Essential Viewing: Is CTV 2024’s Must-Have for Media Planners?

With 'Future of TV' being one of our key industry pillars in 2024, we explore why CTV is the hottest ticket for media planners this year. 

The TV landscape has evolved hugely over the past decade and there are no signs of a slow down. As consumers gradually leave behind linear TV and increasingly immerse themselves in CTV, marketers have shifted their focus. 

Following in the recent steps of Netflix, this year has seen the introduction of ads to Amazon Prime Video, adding yet another option for marketers looking to take advantage of the advertising opportunities in ad-supported streaming. If the current options weren’t enough to induce decision fatigue for the average viewer, even more options are on the horizon. Freely, an ad-supported subscription-free service will soon be launching in the UK; meanwhile, the US prepares for a still unnamed streaming service to be launched by Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros. 

As 2024 unfolds, what are the opportunities, rewards and challenges of bringing your spend to the streaming screen? We ask the industry.

The shift towards streaming has unlocked tremendous opportunity for programmatic

CTV is getting more attention for all the right reasons. Rapid consumer behaviour shift towards streaming has unlocked tremendous opportunity for the market to expand programmatic online video into more quality environments. We now have access to the best of both worlds. CTV gives advertisers the best of consumer ad experience, immersion with the TV screen, while offering the addressable media and content capability we have become accustomed to in the rest of the digital ecosystem.

Josh Gallagher, COO, APAC, EssenceMediacom

CTV placements can pose the challenge of measurement and increased fragmentation

After a successful 2023, CTV continues to present advertisers with new premium environments for reaching engaged, incremental and addressable audiences.

Ads served in premium environments are more effective, generating up to three times more attention than those in conventional environments. With increased pressure to drive attention and deliver ROI on every ad campaign, CTV placements can pose the challenge of measurement and increased fragmentation.

Building a cohesive full-funnel strategy across CTV, video and display delivers a better customer journey, increased ad effectiveness and reach - from the consumer’s very first exposure to becoming their brand of choice at purchase.

Roxanne Harley, head of strategy & client development, Azerion UK

Advertisers will unlock greater scale than ever before 

It has never been easier, nor more cost-effective, to reach viewers via the largest screen in the room. As viewers become increasingly comfortable with ad-supported streaming content, advertisers will unlock even greater scale than ever before. With 9 in 10 UK adults reachable via CTV, therefore we expect to see more and more advertising dollars flow towards streaming environments. CTV gives advertisers the scale of linear and the measurement and targeting capabilities of digital, making a great environment to add to media buyers' marketing mix.

Ed Wale, VP international at LG Ad Solutions

Opportunities for personalisation and consumer engagement will be strengthened 

Cord cutters are adopting streaming platforms which has accelerated CTV growth, as “free” content and multiple platforms offer increasingly high-quality content for viewing. Exciting data opportunities in this space will only help strengthen opportunities for personalisation and engagement from consumers.

There are still some measurement challenges but growing development in this space is allowing us to start identifying the true incremental reach it offers, in particular to the very light or non-linear TV viewers.

Rebecca Candeland, head of AV at Spark Foundry UK

CTV usage will surge this year

CTV usage will surge in 2024, particularly among Gen Z and Millennials. This shift is attracting advertisers from diverse industries like FMCG, Retail, etc.

With premium streaming services offering innovative ad products, CTV is a must-have for media planners. Its addressability allows targeted campaigns across channels. With viewers often multitasking across devices, integrating CTV into an omnichannel marketing strategy is crucial for full engagement and effective retargeting.

Improved tracking and reporting, including real-time metrics, allow planners to make immediate campaign optimisations. CTV is increasingly used not just for brand but also performance campaigns, extending reach and retargeting audiences across devices.

Frederic Liow, SVP revenue growth & strategy, AlgoriX

Streaming platforms are throwing a party and media planners are the VIP guests

With CTV on the rise (we're talking a 22% expected surge in 2024!), it's like streaming platforms are throwing a party and media planners are the VIP guests. Picture this: ads that chat with you over your favourite show, without killing the vibe. That's what's cooking in the CTV space. Tailored messages using granular audience segmentation are hitting home runs, getting cosy with viewers in a way that's just next level. It's all about that subtle blend in the viewer experience — keeping eyes glued and fingers off the remote. And if you're in the ad game, riding this wave is a no-brainer for real connections.

Kike Rodriguez, managing director, Se7en

2024 will be a pivotal year for CTV investment
Sarah Lewis

As audiences reduce their linear viewing and increasingly turn to streaming as their main TV source, CTV has become an essential part of any media plan. While there have been challenges around measurement and targeting in previous years, the CTV landscape has evolved significantly and 2024 is a pivotal year for CTV investment. Advertisers now have access to more advanced analytics tools, including Attention measurement for CTV, enabling brands who may have previously held back to now take the plunge into this high impact platform- extending their reach and taking their media plan to the next level.

Sarah Lewis, global director CTV, ShowHeroes

Contextual targeting will be key
Bill Swanson

The opportunity for planners and most importantly, their clients/brands, is that eyeballs are moving to CTV. For media planners, CTV isn't the only medium they should be targeting but it should become a greater percentage of the overall mix. While the rewards for brands lie in the fact that people are increasingly spending more time watching CTV, the challenges arise from different measurement metrics compared to TV being more aligned with programmatic, heightened by impending cookie deprecation. For example, leveraging contextual targeting which has long been prevalent in TV buying, will be key to the success of their execution.

Bill Swanson, SVP - EMEA, Connatix 

CTV will be a key focus for ad tech players

CTV ad spending is growing continuously — in 2021, in the UK, it comprised 1.17 billion British pounds. By 2026, it is expected to reach 2.3 billion pounds. This isn’t surprising since traditional TV ads don’t imply a data-driven approach, while CTV ad campaigns launched via programmatic platforms reach exactly those users who are most likely to convert. Therefore, those marketers who still haven’t adopted CTV advertising should review their strategies thoroughly, as well as ad exchange owners. In my opinion, CTV advertising will become a key focus for ad tech players in the next few years, and it’s essential to use this ad format and variable video streaming ad environments in digital campaigns and programmatic operations.

Roman Vrublivskyi, CEO, SmartHub

CTV's ability to reach people across devices is a media planner's dream

An advantage for media planners who are willing to test and learn is that there’s still a lot of untapped scale, which delivers cost effective reach outside of their core broadcast deals. At a time when price inflation is hitting brands and agencies alike, a cost-effective medium is not to be ignored, especially in a year when consumers are going to be glued to their devices for everything from olympics, to local & global elections and the men’s Euros.

Beyond pricing though, CTV ticks a lot of boxes for media planners. There is some really great tech being rolled out by various media owners, outcome based models and incremental targeting capabilities through advanced contextual mapping. The ability to reach people across devices through OTT is fantastic for any media planner looking to hit and engage an audience with interactive advertising capabilities that bridge a gap between OLV/Display and the CTV ad experience. 

Dan Black, head of CTV, Teads UK

CTV's value depends on campaign objectives

Traditional broadcasters still do a great job of delivering high quality reach at speed across their linear and on demand platforms. But in order to fully unlock the capabilities that AV can deliver, CTV and the growing SVOD opportunities need to be considered. As always, their value very much depends on the individual campaign objectives and CTV isn’t always the right answer. 

Nevertheless, CTV is becoming an increasingly compelling and valuable proposition for any advertiser looking to extend unique reach, deliver precision targeting, integrate first party data or align with the latest content phenomenon in a (for now) low ad load environment. CTV has been the subject of much hype over the past few years; the accelerating scale of highly targeted video on the big screen means that 2024 might be the year in which that hype starts to come to fruition.

Rebecca Smithson, head of activation, Havas Media Network UK

Chrome's cookie deprecation will push advertisers towards CTV
Matt White

People once thought CTV would be a flash in the pan. That’s long been disproven, as everyone from traditional TV stations to movie production companies now compete to offer subscribers thousands of hours of content across their platforms.

Advertisers that are already investing in CTV will likely increase investment through 2024 as viewership continues to rise. Google’s continued removal of third-party cookies from Chrome will also see advertising teams previously focused on more traditional platforms become more open to exploring new avenues. It’s a perfect storm for CTV to be viewed as 2024’s must-have for media planners.

Matthew White, vice president, Quantcast

New opportunities have emerged for brands to connect with hard-to-reach audiences

It’s never been easier to tap into the power of streaming TV advertising. With audiences moving away from traditional linear formats and towards multi-device streaming, new opportunities have emerged for brands to connect with hard-to-reach consumers.

Through streaming, advertisers can now reach their intended audience on the big screen and receive real-time performance metrics. This valuable feedback can inform future omnichannel investments and lead to improved results. 

Finally, live-streamed programming means mass-reach events such as the Olympics and Euros are accessible to a wider range of advertisers, not just those with large budgets. Now, a new generation of brands can unlock incremental audiences in a personalised, measurable, and engaging way.

Andrew Heald, regional team lead, publisher development, Index Exchange

CTV will be a key part of media plans

Absolutely! 2024 will be a year in which converged audiences across digital and linear will continue to make broadcast TV a key driver for brand awareness and driving brand outcomes. CTV now makes up well over 50% of digital consumption and as such it needs to be a key part of any media plan for 2024 and beyond when looking for impact and reach for brands.

Jordan King, director of programmatic & digital sales, Nine