You’ve probably heard about addressable TV advertising for years.

It’s nothing new, but there’s a reason to pay close attention now if you haven’t been before: addressable TV advertising has gained momentum in a way that has given it new life—and attention. eMarketer forecasts that ad spending on addressable TV will grow to $4.22 billion in 2023, up significantly from $2.85 billion in 2021.

OpenAP recently joined our industry partners and friends, speaking alongside DISH Media, Warner Bros. Discovery, DIRECTV Advertising, Comcast Advertising, a4 Advertising, LiveRamp, Spectrum Reach and Yahoo on two panels: GoAddressable’s panel on interoperability and automation advancements that have made addressable advertising easier to buy and execute, and Nextv Plus’s spotlight on the growing market of MVPD-powered national addressability. 

The key takeaway: now more than ever, addressable advertising is attainable and valuable for advertisers who are executing campaigns across the premium video landscape.

If you’re still catching up on the state of addressable, let’s breakdown what technologies, capabilities and automations are available right now for addressable advertisers, and where innovation will happen in 2023.

Addressable is audience-based buying.

For advertisers who have adopted an audience-based approach to TV campaigns but have been hesitant to dive into addressable, hear this: addressable is audience-based buying. It’s a point that was echoed by multiple panelists during the Go Addressable panel in November. Innovations in unification and scale have made it easier and more effective than ever to extend advanced audiences to addressable.

“The large lift with audience-based buying has always been going back and forth with agencies on figuring out who the correct target is. Because you always want your audience to line up with whatever the KPIs are. Attribution is key to any kind of advanced audience campaign you’re running.” - Joanna Thissen, OpenAP

With a unified audience, advertisers can easily activate addressable as a component of campaigns that span the premium video ecosystem. It all starts with the audience.

Addressable has reached a point where scale is no longer a roadblock.

In its early days, addressable TV had a scale problem. While addressability offered the precision and reach advertisers craved, it was difficult and time-consuming to implement, and ultimately hard to reach audiences in large numbers.

Thankfully, addressability has come a long way in the last couple of years—advancements in technology and innovative partnerships have evolved addressable TV into a medium that advertisers can no longer ignore. 

“At the very beginning, the challenge was always scale. I think we’ve now reached a tipping point with scale.”- Joanna Thissen, OpenAP

What has driven the improvements in scalability? During Nextv Plus’s panel, Warner Bros. Discovery’s Amy McGovern and Comcast Advertising’s Kevin Lemberg pointed to a few key advancements. Most importantly, there is greater industry-wide unification across audiences and campaigns. “It’s now very easy to create campaigns, it’s easy to execute on those campaigns, report and measure on those campaigns, and deliver on goals, KPIs, and really showcase that addressable works,” Lemberg explained. “Audiences can now be enabled across any screen, any device in a very seamless approach. Both of these allow for scale and ease of execution.”

 In addition to unification, self-service platforms have made addressable TV buying much more accessible and simple for the buyside. Media buyers can stay informed and engaged on the performance of their campaigns, and easily make adjustments, as needed.

 Underpinning every innovation that’s driven larger scale, including self-service and audience unification, is stronger partnerships between national programmers, MVPDs, and ad tech. “We now have the ability from a national programmer perspective to provide greater scale to our constituents,” said McGovern. “We couldn’t do it without all the work that’s gone on with our partners.” 

Addressable TV has grown beyond linear—it encompasses CTV, too.

Advertisers shouldn’t be thinking about addressable with a linear-only mindset, explained DirectTV Advertising’s Matthew Van Houten. CTV and vMVPD platforms also offer valuable addressable opportunities, and as addressability continues to scale, some of the largest areas of growth will come from buckets of inventory outside of linear.

 “There’s a place for both [CTV and MVPD addressable inventory] and there’s a compatible, complementary nature to each,” DISH Media’s Dave Antonelli commented. On the advantages and differences between the two platforms, Antonelli added, “when you think about MVPDs…scale is the key advantage. Audiences are very different...and are complementary [to CTV audiences]. On the CTV side, real-time reporting, much shorter setup times, and deterministic data are the key differentiators.”

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