inventory. This is different from a platform-owned deal, where there is an auction for a limited number of impressions. The demand generated by the process drives up prices.

#3. Invest in innovation

To make sure you are taking advantage of all the data available to you, use a multi-platform approach. This includes data from subscription services, device registration, content recognition (ACR) viewership, and on-site shopper behaviors.

Making sure you have access to many different sources of inventory will make sure you don't miss out on any potential buyers. Some people may only be reached through certain apps or websites, so it's important to have all the inventory sources possible.

There are many different ways to buy products. You can find new and innovative products this way. You can also find content sponsorship opportunities, brand lift studies, creative tools to drive viewer engagement, and linear reach and frequency measurement.

What is even better? If you are a buying platform, you could ask users to participate in betas. This would give them first access to innovative technology and the chance to experiment with it early on. This could help them stay ahead of the competition and lead the industry.

#4. Apply fraud measurement

It is important to find a reputable measurement provider that can help you keep track of how much inventory is being used and to watch out for CTV fraud. Recently, there have been fraud schemes in the adtech industry that target server-side ad insertion (SSAI) by making it look like there is more CTV inventory than there actually is. This measurement provider can track the server-side ad insertion rate to see if it is vulnerable to these types of attacks.

Just like other advertising channels, there is a way to measure invalid traffic for connected TV. This includes excessive activity rate detection, which can identify impressions delivered to users with invalid activity levels - those beyond normal binge-watcher behavior. Use a reputable post-bid measurement analytics suite to have a clear view of the delivery against metrics that have not yet been integrated into buying platforms.

#5. Establish CoE to lead world-class execution

A Center of Excellence (CoE) can help ensure transparency in a company. The CoE is a group of experts who will work together to make sure the company operates effectively and follows set standards.

Center of Excellence members can share their knowledge with other groups inside the company, help develop best practices, and work on buying strategy innovation. They can also coordinate with internal teams and maintain relationships with external partners to find new opportunities in the CTV landscape.

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