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Why Cross-Platform Fluency Must Be Required of Ad Buyers and Sellers

Dave Morgan
Dave Morgan  |  Executive Chairman
Updated: Apr. 04, 2024
Published: Oct. 19, 2022

The growth of streaming TV has been relentless, but linear TV (broadcast, cable and satellite) isn’t going to die out any day soon. Instead, there will be a process where the behaviors of consumers and the offerings of programmers and distributors evolve. Internet-delivered programming, much of it on-demand, will ascend as the linear offerings decline.

For most of the next decade in the U.S., TV viewing -- and TV advertising -- will be a mix of linear and streaming. For brands, agencies and their media professionals who want to use high-engagement, high-impact video advertising to reach, persuade and convert target customers at scale, the next decade will mean navigating a mix of linear and streaming TV channels and platforms to have any hope of efficiently reaching audiences at scale.

This fact is not news to any reader of this site. For years, we have been talking about what a cross-platform linear and streaming TV world means in terms of planning, buying platforms and measurement, and work in those areas will be non-stop for years to come.

However, none of that work will matter if the folks who work in our industry aren’t able to fluently and seamlessly navigate both the linear and streaming sides of the business. We desperately need cross-platform training so cross-platform advertising can work.

As Kevin Arrix, Senior Vice President of Dish Media at Dish Network, recently told the TV of Tomorrow conference in San Francisco, our industry will be held back if our ad buyers and sellers aren’t fluent in both the language of TV (gross rating points, households and demographics) and the digital language of CTV (uniques, impressions and first-party-data targets).

Everyone who wants to work in cross-platform needs to know both because we are not going to see the discrete methods of TV delivery go away anytime soon, nor are we going to see siloed budgets and buying teams suddenly become integrated and holistic (no matter what they say and aspire to).

CTV ads will be sold into linear TV budgets. Automated, data-driven linear ads will be sold into digital video budgets. And mixed, cross-platform programs will be sold into both.

It will no longer be enough to have people on your teams who can translate between the two languages, effectively serving as your cross-platform interpreters.

On the contrary, everyone on our teams will have to understand the languages, strengths, weaknesses and key differentiators of both.

If you think that linear TV will die before you have to understand what a GRP or a P2+ target is, you are sadly mistaken. Both will matter for many years to come. Those who can travel seamlessly between the languages and channels will do very well. Those who can’t, won’t. Which will you be?

Find out how Simulmedia’s unique TV+® platform for truly cross-channel TV advertising provides unified access to premium linear and CTV inventory across all networks and publishers. Request a demo or email us at advertise@simulmedia.com.

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