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This Week in TV News: a Preview of ‘Shark Week’ and an IAB Advanced TV Matrix

This week, we’re talking about a new IAB advanced TV matrix, The New York Times new foray into TV and Shark Week.

Tech is changing things for the better, most say. Most adults see technology as the biggest driver of change and think that’s a good thing, according a trends report from Ford. However, 70% of millennials would like to undo behavioral changes caused by technology. (MediaPost)

The IAB clears up advanced TV confusion. The IAB Video Center of Excellence released a matrix “through which to view the Advanced TV landscape” this week. Enjoy the matrix and references to “The Matrix” (Remember this line from Morpheus? “Remember: all I’m offering is the truth. Nothing more.”) on the IAB’s site. (IAB)

Shark Week is here for its 31st season. Shark Week, TV’s longest running event, is back on The Discovery Channel July 28-August 4. Last year, the show turned 30, and it garnered 48 million views from users across Facebook and Instagram. See a new preview and get pumped for the upcoming installment on Deadline.

The NYT does TV.  Read why The New York Times is expanding into television with a 30-episode docuseries on FX called “The Weekly.” Stories will include a closer look at the Times’ reporting on Louisiana’s T.M. Landry College Prep and NYC’s yellow cab industry, among many other topics. According to Times’ assistant managing editor Sam Dolnick, after the news outlet evolved to a digital platform and audio powerhouse, “TV was the next frontier.” (Adweek).

See last week’s TV trends.

This Week in TV News: What to Stream this Weekend and New Coke

This week, we’re talking about the summer movies you should stream this weekend, the return of New Coke in a bid for nostalgia and the impact of GDPR on marketers’ data initiatives.

MDW streaming faves. Vanity Fair has the most important part of Memorial Day Weekend covered – which summer movies to watch this weekend when you’re not barbecuing. On the list: “Dirty Dancing,” “A League of Their Own” and Call Me by Your Name.”

GDPR’s impact on marketers. One year after the General Data Protection Regulation went into effect, how are marketers feeling about the EU law? A survey from Winterberry Group and the IAB found US marketers are still worried about the impact government regulation will have on their work with data. Organizational silos and difficult proving ROI of data programs are other anxieties marketers have related to their data-driven projects. (eMarketer)

Game of Thrones wins ratings record. The final episode of “Game of Thrones” brought in a series record of 19.3 million viewers. The finale topped last week’s episode, “The Bells,” with 18.4 million viewers. (CNN Business)

“Stranger Things” brings back New Coke. In 1985, Coke launched “New Coke,” a new formulation of the beverage that had a largely negative reception. But for the third season of Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” New Coke is coming back. The New Coke campaign is aimed at reaching people in the evolving media landscape, according to Stuart Kronauge, president of Coke’s sparkling business unit and SVP-marketing for Coca-Cola North America, adding, “It’s important for us to make sure that we are where our consumers’ eyeballs and hearts and spirits are.” (WSJ and CNN)

See last week’s TV trends.

This Week in TV News: Batwoman, TikTok and ‘Big Bang Theory’

This week, we’re looking at the new broadcast TV shows announced during the Upfronts, including a new Batwoman show that’s getting buzz, and we’re talking about how TikTok continues to be one of the most popular apps young people use.

Time to download this app. Short video mobile app TikTok was the most downloaded app in in the Apple App Store in the first quarter of 2019, with more than 33 million downloads. This is the app’s fifth straight quarter in the number one spot. This quarter, YouTube and Instagram took the second and third spots, respectively. For Android, the top three downloaded apps were WhatsApp, followed by Messenger, then TikTok. (TechCrunch)

Upfronts’ TV offerings. The annual weeks of presentations are over, and now we can reflect on the new TV coming out. Check out all of THR’s 2019 Upfronts coverage, as well as their roundup of broadcast shows coming out. On the list: a New Orleans-set dramedy starring Kim Cattrall from Fox; a CW take on Batwoman, starring Ruby Rose; “Next,” a Fox AI thriller starring John Slattery; and “Mixed-ish,” a “Black-ish” prequel from ABC. (The Hollywood Reporter)

“Big Bang” ends with a bang. After 12 years and 279 episodes, “Big Bang Theory” drew to a close on Thursday. One of the longest running TV comedies ever, the show’s finale scored big ratings according to preliminary Nielsen estimates: a 12.2 household rating and 22 share. (CBS)

“Game of Thrones” wins game of ratings. The final season of the epic HBO show has received mixed reviews, with some saying there are too many storylines to tie up in the finale airing this Sunday, but criticism hasn’t affected how many people are tuning in for the show. The final season has seen an average of 11.6 million live viewers, up from the previous season’s average of 10.2 million. All signs point to a strong, possibly record-breaking finish this Sunday. (Observer)

DTC Brands Take It to The Next Level with Addressable TV

For every three-person startup selling T-shirts on Instagram, there is another Glossier or Casper building toward becoming a billion-dollar business. How will they get there? To date, DTC brands have been focused on sending targeted ads to consumers via premium online video. Now, some major DTC brands are now starting to take their marketing to the next level by using television to reach their target audience. The same data these brands have been leveraging to find audiences in a digital environment can now be used with television advertising. DTC brands are using addressable TV to find, target and send messages to their high-value audience prospects with closed-loop attribution.

Challengers Face Challenges

Challenger brands are taking market share from more established incumbents, sparking a transformation in retail, and the fragmentation and diffusion of consumers/retail channels runs parallel to the changes in TV audiences. Gone are the days of tens of millions tuning into shows on the big three networks. Viewers are harder to reach at scale thanks to expanded television viewing environments (Linear, VOD, TVE, Connected, OTT, etc.) and the explosion of content.

Now, as the DTC space matures, reaching the right audience on the right digital platform with the right message is getting more expensive. As DTC competition increases, multiple brands are fighting to reach the same audience, digital ad costs are on the rise, and it’s harder and harder to break through to potential customers.

Tactics like influencer marketing and hyper-targeted digital advertising initially won favor with these efficient businesses. Traditional channels like TV advertising were avoided because historically, they were considered effective at delivering ads to broad demographics. It’s rare to see a DTC brand “wasting” precious marketing dollars on a big broadcast ad buy.

But as a these brand continue grow, they are learning some of the earlier DTC go-to tactics (like influencer marketing) are not everything they were cracked up to be, with a loose focus on metrics, too many variables and no deterministic accountability. Luckily, just as these brands are growing and getting smarter, TV is as well.

Precision at Scale

Addressable TV offers marketers the ability to find and target precise audiences at scale, with the power of the sight, sound and motion and the brand impact that only television delivers. Data and analytics come together to give DTC brands the ability to extend their precise digital campaigns to a powerful television platform, a far cry from the scattershot approaches of yesterday.

Addressable TV create a one-to-one connection between brands and consumers with full brand safety built in. Challenger brands are built on the power of their connections with audiences (and customers). They are consumer-first, as well as digital-first, and as a result, all that great data created must be leveraged to generate ROI across all channels. Addressable TV makes all of a brand’s first-party CRM data work harder, as they precisely target desired audiences at the household level, and deliver the right brand message to the right people.

Brands that want to grow their scale and reach with precise audiences can now deliver massive results with addressable TV advertising. For example, we saw a DTC brand’s holiday campaign leverage the hard work of their efficient digital programs and sophisticated audience segmentation efforts. They took a first-party audience segment of existing holiday shoppers, precisely targeted them with a TV campaign, and drove more than three-times higher return on ad spend versus digital. For all campaigns, we can calculate the value of an impression based on the viewing environment.  

Addressable TV gives brands visibility into exactly which households were exposed to brand messages, and who took action as a result with deterministic measurement. The path to success for upstarts has been built on using the most efficient marketing strategies to raise awareness, build audiences, drive sales and increase loyalty. Driving that efficiency is confidence in leading-edge, data-driven tactics that are measurable and impactful.

In order to fully leverage this new data driven television ecosystem, there are over 90MM households across STB (set-top-box) and IP addressable TV that can be aggregated to send targeted messages to high value audiences at real scale.  

And, as consumers move across devices, addressable campaigns can be optimized to ensure the right frequency and maximum efficiency across all screens.  Now, every channel, including TV, is accountable to the same metrics that DTC brands were built on. Brands and their consumers have changed, and TV is changing right alongside them.

Learn more about why TV is vital to direct-to-consumer brand growth.

This Week in TV News: Purpose-Driven Marketing and ‘Avengers’

This week, we’re talking about “Game of Thrones” again – this time about how they show is dominating buzz on social media, which won’t come as a surprise to anyone watching the series on Sunday nights.

The impact of streaming on movie theaters. Is streaming content ruining the in-theater experience? Sony Pictures Classics co-founder and co-president Tom Bernard said there’s no issue and that “if the movies are good and they’re on the screen, people are going to go.” CNN took a closer look at the debate with opinions from Stephen Spielberg and Robert De Niro. “Avengers: Endgame,” which took in more than $2 billion in ticket sales worldwide so far and unseated “Titanic” as the most popular movie of all time, is seen by some as evidence that theatrical releases are still stronger than ever. (Variety)

Purpose-driven marketing has to stretch. It can’t just last for one campaign, according to a study from social impact consultancy DoSomething Strategic. Sixty-six percent of consumers said a brand’s association with a social cause would positively influence their overall impression of the brand, and 58% said the association “will affect their likelihood of purchasing that brand.” Read more on Adweek.

Cool ad, bro. A report from RevJet found younger people pay closer attention to digital ads than older people. For people between the ages of 18 and 44, there was a 47% increase in attention compared to 2018 and a 7% for those 45 and older. (Marketing Dive)

‘Thrones’ gets the #1 social spot. “Game of Thrones” has fans buzzing on social media platforms about its eighth and final season, with a quarter-over-quarter change of 119%. Netflix’s “The Umbrella Academy” and “You” took second and third in the rankings, respectively. (Variety) In more “Thrones” news, a Starbucks coffee cup made its way onto a table in last week’s episode, offering the brand free exposure. Read more on CNBC

How Marketers Will Reach Their Audiences Amid Marketplace Challenges

Television remains the most effective way to deeply engage viewers. Yet it’s never been more difficult for brands to reach their audiences cost-effectively. In the past three years, average cable TV ratings have declined 24%*, and average CPMs have risen over 31%.**

The TV industry is facing challenges on multiple fronts, including inflationary pricing, audience fragmentation, procurement difficulties and increased ratings pressures. It’s harder than ever for advertisers to reach their audience effectively.

Taking a closer look at declining ratings, we found the following in a study of the ad-supported and measured cable networks we work with:

  • In the 18-49 demo, 14% of 88 the networks showed viewership stability or growth in 2018 vs. 2017. Eighty-six percent of networks showed a decline in impressions, and 57% of our available 2018 cable inventory was down double digits over 2017.
  • Among adults 25-54, 24% showed viewership stability or growth in 2018 vs. 2017, and 76% of the networks we measured faced impressions declines. Of the declining networks, 40 were down double-digits in delivery – thus, 45% of our available 2018 cable inventory was down double digits over the previous year for the 25-54 age demo.

This is where Cadent comes in – choosing an alternative to the traditional Upfront model can return negotiation power back to marketers and agencies. Below, Cadent Sales President Jim Tricarico spoke with MediaVillage’s Simon Applebaum about easing marketplace challenges during and after the Upfront season and why he’s encouraging marketers and agencies to be strategic, not reactive, as they consider their media plans.

For more on how to rethink your media plan this Upfront season (and beyond), check out our Rethink Calculator

This article originally appeared in MediaVillage

Back in the first two decades of television’s existence (the late 1940s to the late 1960s) cigarette makers were among the top advertisers, with one sponsor offering this tag line: “It’s what’s up front that counts.” For Cadent President of Sales Jim Tricarico, what counts most for this Upfront season is maximizing viewership of messages for a wider variety of advertisers. That effort comes amid mounting challenges, though, including rating declines for many broadcast and cable TV networks, cutbacks in some network ad minutes and pods (especially in primetime) and growing audiences for content distributed through smart TV sets and TV-connected devices.

“It’s a freight train coming right by every client and ad agency,” Tricarico says. “Trying to maneuver in this environment is very hard.” That’s prompting Cadent to position its appeal for national 2019 Upfront advertising dollars as a natural complement to current strategies among individual agencies and brands, rather than as rivals. “What we are is a solution,” he explains. “We don’t say we’re better than or instead of [networks]. We try to help these [advertisers] manage through whatever networks and dayparts they need help on by getting access to deliver these networks or dayparts at a significant savings versus the networks’ direct pricing.”

With support from 200 multichannel video providers, Cadent transmits commercials from national advertisers inside the two or three minutes per hour many basic cable networks set aside for local sales. Cadent also delivers addressable messages on IP, linear and video-on-demand inventory.

Cadent works with 42% of the Ad Age top 100 brands. For this blue-chip roster, “the secret sauce is in our reach across all these MVPDs,” Tricarico points out. “Why is that important? Marketers require access to a truly national audience in order to reach their customers.”

Another part of Cadent’s 2019 Upfront message urges advertisers and agencies to rethink their media plan and be strategic, not reactive. With added pressure to reach GRP goals in a marketplace with constrained inventory, marketers can complement network direct buys with data-driven, efficient linear TV, reaching GRP goals for less.Then, Tricarico says, marketers can allocate savings toward addressable advertising, a medium capable of providing the premium reach and high-value audiences marketers require to move the needle for their businesses.

“You can’t talk about the Upfront if you’re not talking about the evolution of addressable, and how that is a part of every advertiser’s strategy as they enter 2019 to 2020 and beyond,” Tricarico adds.

This Upfront season, Tricarico wants to distinguish the difference between unsold and remnant inventory. Some companies are easily turned off by the word “remnant,” which carries an assumption of being lower-quality inventory airing during early morning, overnight or on less desirable networks. “We counter the negativity by showing how unsold inventory can be premium inventory,” he explains. The counter: Cadent’s unsold data-driven linear inventory comes from every major network and airs alongside premium content, leveraging historical data and forecasting to know what will be available.

Cadent’s current appeal is also directed at the variety of new advertisers hitting the TV scene this year, from dining establishments to information-oriented websites and mobile applications. As for addressable advertising, Cadent expects a major jump in spending by both agencies and individual brands this Upfront cycle, due to better audience measurement and deeper ability to target specific consumer demographics. 

Tricarico sees a role for Cadent in smart TV advertising sales developing over the next two to three years. Despite estimates of $13-$14 billion in smart TV ad revenue this year and above $20 billion in 2020, he’s waiting for that marketplace to resolve some issues first. “The big question is measurement,” Tricarico insists. “Who will measure? How do you measure this audience? How do you define impressions? All these questions still need to be worked out. The smart TV market is still in its infancy and will be a much bigger player as time goes on.”

Interactive advertising and commercials running on broadcast services powered by ATSC 3.0 technology are two other options Cadent is exploring right now. When both become scalable and measurable, they will be utilized, Tricarico promises.

When this Upfront season wraps, Tricarico has two big messages to communicate throughout the entire ad community: This medium is evolving – not dying – and it’s time for the ad sales business to morph into an ad solutions business.

“We’ve reached the tipping point where agencies and clients are saying enough is enough,” he says. “They need help. You have to solve problems. We’re out to help everyone maneuver through this challenging marketplace.”

* C3 Ratings: key demo ratings (18-34, 18-49, and 25-54) for Cadent Total Day (Mon–Sun, 6a–12 midnight) in 2017/18 vs 2014/15
**Media Dynamics, Inc., www.mediadynamicsinc.com/media-matters/august-1-2018

This Week in TV News: the NewFronts, IAB Tech Labs and an Ad Fraud Report

This week, we’re talking about the Digital Content NewFronts, “Game of Thrones” (again) and a report from the ANA and White Ops that says ad fraud is declining.

‘Thrones’ breaks its own viewership record. Last Sunday’s epic battle episode of Game of Thrones garnered 12 million linear viewers and nearly 17.8 million viewers across platforms, breaking the season premiere episode’s viewership (17.4 million). The episode, “The Long Night” ran 82 minutes long and took 11 weeks of shooting. (CNN)

IAB Tech Lab replaces VPAID with SIMID. The IAB Technology Laboratory released SIMID (Secure Interactive Media Interface Definition), a specification designed to increase transparency and an “interactivity solution that should become a critical part of the video supply chain and will promote transparency and security,” said Dennis Buchheim, SVP and General Manager, IAB Tech Lab. (AdExchanger)

ANA and White Ops say fraud is down. And spending on digital advertising is going up. The report, “Bot Baseline,” estimates advertisers will lose $5.8 billion due to ad fraud globally this year, down from $6.5 billion two years ago, an 11% decline. (Ad Age)

Newfronts concludes. The Digital Content NewFronts wrapped after presentations from 14 companies including Digitas, Target, Vice Media, Verizon, YouTube, Conde Nast and Viacom. Celebrity appearances included Alicia Keys, Tiffany Haddish, George Clooney, Reese Witherspoon, Margot Robbie and Mindy Kaling. To sum it up, IAB President & CEO Randall Rothenberg tweeted that this was “the year the entire world – brands, agencies, publishers, creators, influencers, consumers – recognized en masse that #avod, #ott, #streaming IS television, and it’s here and now.” (Digiday)