There is a lot of white noise in the video ecosystem these days about the integration of TV and online video, and it seems as though everyone has an opinion to add to the buzz. You've probably heard the two most common industry Chicken Little fiats, "TV practices are dead!" or "Online video is the new TV!" Like so many hyped and breathless industry memes, both are simply untrue. Here's why.
As a $70 billion growing business, TV is alive and well. In comparison, online video should reach $5 billion by 2014. While the internet has arguably accelerated the demise of print, the notion that online video will usurp traditional TV is not on a parallel track by any means.
Yet it's fair to say we are at an inflection point in the convergence of traditional TV and online video. We can all agree on that. How we understand and then manage the convergence is what is at stake in 2013 -- that and the understanding that traditional TV and online video are not mutually exclusive options for industry stakeholders.
The first step to managing and taking advantage of this convergence is working to integrate the two more efficiently and effectively in an increasingly multi-screen, multi-platform paradigm -- focusing on the video content, instead of the video vehicle.
Tactically, in order to manage this convergence, we must not only establish a common lexicon, but also set unified, cross-platform goals and strategies to move the video industry into the next phase of innovation and adoption. Doing so is a huge benefit to everyone with a stake in the video industry pipeline.
But how? Here are five ways to reimagine and recalibrate the TV-online video convergence to get the most from it.
Think outside the box -- and beyond it
Video consumption is now a five-screen proposition incorporating TV, online Flash video, smartphones, tablets, and connected TV apps. This is driving a growing audience. TVs are simply becoming another device to deliver content from a number of sources. According to an analysis by Leichtman Research Group, 38 percent of U.S. households will have at least one TV connected to the internet in 2012 -- up from 30 percent in 2011. And according to DFC Intelligence, 24 million North American households currently own a connected TV, and that is expected to quadruple in the next four years to 81 million households.
This is hugely meaningful for advertisers because audiences are increasingly consuming brand messages on multiple screens while maintaining an allegiance to the first screen, TV. Buying multiple screen placements extends brand marketers' reach and frequency to increase awareness, recall, and intent.
We're all in this together
With a common interest to take the video industry to new heights, forming a unified, "one-buyer" strategy is essential for broadcast and digital leaders. By leveraging the strength of planning and buying teams, traditional TV dollars will stretch exponentially while leveraging new screens and consumer viewing habits. Align client objectives to work across platforms to deliver the reach and frequency necessary to deliver high-impact messaging with video.
Leverage the digital buy to influence the TV buy
Reaching the optimal media mix and gaining full knowledge of ROI are constant challenges. With cross-platform planning using online campaign ratings from comScore and Nielsen, or set-top box data to understand how messages resonate with online audiences, you can access critical insights about your target audience that can then drive broadcast buying decisions. With geo-demographic data, even more information can be uncovered to drive future buys. The bottom line: Online data can deliver broadcast audience gems.
According to a recent study, 98 percent of video ads are repurposed TV spots. Are you sure your video viewer responds the same way as your TV viewer? Repurposing the same messages might not deliver optimal results or properly use all the capabilities of the medium. With the ability to use new data to retarget our audiences, we should be using new video spots to drive online metrics that meet overall strategic goals. Brands have a story to tell and should target creatives by screen to reach their audiences in multiple ways, utilizing multiple creative options to reach audiences through awareness, recall, and intent.
Use set-top box data to target specific broadcast audiences
Cross-platform data provides answers for brands searching for new tools to reach specific TV audiences. Rich, impactful data drives buying decisions every day in broadcast. It's time to supplement the industry's daily dose of Simmons, Nielsen, and MRI reports with online data from comScore and other online data analyses. When combined with audience targeting capabilities, national set-top box audience data aggregation is leading us into the next phase of digital video advertising. With extreme precision, brands can now leverage this data, combined with online data, to retarget audiences down to a geodemographic level. This helps to drive awareness, recall, and intent. It's here, so use it.
At the end of the day, creating a common, unifying vision between broadcast TV and digital video accomplishes two very timely goals: We can leverage the strengths and reach of both media, and most importantly, our ad buys become more effective and efficient. It's a win-win for all video stakeholders.
Chris Smith is vice president of video and mobile at Collective.
On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.