01/04/21: Cynopsis Media Tech Update


After a most atypical – to put it mildly – year, Cynopsis gathered predictions from industry experts on what 2021 will bring, from the impact of streaming acceleration, to tech regulation, to improved data quality, and more.

Streaming strategies

“It’s impossible to ignore the impact of Covid-19 on the market. OTT subscriber numbers that previously took years to achieve have been reached in months. But as we return to a new kind of normal there will be a real challenge to keep those subscribers, particularly because they will have consumed content at a higher rate than that modelled by the OTT vendors. Add to this a slowdown in content creation and there will be a significant push to keep those new subscribers. As a result, in 2021 we expect to see operators launching flexible pricing structures and new business models as they look to establish differentiators for their services.”

– Nick Thexton, Chief Technology Officer, Synamedia

“This is a time of unprecedented innovation and reinvention in the media Industry. Coming out of 2020, the much-announced tipping point from traditional to streaming TV has finally arrived. With all leading media companies in one way or another restructuring their organizations around the streaming opportunity, we should expect unprecedented growth in this area across the industry – for viewers and advertisers. As a pioneer in the CTV space, we are excited to see the accelerated adoption of this platform, that provides viewers and advertisers with all the benefits of a premium, immersive live TV experience combined with the advanced targeting capabilities CTV can offer. We are equally excited to see the accelerated development of new capabilities in the CTV advertising space – and the continued evolution of programmatic as a premium buying platform.”

– Diana Horowitz, SVP, Ad Sales, fuboTV

“If there’s one takeaway from 2020, it is that free OTT services exploded as consumers were forced into lockdown and will continue to grow as we head into 2021. All major media companies have launched an OTT streaming service and have or will make ad-supported tiers the foundation of their monetization strategy as consumers look to supplement pay connected TV with free options. Free ad-supported TV (FAST) will become the de facto standard of how consumers watch content. Because of this, there will be an increased demand for targeted advertising leveraging first-party and third-party data which will make the need of identity resolution graphs more critical than ever”

– Andre Swanston, CEO, Tru Optik

New innovations will continue to make streaming TV even more compelling, especially for many brands and marketers that are prioritizing local advertising. The ability to geo-target and facilitate dynamic creative makes local campaigns all the more valuable. Beyond video completion rates, advertisers can connect OTT viewership to direct business results with closed-loop attribution. We can also expect to see more experimentation with ad formats where brands can reimagine the OTT ad creative such as storytelling ads, where a brand’s narrative can be broken up into multiple segments and delivered in succession during a TV show or movie.”

– Tom Cox, President, Premion

As the cookie crumbles

“The implementation of restrictions to IDFA caught a lot of marketers and publishers flat-footed. Brands and Publishers will take lessons from that as they think about the changes to Google Chrome coming in 2022. In a survey LiveIntent conducted, only 32% of respondents felt confident in their plan for resolving Identity once third-party cookies are phased out. We’re likely to see renewed and redoubled efforts by Brands and Publishers, who got a sneak peek of the dangers of apathy during the IDFA update. Smart Brands and Publishers will invest heavily in Identity frameworks that make use of their first-party data to stand the test of the third-party cookie apocalypse, not letting the same mistake happen twice.”

– Kerel Cooper, SVP, Global Marketing, LiveIntent

“Preparing for a world with no cookies or third-party identifiers has gone from hugely important to red-alert urgent. The smartest publishers, agencies and brands in the industry are racing to build first-party data capabilities. Those who take a wait-and-see approach might find they don’t have a 2022 to plan for.”

– David Cohen, CEO, IAB

“This year, we saw major browsers announce plans for the deprecation of third-party cookies. To optimize media spend in a world without cookies, I anticipate buyers will diversify and expand the formats in which they share their messages. Mediums and channels that aren’t reliant on browser-based cookies — including CTV, contextual and data-driven linear TV — are continuing to grow, especially as viewing habits have shifted during COVID-19. Looking to the future, these channels are a safe bet for advertisers looking to engage relevant audiences across screens.”

Tom Lavan, Head of Strategy and Corporate Development, Xandr

Ad it up

“Both large and small advertisers will have smaller budgets, which will compete for targetable audiences and drive up media costs. 2021 will see an acceleration in inventory and pricing pressure due to the continued shift to more e-commerce and the need to make up for the branding and awareness that physical stores have traditionally provided.”

– Brian Golbere, SVP Technology, TV Solutions Group, IPONWEB

“The ongoing antitrust case involving Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon will make their respective advertising products less valuable to marketers. If the walled gardens no longer have cross-channel targeting information on consumers, and/or the ability to find audiences outside of their walled gardens, it becomes unnecessary to invest so much on their platforms. With the social media advertising boycott of 2020, brands experienced the benefits of diversified advertising strategies and will continue their search for alternative inventory options.”

– Ken Harlan, Founder and CEO, MobileFuse

“Fierce competition and the explosion in consumer engagement opportunities have made CTV the epicenter of ad sales. We’ll see major brands radically alter their ad spend from the TV Upfront in favor of more flexibility and greater investment in streaming and CTV. One side effect: managing CTV campaigns has effectively become more of a challenge, and buyers will need more clarity. With the rise of content costs, I wouldn’t be surprised to see premium services test a hybrid model with ads/subscriptions, too. Wonder Woman isn’t cheap.”

– Ivan Markman, CBO, Verizon Media

“Incumbent social media and online content platforms – Facebook, YouTube, Twitter Instagram, TikTok – earn almost all of the revenue generated from user content, while wielding unilateral power to terminate user accounts, curtail or even cease earning, as well as moderate or disable content. New social networks underpinned by blockchain technology are shifting that paradigm, enabling content creators to directly and instantly earn micropayments for each engagement with posted content, while unlocking interoperability and restoring the balance of power to the users. These new business models will threaten the traditional advertising and data-mining business models of legacy platforms. In 2021, digital content creators and influencers will finally learn to leverage blockchain-based applications to directly earn revenue from their content and avoid de-platforming risks.

– Jimmy Nguyen, Founding President, Bitcoin Association

“The importance of cross-screen measurement will continue to grow in 2021. As audiences continue to shift their viewing from linear TV to OTT, advertisers are continuing to shift their media spend as well. OTT provides advertisers with the data-driven targeting and attribution measurement capabilities that they need to maximize their ROAS. But now marketers need to understand the true reach of their campaigns running across TV and OTT. Advances in cross-screen measurement in 2021 will continue to solve for that challenge.”

– Dennis Cook, VP of Marketing, Gamut

Data developments

“As audience behaviors become more complex in 2021, media and data strategies need to evolve quickly. Brands, media owners and agencies are more aware than ever of the need for innovation combined with advanced measurement and understanding of effectiveness.”

– Jane Ostler, Global Head of Media, Kantar

“Brands HAVE the data, but most lack the ability to execute on the vast amount of data they have, translate it into creative experiences and bring that data to life in a way that can optimize on the fly and inform the brands and enrich their own CDP (customer data platform) and CRM data to better understand each consumer.

There is a missing piece between channels and audiences; how do you take the data collected and create good branded high-quality experiences across those channels? The key is optimization – understanding what works and what doesn’t work. By packaging CDP & DCO together can enhance your personalization per customer and allows for the data to be utilized and enhance the consumer experience.”

– Oz Etzioni, CEO, Clinch

“Data quality will be digital advertising’s ‘Marie Kondo’ moment. As marketers and publishers accelerate first-party data collection, data quality will be the ‘joy’ everyone is looking for. This is a win-win for everyone, including consumers. Out with the old and kluge players and in with higher standards — and standards! — for data across the board. As data quality improves, those players without the means to put up walls will lean into data enrichment to bring advertisers accuracy at scale when looking for their customers and next best customers. Those with richer, high quality profiles will see addressability soar.”

– Andy Monfried, CEO, Lotame

“For the last two decades, there’s been an iron grip on the database market with IBM, Oracle and SAP HANA leading the charge. Now we are seeing a changing of the guard, which gives customers the option of deciding what is best for their business. Forrester even points out that the public cloud infrastructure market will grow 35% in 120 billion in 2021.I predict that the database market cap will grow to $1 trillion by 2025 and over seven to 10 really strong database companies will grow significantly in the next decade.”

– Raj Verma, CEO, SingleStore

Playing games

“As we saw with Epic Games, Apple was at risk of losing key partnerships due to its high commission rates. With Apple reducing its fee structure, new possibilities have come to light. Smaller developers that no longer have a 30% fee will be more incentivized to develop for the Apple app store, and will have favorable business terms while they scale their games/companies. Additionally, as they aren’t charged as much, we’ll see smaller developers spend more on user acquisition and higher CPIs. That said, the larger developers who do not receive a reduced commission benefit (who still need to pay the 30% fee) will focus their efforts on ad monetized games.”

– Tiffany Ou, General Manager of Americas, Nativex

Voice and ‘conversational commerce’

“Voice search and virtual assistants continue to gain adoption and usage. In the US, smart speaker adoption will surpass 100 million users. In 2021, we will start to see meaningful usage of smart speakers as a marketing channel by enterprises and as a commerce and buying channel by consumers. Messaging and chat adoption continue their gains as critical tools for both sales and customer service across consumer platforms.”

Greg Sterling, VP of Insights, Uberall

Link: https://www.cynopsis.com/01-04-21-cynopsis-media-tech-update/

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