Published: May 7, 2018

The Future of TV Is Connected - 195 million U.S.viewers predicted to watch CTV this year as television becomes the next big digital channel

Television will be brands' next big digital channel

The Domino’s drone has just whirred into the night, leaving me a steaming-hot pepperoni and jalapeño pizza. Nest has chilled the air to a perfect 67 degrees with 41 percent humidity, filling my living room with a hint of pine, my favorite scent. As the large wall across from my couch lights up with a projected 20K image, the lights automatically dim. My couch auto-adjusts to the “view,” position, as I settle in for a night of TV made especially for me.

It’s time for my favorite guilty pleasure. In a strong, confident voice I say, “play The Bachelor.” A countdown timer lets me know my show will start in 30 seconds after a quick advertisement tailored to an individual interest of mine.

The ad is from Jerry’s Dry Cleaners, located right around the corner. I haven’t been there in a while and my dirty shirts have started to pile up. It’s footage of Jerry and his team laughing and talking with customers, followed by shots of the facility and montage of the kinds of designer label clothes they clean. Hey, I think that’s my favorite sweater! Coincidence? I doubt it. I love that damn sweater. At the end of the ad, Jerry invites me, by name, to swing by this weekend. The spot closes with a 30 percent discount code, specifically for customers like me, who haven’t visited in three weeks or more.

The show begins, and soon I’m waist-deep in hot-tub intrigue. Unlike earlier seasons of the show, all the activity locations in the show are local to me. As I watch, I ask my TV to make a reservation for me and the kids to go zip-lining at Zips up on Powerline. The happy couple made it look like so much fun.

I’m on the edge of my seat! How can the Bachelor possibly choose his future bride? Both women seem so nice … and so real!

The next ad comes 15 minutes later. It’s for the latest marketing automation platform. Every example on the screen uses my company’s logo and brand. It’s a pretty technical pitch, but they know I get it. Of course the advertiser paid a high CPM to catch me at home tonight, knowing I’m a CMO at a mid-sized company—their dream prospect. Their data told them I’m likely to be in the market for a new solution, and they’re using this moment between the Bachelor’s zip-line dates and the rose ceremony to earn my business. I tell the TV to set a reminder to reach out to them Monday morning.

I can’t tell you exactly how far into the future an evening like this might be, but I know it’s sooner than you’d think. Amazingly, the tech needed to create this type of personal content and advertising experience already exists. All digital channels, like display, social or mobile offer audience-centric targeting based on a wide range of non-personally identifiable data. We have come to expect a custom ad experience online. In fact, Connected TV (CTV) is a true digital channel, too. The ads on CTV are dynamic or customizable, and programmatic or targetable by audience.

Though more than 400,000 people cut the cable cord every month and start watching Living Room Quality content on CTV, the advertiser community is just becoming aware of the scale and value of this relatively new channel.

Today, major and niche brands alike can buy the audiences they want, and show them a commercial as they watch any of the popular programs they’re already streaming through a variety of devices using premium content apps.

With 195 million U.S. viewers predicted to watch CTV this year, television is the next big digital channel. So what’s in it for advertisers? For starters, they get reasonable prices, given CTV segmentation capabilities and efficiencies. They also get sophisticated reporting that tells them more about what works on TV, and more than they have ever been shown before. Lastly, they can now create ad creative and manage all of their digital channels media together from a single budget. For the first time ever, the power of TV can be a measurable, manageable part of their digital strategy.

In the future, the audiences brands value will be stretched over even more programming choices. But it doesn’t matter. Everyone will be watching something, and whenever and wherever they watch, they can be reached by the highest relevant bidder. As is true with every major industry shift or technology breakthrough, the brands who find the opportunity fastest and use it to better connect with their audience will be the ones that come out on top.

Now where’s that pizza?

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