Google is shaking up the TV model – by Allie Tattersall, Reprise UK

December 12, 2017 | Share this article

TV is still unrivalled. Although we’re living in a mobile-first, digital-first world, primetime TV spots are still the lynchpin of many brands’ campaigns. However, in contrast, TV ad spend is decreasing – to the point where it was last year surpassed by digital in the US– but Google recognises that there will always be a place for the format in the media mix. Its new products are designed to bring TV buying in line with digital buying, without aiming to simply replace or replicate TV with digital and vice versa. Additionally, these products mean that traditional TV ad buying can take advantage of the measurement benefits that Google brings. Rany Ng, director of product management for video advertising at Google, presents four key launches, all of which provide ways for advertisers to plan and buy TV, accommodating changing habits and the rise of on-demand and streaming services.

TV Content Explorer

TV Content Explorer will launch in beta by the end of 2017. It will use machine learning derived from a media owner’s data feed among other sources. With TV Content Explorer, media owners will be able to see insights, forecasts and industry benchmarks so they can plan and sell against their content.

TV-Modelled Forecasting and Pacing Tools

Google’s new forecasting and pacing tools will launch as a beta trial later this year. As TV viewership can be unpredictable, owing to the popularity of live events, they will help media owners analyse historic data and identify audience behaviour patterns. The tools will include the ability to import offline TV data into the platform to further inform prediction models.

Smarter TV Ad Breaks

Smarter TV ad breaks will automatically optimise ad breaks towards driving maximum revenue, whilst making sure ads are personal and relevant for each user. Smarter TV ad breaks will ensure that competitive exclusions and frequency capping apply.

Mobile-First Video Ad Formats

Google worked with Ipsos to research audiences’ attention spans across different ad units, finding that users are 3x more likely to pay attention to online video as opposed to linear TV ads. As a result of this research, they have introduced new mobile-first formats into DFP such as bumper ads – which search practitioners will already be familiar with – and portrait videos, which have been designed with user behaviour in mind. Google has also introduced an out stream video format, where ads can be placed between paragraphs of text-based content. This means advertisers can serve in-article and in-feed ads across websites and apps in reserve buys and open programmatic auctions. These launches have shown good results in early tests, by increasing publisher revenue and video CTR through the bumper ad format. As usual with Google, the updates are forward-thinking and innovative, and show that the company is well aware of the opportunities, as well as limitations, of digital advertising. Despite this, we don’t expect this to change the face of TV buying any time soon for a number of reasons: early reservation of inventory and US-only capabilities to name but two. Although digital has overtaken TV ad spend, Google knows that it needs to be able to provide solutions for advertising on both if it wants to become the world’s first trillion-dollar company.