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Advanced TV vs. CTV: Unveiling the Differences

Published: Jul. 19, 2023

The global television industry, with a revenue of around 94 billion U.S. dollars in 2022, is undergoing a significant disruption as advanced TV and connected TV (CTV) take center stage, reshaping the way we consume video content.

But what sets advanced TV apart from CTV? In this article we highlight the key differences between advanced TV and CTV, offering insights into their impact on the TV industry.

Want to learn even more about CTV? Check out our comprehensive guide to OTT vs CTV advertising.

What is advanced TV?

Advanced TV is an umbrella term that encompasses all forms of non-traditional television.

It helps to first understand how advanced TV is different from linear TV. Linear television operates on a scheduled broadcasting system, where TV programs are aired on specific channels during designated time slots. This means that viewers are required to tune in at particular times if they wish to watch their desired programs.

Advanced TV is an evolution of the traditional linear TV model. The key differentiating factor lies in the way advertisements are delivered. Unlike the traditional broadcasting model, which has limited targeting capabilities, advanced TV empowers advertisers with more precise user targeting options.

Types of advanced TV include:

  • Connected TV refers to internet-connected TV devices that enable viewers to stream high quality video content.
  • Addressable TV enables one-to-one ad delivery through new technologies, diverging from the traditional one-to-many distribution of ads in traditional television. By leveraging first and third-party data, advertisers can pinpoint specific households that align with their target audience.
  • Converged TV: A data-driven, cross-channel approach to linear TV and CTV planning and buying. In this model, advertisers look beyond metrics like GRP. Rather, advertisers look to metrics that measure success across channels, such as de-duplicated reach across linear and CTV and incrementality.
  • Data-driven linear TV is a method where advertisers utilize automated technology and, in some instances, data to shape and enhance their linear TV ad purchases, including programmatic techniques. Note that data-driven linear advertising is not addressable; rather, it operates as a mechanism for one-to-many content distribution.
  • Over-the-top TV involves the streaming of video content over the internet, unlike traditional video distribution channels like linear TV. It enables viewers to stream and watch content, not just on connected TV devices, but to mobile phones, tablets and desktops too.
  • TV everywhere: TV Everywhere is a business model that enables cable subscribers to access live and on-demand video content from their networks through internet-based services. The access is provided as part of their existing subscription, and viewers use their MVPD credentials to log in to specific online platforms or apps associated with their cable provider to enjoy the content.
  • Video on demand (VOD) allows viewers to access and watch media at their convenience, choosing when, where, and how they consume content. VOD is available through cable or satellite, but has exploded in popularity with the emergence of streaming apps.

What these platforms all have in common is their ability to provide marketers with advanced targeting capabilities, exceeding what traditional broadcast TV can offer.

What are the benefits and challenges of advanced TV?

Advanced TV is addressable — or able to deliver various ads to various devices within the same household. With the explosion of CTV and streaming, addressable advertising is massively scalable and efficient and will continue to grow as more and more streamers embrace ad-supported streaming.

That’s not to say advanced TV is without its flaws, though. One issue advertisers face when using advanced TV is inconsistent measurement. With the rise of advanced TV and the increasing fragmentation of viewing across platforms, providers, and services, measurement and tracking can become inconsistent and challenging.

Advertisers have specific goals when it comes to measurement: they want to understand what they have purchased, what advertisements were actually delivered, who the ads were delivered to, and what outcomes were achieved.

Due to the varying methods of data compilation and reporting across platforms and providers, often hidden behind walled gardens, advertisers face difficulties when it comes to comparing and aligning different metrics. According to Dave Morgan, CEO of Simulmedia, “...the future of video advertising will require that scaled ad buyers, sellers, data suppliers, measurement companies and others will have to work across many different walled garden video ad platforms.”

The inconsistencies in measurement and attribution across platforms and services hinder advertisers' ability to gain a holistic view of their advertising campaigns. It becomes challenging to assess the true effectiveness and return on investment (ROI) of their advertising efforts when metrics and reporting methods differ.

What is connected TV (CTV)?

Connected TV (CTV) involves an internet-equipped device connected or embedded directly into a TV set (Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and many more) that allow users to stream video content through platforms such as Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+.

So what’s the difference between CTV and Advanced TV?

CTV, being a subset within the advanced TV ecosystem, focuses solely on advertising opportunities within streaming content on internet-connected TV devices.

What makes connected TV advertising special?

Connected TV advertising has become a dominant force in the digital advertising world, capturing significant attention and market share with no signs of slowing down. Recent reports suggest that CTV advertising is projected to increase by 21.2% in 2023, and experts anticipate sustained double-digit growth in the following years.

US Connected TV Ad Spending, 2021 - 2027

Among all of the types of advanced TV, connected TV stands out for a few reasons.

Reach Viewers Where They’re Watching

The increasing popularity of CTV presents an ideal channel for brands to effectively reach their target audience in an environment where consumers are highly receptive and engaged. One of the key advantages of CTV advertising is its extensive reach, as more people are opting for CTV over linear TV. By leveraging the power of CTV, marketers can connect with consumers in a way that aligns with their preferences and behavior, maximizing the impact of their marketing campaigns.

Precise Targeting

Unlike linear television ads that reach all viewers with different demographics and psychographic attributes, CTV advertising enables precise targeting. Advertisers can deliver ads to specific audiences based on their demographics, interests, and behaviors, maximizing relevance and minimizing wasted ad spend.

High Video Completion Rates

In 2021, interactive CTV video completion rates stood at 95%. One factor that contributes to this rise is the "lean back" viewing behavior among CTV users. Unlike mobile devices, which provide an active scrolling environment, CTV viewers tend to sit (or lean) back to fully engage with the content displayed on their TV screens. This distinction reduces the tendency to quickly switch to the next video and promotes a more immersive and uninterrupted viewing experience.

Measurable Results

CTV enables advertisers to effectively target their audience using data insights, optimizing and retargeting ads based on viewer profiles. Real-time performance reports allow for immediate adjustments to align with preferences and achieve advertising goals. Unlike traditional TV advertising, CTV offers comprehensive analytics and performance metrics, such as completion rates and CPV (cost per visitor).

Tip: Embrace the benefits of CTV advertising while acknowledging multi-channel and multi-screen audience engagement as viewers are spread across different platforms and devices. Instead of choosing one over the other, consider how CTV and traditional TV can complement each other to maximize your advertising impact

Ready to tackle connected TV?

Discover how Simulmedia can assist you in implementing advanced TV and CTV advertising strategies and placements.

At Simulmedia, we offer a unique TV+® platform that offers unmatched reach and streamlines the advertising process, allowing advertisers to plan, activate, and traffic campaigns with speed and efficiency. Our platform ensures personalized and measurable ad experiences across both linear and streaming CTV, delivering tailored content to each household and enhancing brand visibility.

Want to learn more about CTV advertising? Check out our comprehensive CTV guide today to gain new insights and stay informed about industry trends!