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No More Silos: TV Advertising’s Future Is Both Linear and Streaming

Dave Morgan
Dave Morgan  |  Executive Chairman
Published: Nov. 03, 2021

The human juice is back in the ad business. Conferences and events are back. Wall Street’s on-and-off love affair with adtech is back. And, so important for so many of us, New York City is back!

I was one of the many hundreds at the Association of National Advertisers’ Masters of Marketing conference in Orlando in early October. Even more recently, Advertising Week New York drew many industry leaders and advertisers to Hudson Yards and well-attended sessions. Industry dinners are certainly back, as evidenced by the return of Luma Partners’ annual Future of TV dinner, attended by the TV and CTV power-broker cast of characters that only Terry Kawaja can assemble.

BMO Capital Markets had its Fall Ad Tech Reception, headlined by prescient media and Internet analyst Dan Salmon presenting his annual report valuing the adtech and martech markets and key companies. And the venerable Michael Wolf of Activate Consulting presented the company’s mind-blowing Activate Technology and Media Outlook 2022.

At every one of these events, a key theme was the future of TV and streaming and how advertising would play in that future world. “Will CTV and streaming finally deliver on the forever promise of our industry, that all TV advertising will finally become digital too?” This issue, in one form or another, came up on virtually every stage, in every hallway conversation, and during almost every drink and dinner.

There were slides and charts galore on the topic, but probably no slide better captured the future economics of video than Wolf’s:

Most of the dollars in video advertising remain in traditional television

Kawaja, Salmon and Wolf are all bullish on the future of streaming and CTV, but all talked or wrote about how its future will likely be intertwined with, and anchored by, linear TV as well. Linear isn’t going away any time soon.

What does a dual-channel TV future of both streaming and linear mean for the ad business? The implications are significant:

1. We will have to de-silo the streaming and linear world, and truly integrate offerings around a more holistic, multichannel notion of “TV” bridged, bought, packaged, sold and measured by content, audiences and outcomes, not just channels.

2. We will need to truly nail cross-channel TV planning and measurement fast. Buying on only TV or digital metrics and rough heuristics won’t cut it anymore.

3. The definitions of content, audiences, measurement and outcomes will need to be consistent across companies. Yes, each company and walled garden will have some unique characteristics that it will highlight, but apples-to-apples comparisons cross-company will be critical.

What do you think? Are we ready for a TV world straddling streaming and linear for years to come, maybe well into the 2030s?

Download our Cross-Channel TV Playbook for a detailed guide on how to unlock audiences on both linear and connected TV.

Want to learn more? Contact us or email us at advertise@simulmedia.com.

An earlier version of this blog was originally published by MediaPost.