A snapshot of industry perspectives on the CTV ecosystem in transition

The growth of consumer streaming viewing and CTV advertising is unleashing innovation in the advertising ecosystem

Connected TVs are the focal point for many of the most important debates about the future of media, impacting media measurement, the growth of addressable advertising, converged planning and buying across TV and digital media, the use of data to support targeting, the future of the TV trading model, and the relationships between TV platforms and media owners. Two advertising ecosystems are converging and colliding on TV screens across Europe.

The growth of consumer streaming viewing and CTV advertising inventory on CTV is unleashing innovation in the advertising ecosystem. It presents not only exciting opportunities, but also important challenges for the media industry, as existing standards, workflows and business practices are forced to adapt and evolve.

Launched in November 2020, the European Connected TV Initiative (ECTVI) has just completed an extensive, year-long review of the opportunities presented by the new ecosystem. Over 500 senior executives from across the industry engaged with the ECTVI during the past year, making this one of the largest programs of engagement and dialogue undertaken across the European media and advertising industries in recent years.

Jon Watts, executive director of the Initiative, commented: “The review has been a huge undertaking and presents a compelling picture of an ecosystem that’s developing rapidly, if unevenly. The risk in Europe is that we’ll see two separate ecosystems developing in parallel, without real convergence – but the signs are encouraging. The 2020s are set to be TV’s connected decade.”

Findings from the review, a snapshot of industry perspectives, are set out in a major new report, due to be released and discussed at an online launch event on March 7 – register here to attend the free webinar.

The report highlights the tremendous opportunities presented by the growth and development of the new ecosystem. CTVs have dramatically lowered the barriers to entry for new video services on TVs across Europe, expanding consumer choice. They are also a powerful platform for advertising innovation and content promotion and a new source of granular viewing data.

Mary Ann Halford, executive director of the Initiative pointed out, “Our study focused on five major markets in Europe - France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. While each market is unique, the significant growth of CTV consumption in each market necessitates bringing together the TV and digital video advertising ecosystems.”

Major CTV OEMs and European broadcasters are well advanced in addressing the opportunities presented by the new ecosystem, although approaches vary widely, from support for HbbTV in Germany and Italy to a greater focus on streaming services and programmatic platforms in the UK.

The review also highlights the dramatic differences between the US and European markets, and across Europe’s major TV markets. Whereas TV OEMs in the US have been able to secure access to inventory rights and are rapidly scaling up their own streaming services, the European market is more fragmented, with collaborations, partnerships and standardization seen as key to unlocking the full potential of the new ecosystem.

The ECTVI report, sponsored by Roku, Fincons Group and IPONWEB, highlights four main priorities for industry collaboration to help all parties unlock the full potential of the CTV advertising ecosystem:

  1. Agree on a set of common definitions and principles for measurement across all content and inventory on CTV to support better and more comprehensive viewing measurement that encompasses linear TV, broadcaster video on demand (BVOD) and streaming services.

  2. Support the development of a more transparent and integrated CTV advertising supply chain to give advertisers and agencies the confidence to know what they are buying and where their ads will run – be it premium TV inventory, secondary TV content or social video.

  3. Proactively lean into collaborative arrangements and standards that can help simplify the delivery of addressable campaigns across a fragmented device ecosystem, making it easier for the buy-side to transact seamlessly and at scale.

  4. Continue to invest in programmatic platforms and supply chains to deliver a more standardized and interoperable ecosystem, with solutions that facilitate easier planning, campaign delivery and management across linear TV, addressable TV, BVOD offerings and streaming services.

The report suggests that leading European trade bodies could work together to create a neutral forum for regular cross-industry dialogue and constructive engagement, bringing together the TV and digital video advertising ecosystems, along with manufacturers, programmatic platforms, and other key industry stakeholders.

Covering everything from the future of TV audience measurement to the development of programmatic media buying, new forms of targeting, the value of big data and the future of the TV trading model, the report includes learnings and insights on:

  • The smart TV transition and evolution of the CTV ecosystem

  • How Europe fares against CTV developments in the US

  • The unique characteristics and capabilities of the CTV advertising ecosystem

  • The challenges and opportunities facing the media industry

  • Priorities for industry collaboration to unlock the full potential of CTVs in Europe

The ECTVI will be hosting a launch event on March 7, where speakers from ITV, Mediaset, PubMatic, Comscore, HbbTV Association, egta, the IAB Europe, Roku, Fincons Group and IPONWEB, will discuss findings and the future evolution of the ecosystem.

Register here to attend.