Stepping out of silos is essential for connected TV’s success says Nine’s digital sales boss

Agencies, clients, television’s broadcast and digital arms and ad tech companies, must step out of their “silos” and “do what is best for the industry” by working on advertising opportunities for connected television (CTV), Nine’s digital sales boss Pippa Leary has urged.

Following a media briefing on 9Now last week, Leary told Mumbrella connected TV – a television which can be connected to the internet – and its capabilities are still “unchartered territory” but said the medium will provide real brand building opportunities going forward.

More consumers are watching 9Now on connected TV

“We have to work with the ad tech, and the agencies, clients, and get in a room and go ‘okay, for the first time TV and digital have got to step out of their silos.’ We’re going to put our heads together and work this out,” Leary said.

“It’s stepping out of a silo and going ‘let’s think holistically and let’s do what is going to be best for this industry’ because we have an amazing opportunity rolling our way.”

Her comments come off the back of new figures which reflect Nine’s changing consumer habits. The media company’s digital platform, 9Now, has hit 5m sign ups, with grow in the app climbing 100.2% year on year.

Nine said the platform has seen 130% growth year on year in live streaming, 3b minutes of content consumed and more than 2,000 hours of episodic content.

9Now’s 2017 calendar year suggested 34% of long form platform consumption and 10% of live platform consumption. on 9Now comes from connected tv. In long platform consumption, connected TV sits just behind applications (43%) but ahead of web users (23%). Meanwhile majority of live platform consumption on 9Now comes from applications (64%). But Nine has said it expects CTV platform growth to approach 50% in the next 12 months.

Nine’s connected TV consumption figures. Source: Nine

However, it’s not just Nine’s numbers that suggest this growth. According to the IAB, between January 2016 and March 2017, connected TV streams more than tripled. Of that number, smart TV streams increased by 119%, gaming consoles increased by 111% and internet connected devices climbed by 400%.

Leary said the proliferation of the devices reflects consumers’ need to take control of their viewing while still watching programs on a big screen.

“We understood this year was going to be the year of CTV. That being said it’s bigger than we even though but in around October last year we saw the connected TV numbers overtake not only desktop, but mobile numbers for the first time,” Leary explained.

“We’ve always thought in the past catch up was dominated by younger age groups who might be watching it on desktop or a secondary screen but now we are seeing families want that control, but they want to watch in on the big screen and that’s where everything is going to get interesting for us because connected TV is the true hybrid between digital and TV.”

But while connected TV could be the ultimate platform for advertisers to reach consumers on, there are still technical issues to be resolved. For the time being, 9Now offers full pixel, non skippable, highly targeted advertising.

Pippa Leary: Nine network wants ‘declared deterministic data’ to create

What Nine will now look to is marrying declared data with Nine’s data lake, which it has been building for the last two years. It is building a user identification system which will help the network create a device graph for those using connected devices.

But in the meantime, Leary said the company is discussing the best way to buy advertising for connected television.

“The tech was built for desktop display not for video and it hasn’t caught up, whereas the market is saying we love CTV but we are getting all of these issues buying it programmatically because the tech wasn’t built for video, it was built for desktop display;,” she said.

“When you buy programmatically, your ads will serve out evenly during the day but this is not a fully digital beast. This is a TV beast and the viewing comes in a big lump 20 minutes, half an hour after the show has aired so that’s another thing we have to get around.”

Currently, OzTAM’s video player measurement figures (VPM) put show Nine as a strong leader. The first six episodes of Nine’s new season of Married at First Sight are within the top 10 VPM programs for last week. The highest VPM rating was episode four, with 137,000 viewers.

But without the ability to buy and sell on connected devices, what do these numbers mean?

Leary responded: “It’s probably worth asking that of Nielsen and OzTAM and some digital buyers because right now while it is being bought through digital channels, are digital buyers taking notice of the VPM numbers or are they looking at stream numbers? I think that’s a question for them.”


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.