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By Anthony Loredo Feb 26 2018 Blog

Ask a Centro Expert: What’s Connected TV?

Ask a Centro Expert is a blog series from Centro where we break down the complicated tools, tech, and trends you’ve been hearing about in the trade pubs and around the office. We reach out to some of our in-house experts to ask the tough questions and turn them into bite-sized, palatable Q&As for your reading pleasure. Last month, we explored header bidding. This month’s topic: Connected TV. We talked to Heather Robertson, Centro’s Director of Video, for the break down.

In the simplest terms, what is Connected TV?

Connected TV is a television set that’s connected to the internet and facilitates the delivery of streaming video content. Ad placements run on Connected TVs are typically bought and sold more like digital video. We covered Connected TV during our October webinar.

If Connected TV is considered Advanced TV, then can you explain what Advanced TV is and how it differs from traditional TV?

Advanced TV is an umbrella term that encompasses Connected TV, Addressable TV, and Programmatic TV, all of which offer the opportunity to run ads on a TV screen and differ from traditional TV in unique ways. To keep it simple: All three are different from traditional TV technology and/or ad buying and selling methods.

How does Centro define Programmatic TV and Addressable TV, and how is that different from Connected TV?

We define Programmatic TV as an automated, data-driven method of planning and buying linear TV advertising, which can include TV spot placements within cable, satellite, and/or broadcast inventory.

Addressable TV is the ability to deliver targeted TV ads on a household-by-household basis via cable, satellite and telco set-top boxes. In theory, different households watching the same TV program could be served entirely different TV spots through the use of dynamic ad insertion.

The differences between these terms is confusing because you can buy some Connected TV and Addressable TV inventory programmatically, and you could argue that targeting on Connected TV is addressable. Because of overlap with some of these terms, they often end up being used interchangeably, so it’s important for media buyers, sellers, and advertisers to talk through definitions and ensure they’re speaking the same language.

Do spots still need to be created in HD like they are for linear TV?

Yes, it’s advised that ads are produced in high definition for connected TV, too.

Can you buy inventory by device type?

This depends on the media seller’s capabilities. In some cases you can, and in others, you can’t. Because this is still a growing space, avoid limiting the potential scale of a Connected TV buy with these types of restrictions, unless there’s a necessary reason to do so.

For example, if your ad promotes media or entertainment content that’s only available on select Connected TV devices, it would be smart to avoid serving the ad on devices where the content can’t be watched.

Are you able to choose which connected TV apps your ad will show up on?

This also depends on the media seller’s capabilities. In many cases, there are opportunities to buy based on app genre, like sports, news, entertainment, health and fitness, etc. In other cases, if you need to be very specific about which Connected TV apps your ad will show up on, it may be best to create a custom PMP or work directly with the app publisher.

What are the ad sizes for the homepage screen ads you see before watching a show?

This depends on the device type and manufacturer, so it can vary. Unfortunately, there’s not a single standard across all device types or manufactures at this time.

How many households are “cord nevers” now and are there any stats about anticipated growth of this audience?

According to eMarketer, in 2017, 17.1 million households are cord nevers, but future growth will be somewhat slow. It’s expected that number will gradually increase, and about 19.5 million households will be cord nevers by 2021.

What methods are used for Connected TV measurement and what kind of performance data is typically available for Connected TV?

This can vary based on ad format, but assuming you’re running in-stream video ads, we suggest utilizing VAST tags where possible to track standard digital video metrics like impressions, quartiles, and video completion rate.

How would one go about making an interactive pre-roll ad?

Depending on where you’d like to run the interactive pre-roll ad, you’d have to work with Innovid or Brightline, the two primary developers responsible for producing these units for Connected TV placements. After finalizing the creative, you’d work with a digital partner, like Centro, to place and run the ads.

What type of Connected TV deals are available through DSPs?

There are plenty of DSPs to choose from in ad tech. But we can speak to ours: DSPs like Basis give you access to video inventory that’s both on-demand (VOD) and live. There are multiple video deals available in Basis, including AT&T, DirecTV NOW, and Dish, and video packages that can be inserted into live streams on all of the major TV stations, via Sling and DirecTV.

With this capability, you’re able to reach non-traditional viewers streaming on their preferred device choice — whether that’s their phones, tablets, or Connected TVs. Luckily, Basis also comes with a full team of experts who are there every step of the way helping you create these video deals.

Interested in other Centro resources that will help you understand Connected TV? Reach out to info@centro.net