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5 Takeaways for Buyers as Macro Shifts Continue to Disrupt the TV Landscape

Posted by Ashley J. Swartz on Jan 14, 2020 1:00:00 PM

5 Takeaways for Buyers as Macro Shifts Continue to Disrupt the TV Landscape

image credit: metamorworks /

Transformed by changing audience behaviors and the proliferation of data on both sides of the value chain, the TV advertising industry is in flux. As a result of increasing complexity, television has gotten harder to buy and harder to sell.

The profusion of available viewer data has several obvious advantages, like buyers finally being able to leverage their loyalty, purchase and other first-party data to increase the ROI of their TV spend. However, as a result of audiences flocking to new platforms and OTT services, buyers have to make sense of new — and often vastly different — data sets. They also have to contend with sellers attempting to better productize their inventory by using data to build custom segmentation models or unique IDs (UIDS) within a walled garden. These can’t easily be compared, if at all, which ends up making TV more expensive.

More importantly, the proliferation of proprietary audience data sets within walled gardens means unduplicated reach — the holy grail of all media — remains beyond the reach of buyers.

Buyers are also struggling to understand the true size of audiences and how many people are really exposed to their ads in a media ecosystem where households are using multiple screens to watch TV and video content. True cross-platform measurement is a nut that still hasn’t been cracked.

Drowning in Data?

The bottom line is that many buyers feel like they’re drowning in data and the added complexity it brings. We explore the macro trends that are profoundly changing the TV advertising business, from the rise of streaming to media fragmentation to the disruptive effects of data, and how buyers and sellers should contend with them in our “Decoding the Macro TV Landscape” video.

Here are five takeaways for marketers as you navigate this ever-changing terrain:

1. Siloed media-buying teams don’t work anymore

You can’t have a standalone TV buying team and a digital brand team, for example. Consolidate or architect an integration of your digital and traditional media-buying teams, and look at how business performance metrics drive media spend in a unified way across all the channels in which you’re investing.

2. Creative still matters

Don’t get carried away by your data strategy to the point where you lose sight of this. TV is a lean-back experience that only works because of great creative, which applies both to advertising and the programming to which it’s adjacent. Urge your creative and media-buying teams to get beyond their egos to collaborate and integrate.

3. Integrate data into your planning

Data doesn’t lie, and it should be used to drive all your media-buying decisions. Force your agency partners to do the same and, most importantly, share their data with you. You need to make (not just hire, but nurture and build from within) data wonks on your media teams.

4. Be as fluid as your audience is

Your target consumers view content from whichever platform, app or device suits them at that moment; they’re effectively platform-agnostic. Your advertising investments need to be just as fluid, as long as you have confidence they are working for you.

5. TV still works

Don’t dismiss television or assume that its value is decreasing for you just because things are changing. Instead, use your collective learnings about how all your different media channels are performing to make TV work even harder for you.

To learn more about the macro trends that are transforming the business of television advertising, as well as the implications and takeaways for sellers, watch “Decoding the Macro TV Landscape” here.

Macro TV Landscape