Connected TV now fastest-growing segment in advertising

Marketers plan to dramatically increase their budget commitments to connected TV (CTV), according to the latest SteelHouse survey of both brand-side and agency marketing professionals.

The survey, conducted by independent consulting firm Advertiser Perceptions, found that more than three-quarters (78%) of marketers surveyed plan to buy ad inventory on streaming TV within the next 12 months and while only 2% of those surveyed said they never used video in their ads, 49% use video frequently, 38% use it occasionally, and 11% use it in all campaigns.

The data also showed that an average of 30% of total advertising budgets are allocated to digital video across multiple channels, with 28% of that going to social platforms, 26% to in-stream, 20% to traditional local or national TV, and 13% to in-unit ads. But the survey found that it was the newest category, CTV, also described as IPTV or OTT, that made the strongest impression, garnering 12% of planned video spend.

The survey also found video measurement was still evolving. The top three KPIs for evaluating video inventory were completion rates (49%), impressions/reach (46%), and quality scores including viewability & fraud (44%). However, SteelHouse found that there were differences between marketers and agencies. Marketers identified impression/reach (48%), completion (47%), and click-through (44%) as the most valued metrics, while agencies chose completion (53%), quality scores (45%), and in-target delivery/GRPs (comScore, Nielsen, etc.). Sales attribution was low for both (28%).

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Facebook introduces New Ad Inventory

As Facebook’s news feed increasingly moves from text to video, the social network is rolling out a new feature on desktop that makes clips more prominent.

In February, Facebook rolled out a mobile feature called watch and scroll that lets people keep watching organic videos and ads as they scroll through news feeds. Now, the feature is available to all desktop users, meaning consumers who use it can see two videos at once in a news feed, opening up potentially new ad inventory.

Here’s how it works: As users discover videos in their news feeds, they can click on icons that appear on videos or click to turn a clip’s sound on since videos automatically play silently. The side-by-side view then appears on the left side of the screen as users scroll past the clip in the news feed. Users can move the video across the screen. Once a clip is finished, a replay icon briefly appears on the page before the video disappears. Such a “sticky” or “pinned” video player is a tactic many publishers, including CNN and USA Today, have used on their websites to keep video content viewable as users read news articles.

As more users, brands and publishers upload video to the platform, Facebook has actively developed more video products and is reportedly in talks with publishers and creators to make TV-quality original programs specifically for the platform, though Re/code reports the time line for those efforts has been pushed back.

Facebook has also warned investors over the past year about ad load concerns as it begins to max out the ratio of organic posts to ads. Watch and scroll could open up new ad inventory as a way for Facebook to show two videos at once. In recent months, publishers have started adding ad breaks to their clips as a way to make money off of live videos.

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