Smaller Media Companies Deliver Better CTV/​OTT ROI

BY Kathy Crosett
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Last week, we reported on the growing dominance of Google, Facebook and Amazon in the digital ad market. Now, we have evidence pointing to the superior effectiveness of CTV/​OTT ads that are placed with smaller media companies. If you’re selling these formats for a small or mid-​sized media company, here are the stats to share with prospects and clients.

The Advantages of Smaller Media Companies

The new research conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of PubMatic considered the feedback of 307 media buyers during Q3 2021. These media buyers, not surprisingly, are investing in CTV/​OTT. The format has grown rapidly in the past two years, capturing the viewing time of consumers who have spent increasing amounts of time with video content. The PubMatic survey reveals that while media buyers are embracing the new formats, they have not changed the providers they purchase from.

In particular, media buyers are proving that old habits die hard and are purchasing CTV/​OTT from “a limited assortment of large, legacy sources.”  Because of the rush to use the new format and their hesitation to change partners, media buyers may be selling themselves short and making a strategic error. This is a good reason for this conservative behavior. Analysts point out that agency buyers, in particular, aren’t rewarded for taking chances and tend to feel “their job is to deliver results as cost-​effectively as possible, so pursuing strategies with a more diverse and complicated set of inventory sources can seem to work at cross-purposes.”

What Media Buyers Want

The top goals for media buyers, when investing in CTV/​OTT, are to take advantage of new channels and behaviors (30%) and optimized delivery for current audiences (29%). When making these purchases, 40% of buyers purchase from OTT devices, 34% from broadcast networks and 32% from streaming apps. But they only select small/​medium publishers 28% of the time.

At the same time, only 33% of buyers are content with the results of their ad campaigns. This news is disheartening considering the big increases media buyers anticipate spending on the new formats. However, when analysts took a closer look at the data, they noticed buyers that include midsize CTV/​OTT in their strategies are twice as likely to have exceeded their CTV/​OTT objectives.

When buyers opted to expand the media partners they worked with, their incremental reach increased.

How to Reduce Complexity of the CTV/​OTT Purchase

The purchase of CTV/​OTT formats requires managing many moving parts. When these parts don’t work well together, the effectiveness of the campaign suffers. Currently, only about 20% of media buyers believe they are getting the most out of the following aspects of a CTV/​OTT campaign:

  • High quality
  • Unique audience reach
  • Return on ad spend
  • Control on the number of times the ads run

The great benefit of spreading an ad budget across multiple smaller media companies is reaching a diverse audience. Media buyers agree that buying ad space from small or medium-​sized publishers delivers the following:

  • Ability to reach the audience in a “relevant context” 31%
  • Better quality 31%
  • Better control over where ads appear 29%
  • Improved adaptability/​agility 27%

Analysts outlined a couple of ways your smaller media company can capture more of the CTV/​OTT budget that buyers have to spend. Nearly half, 45%, of buyers want a way to efficiently purchase inventory from you. Are you doing everything you can to streamline the process? In addition, all buyers today worry about fraud. Brands need to protect their reputation. To guard against ad placements that don’t match with a brand’s goal, provide training and guidance to prospects and clients that are ready to purchase advertising from you.

And to help prospects identify which audiences respond to CTV/​OTT advertising, check out the AudiencSCAN profiles available on AdMall powered by SalesFuel.

Photo by Andres Ayrton from Pexels