19. 5. 2023
TV planners are crying foul over the lack of TV ad impressions. Yet there are clouds of video ads on the Internet, and they are far from sold out. So what's the problem? There are certainly multiple reasons, but I'll just address the quality perspective here, writes David Bauckmann, CTO of Impression Media, in a commentary.

TV content is of a high standard and usually costs a lot of money to produce. Such TV shows are then usually watched by people on big screens in their living rooms. Although we are slowly abandoning this premise - people are already watching high quality TV content on their computers and mobile phones. VOD services like Netflix and Prime+ can be examples. In any case, watching this quality content requires much more attention from viewers than watching the internet in general.

On the other hand, in the online environment, the amount of video content is of very different levels. From high-quality VOD to user-generated short videos on social media. Moreover, video advertising on the internet does not even have to be linked to video content. We see many magazines inserting so-called "outstream video advertising" between the paragraphs of articles.

The size of the player undoubtedly plays a role. But that would not be the biggest problem. On the Internet you can find small video players in a narrow column, for example. And having the sound on also plays a role. With TV content, we don't discuss sound at all - it's always active. But on the internet it's often the other way around.

So that was just a list of a few reasons why content on TV gets more attention from viewers than on the internet, which is related to why it's more desirable to advertisers.

For the reasons described above, it's not easy for TV planners to fill the missing impressions with online video. It is necessary to choose well and ideally involve the publisher in the process. For example, in the form of programmatic agreements involving only what matches the defined quality. Almost unusable is OpenRTB, where you can target the domain and format, but in the case of video you can hardly tell the difference between "outstream" and "instream" video.

On the other hand, the internet is the future of TV and we need to delve into it much more as TV as a device is slowly losing ground and especially the younger generation is using completely different devices for video consumption.

This is nicely illustrated by research presented through, which shows a gradual increase in the time people spend watching digital video. This has been steadily increasing since 2017, from an hour and 19 minutes a day to an hour and 49 minutes in 2021. Conversely, time spent in front of the TV has decreased from just under four hours a day in 2017 to three hours and 22 minutes in 2021. Digital video in this case means any video watching on desktop and mobile, as well as gaming consoles and CTV. So it's impossible not to see whether more people are switching from traditional TV to CTV or to desktop and mobile.

To summarize: Television has a huge advantage in owning and producing video content that is miles better quality than what is commonly found on YouTube, Facebook or TikTok.

The problem, however, remains audience behavior in the online environment. The majority of the younger population will not watch the Ulice series either on mobile or as part of a traditional linear broadcast. Instead, they are more likely to watch news, weather, product reviews and other content. So we need to find a way to deliver this quality content to the target audience, supplemented if necessary by other content that will be of interest online.

When this happens, TV advertising planners will have a freer hand and will start to use online to a much greater extent than they do now.

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