Connected TV Advertising Demystified: Q&A with YuMe’s Paul Lyonette

Paul LyonetteConnected TV advertising continues to be something of a mystery to many people working in video, mainly because it’s a part of the industry dominated by the major broadcasters, the TV manufacturers, and a handful of ad networks and video ad platforms which have focused heavily in the area. One of those companies is YuMe, a video ad technology company, who have developed partnerships with a variety of TV manufacturers and app owners. Here Paul Lyonette, UK Country Manager for YuMe, gives some insight into what’s happening in the space. Paul will be delivering a keynote presentation at New TV Frontiers in London on June 10th.

What are YuMe currently offering in terms of connected TV advertising?

YuMe has been at the forefront of Connected TV advertising since its inception. We work with TV manufacturers, consoles, set top boxes and publishers to help them build their strategies for this emerging platform – as well as offering the technology to facilitate their ad offering. For advertisers we offer multiple ad formats across a range of Connected TV devices and apps. In addition to that we conduct wide amounts of research with third parties to offer thought leadership and best practices for the newest screen in the world of advertising.

What type of targeting options are currently available on connected TV?

As a more nascent technology than some of the other digital screens, the targeting options aren’t as broad for Connected TVs. Given the broad variety of Connected TV devices (games consoles, Blu-Ray players, Smart TVs etc) there is the option to target them and their associated audiences. There is also the option to target different apps on Connected TVs, much like you would create a channel buy online or on mobile devices. In addition, YuMe also offers household targeting, which provides advertisers with truly device agnostic buying – reaching household audiences regardless of which device they are viewing video content.

Is connected TV traded and perceived differently by buyers in comparison with traditional TV?

There is a great deal of difference in the buying behaviour between connected TV and traditional TV, despite the similar experience of sight, sound and motion on the biggest screen in the home. Agency buyers still tend to be undecided as to whether the screen is a TV or a computer and so quite often connected TV budgets don’t have a set home within an agency. As we are seeing increased video consumption on Connected TVs (combined smart TVs and consoles accounted for 15 percent of total video consumption in Q3 2012 vs 20 percent in Q3 2013 according to Emarketer) we are seeing increased investment as well as a continued interested in YuMe going in to train agency teams using some of the third party research that we have conducted in the past years.

Which European markets are moving the most quickly with connected TV?

Growth in different markets is actually primarily being determined by user adoption – the technology capabilities are the same regardless of region. User adoption is determined by the availability of unique content and in most markets that is growing fast. One of the biggest objections we used to face was the low connection rate of smart TVs, but in the UK it now sits at 86 percent (April/May 2013 Concentra) – testament to the success of the likes of iPlayer and Netflix incentivising users to connect, as well as manufacturers removing the pain by making their devices wireless. As Netflix has just announced expansion into further European markets we would expect this sharp growth curve to continue across the board.

What in your view could be done to speed up the growth of connected TV advertising?

One of the biggest things would be industry education, which YuMe has led with our numerous pieces of research, the latest being our Creative Best Practices in associated with Frank N Magid. The rapid fragmentation of audiences across screens has been difficult for the advertising ecosystem to keep up with but with some of the changes that agencies have been making to their internal structures, we’re starting to see spend becoming more in line with consumer behaviour – although there is still some ways to go there.


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