MiQ continues CTV push, buyers remain concerned over measurement

Connected TV (CTV) is a buzz topic at the moment in the media and marketing industries, with programmatic businesses such as MiQ spruiking the benefits.

But as it stands, media buyers and planners aren’t yet fully convinced that throwing large amounts of budgets into CTV and BVOD (Broadcast Video On Demand) is a viable strategy that will satisfy clients.

The sales pitch

“Programmatic gives marketers a higher amount of control,” MiQ product lead, head of advanced TV, Moe Chughtai told those tuning into the company’s Future Of TV Conference on Thursday.

The presentation given by Chughtai had plenty of data to support MiQ’s push for CTV to be a bigger part of marketer budgets. And to be fair to MiQ, Chughtai spruiked the use of CTV alongside linear television, as a way of creating new opportunities and reach new audiences with a multi-channel approach.

It began with the results of an MiQ Client Survey, conducted in January, and which outlined some of the ‘challenges’ marketers are looking to solve with CTV.

Highest on the list was translating pre-campaign insights into planning and buying decisions (52.38% of respondents), and understanding capabilities available in any market (47.62%).

“Marketers see the opportunity with CTV,” Chughtai said. “Historically, TV has been seen as an awareness tactic for mass audiences. The awareness side is really important but we want TV to be accountable for brands.

“We want to connect the dots between exposure that happens on a TV screen, and a marketing outcome.”

MiQ product lead, head of advanced TV, Moe Chughtai

Programmatic and streaming allow marketers to identify and reach audiences better, spruiked a slide in the presentation, and Chughtai elaborated that the key is to move from audience-based planning to one-on-one  audience buying and direct audience targeting.

“Audiences just have more options than ever around how they consume television content,” he said.

“When your audience can consume TV in a number of different places, as a marketer you need to have a robust supply strategy.”

He went on to reiterate that MiQ doesn’t want marketers to stop using linear television altogether, but rather to develop “a multi-faceted strategy.”

“We’re looking to not turn TV into a performance vehicle. There are still advantages for brands to access mass audiences. We want TV to be more accountable to marketers. That means measuring across the funnel.”

Is CTV undersold?

Despite the push for CTV spending from those like MiQ, marketers continue to put the bulk of TV spend into linear in Australia.

During the post-presentation discussion, MiQ director advanced TV, Hannah Cooper, told the panel in no uncertain terms that “clients are overspending on linear”.

She added: “The TV is there for branding, it is big screen and massive and important. But it’s a medium that’s not always measurable in that space.

“We have a very traditional way of measurement at the moment. We need to educate those in the traditional linear TV.”

Here’s where the disagreement between different sides of the process begins to creep in. Publicis Media commercial director, Jodi Fraser, hit back.

Linear TV is “still the space where you can build the fastest reach at the best CPM,” she said.

Fraser believes the market is buying as much BVOD as they can realistically at this stage with the inventory that’s available. “BVOD isn’t big enough yet. There just aren’t enough impressions.

“The market right now is investing into as much BVOD as they can. It looks like it’s really measurable but you can’t actually quantify it. What I know from buying it is there isn’t enough inventory.”

Publicis Media’s Jodi Fraser and Lion’s Claire Tsubono

Lion media controller, Claire Tsubono, agreed, but added that media agencies sometimes need to take a punt on mediums with different metrics, or that don’t measure as well as the traditional methods.

“We shouldn’t only advertise on a medium we can measure effectively because then we wouldn’t do a lot of advertising. As the consumer audience fragments, we have to justify how we are spending our money.”

She said that it’s often even a battle against those within their own company who are reluctant to change the way spend occurs, especially for those who want equivalent measurement, something that is far from being perfect at this stage.

“We are against factions within our own company [who] want to see if the same viewer watched MAFS on linear, MAFS on catch-up or MAFS on YouTube.”

SBS digital media and marketing national digital lead, Danika Johnston, gave a media owner’s perspective, acknowledging there are still problems with measurement but pointed to how far CTV has come in a short space of time.

“We can now fully integrate an addressable TV product, and collect data on potential customers for our clients. It is such an exciting space. Data is everything, moving away from contextual targeting towards one-to-one connections with a brand and a consumer. That is very powerful.”

Apples vs oranges

Without tools to measure comparative audiences of BVOD and linear TV, it’s also unlikely that we’ll see Australia’s free-to-air television networks agree on who is the top BVOD platform anytime soon.

In 2020 end of year figures, Seven and Nine both claimed victory in BVO, offering up quite different figures for the year. At the time, rating provider OzTam told Mumbrella there is no gold standard, and that “subscribers can use the full array of OzTAM VPM data for their respective analysis and reporting purposes”.

MiQ’s presentation suggested that it’s only a matter of time before we start to see media buyers and planners ‘connect the dots’ between linear and CTV. It might, however, be longer than they hope.


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