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Are broadcasters prepared for the convergence of TV and digital video?

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There’s no doubt that TV is evolving. As more devices and distribution platforms give consumers an unprecedented level of control, are broadcasters prepared to deliver premium viewing and ad experiences everywhere they are watching?

To help broadcasters thrive in the new era of TV, we need to understand their needs and priorities. That’s why we recently published a report featuring first-person insights from twenty broadcast executives and senior TV media buyers.

As part of our research, we asked participants to rate how prepared the industry is to support the convergence of TV and digital on a scale from 1 (not at all prepared) to 5 (completely prepared). The average rating was 3. Let's take a closer look at the ways these industry leaders feel they are and are not prepared for what's coming next:

Prepared for the convergence of TV and Video

Most prepared - Technology and infrastructure

Nearly all broadcasters interviewed shared that they’re investing substantial resources in developing, licensing, and/or acquiring the technology required to shift their businesses from one, to all screens. Among sports broadcasters, scalability is receiving extra attention, especially as they consider how to live-stream large events to millions of digital viewers.

Broadcasters interviewed also felt relatively well prepared when it comes to delivering relevant ads to their audiences. They agreed that the availability of tools to support advanced ad delivery has grown considerably in recent years. Considering how well digital reaches audiences with addressable messages, most broadcasters interviewed are confident that these capabilities will carry over into the linear TV ecosystem.

While technology was initially the biggest hurdle broadcasters addressed, readiness in this area is now outpacing sales alignment and organizational preparedness.

Least prepared

Least prepared - Managing inventory sales

In terms of managing inventory sales, broadcasters feel the industry is least prepared for what lies ahead. While the traditional model of media sales is one-to-one and based on past relationships, the TV ad sales teams of the future will be data-driven, technical and results-oriented. The new landscape is challenging the industry to modernize not only its infrastructure but its sales systems as well.

Respondents were especially concerned about the future in these ad-related areas:

  1. Ad sales execution: Broadcasters are struggling to adapt their sales models for digital. Many organizations are responding by restructuring traditional departments while expanding research and analytics teams.
  2. Revenue models: TV metrics like age and gender are broad and don’t translate well for sophisticated digital buyers, so broadcasters are working to reinvent their pricing models.
  3. Buyer-seller conversations: Broadcasters indicated the industry needs to focus on adapting the sales approach so that conversations between buyers and sellers better reflect the reality of the new TV landscape.
  4. Measurement: Broadcasters specified a need for more consistency in measurement across connected devices and traditional TV platforms.
Moving cautiously towards programmatic

Moving cautiously toward programmatic sales

What about preparedness to adopt programmatic sales? The study results showed that broadcasters are moving cautiously toward implementing Open Auction demand sources after finding success with Programmatic Direct deals. The issue of pricing is often the top concern, as well as control over the value of and compensation for premium content.

For programmatic sales to fully take flight, several challenges need to be overcome. As one broadcaster noted, the industry must strengthen the skills required to sell programmatically. Another key obstacle is the complexity of creating the right infrastructure to support programmatic sales.

The future of TV is exciting, and Google is investing in flexible technology to prepare our partners for success. As audiences dictate the future of the TV experience, and broadcasters look to monetize their content everywhere viewers are watching, advanced TV solutions powered by Google Ad Manager can help.

To get more insights about the future of TV, download the full report here. And to keep up with all things Ad Manager, bookmark our blog and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.