CTV, ATV, PTV, Who TV?
November 22, 2019
The digital advertising industry is notorious for using an exorbitant quantity of acronyms. In the case of the industries next sweetheart, Connected TV (CTV), acronym-mania has truly gotten out of hand. Connected TV is taking the digital industry by storm, and for very good reasons.
¾’s of US Households Have At Least 1 CTV Device
There is no shortage of data pointing to the rapid adoption of connected televisions. Given the increasingly digital and connect world, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Many of these devices give much greater control of the viewing experience to the viewer and allow them to navigate content, subscription services and price points as they please.
What Should I do About It?
This may be the question you’ve been asking yourself for some time now, or perhaps you’ve never thought about it. Either way, we are here to help you with the resources you need to fully understand these bright and shiny objects so when 100% of your audience is watching TV using a digital device, you’ll be ready. At this stage, all digital advertisers should be at least considering adoption of CTV to their digital mix, especially if you are accessing media programmatically. This is because programmatic platforms can help you to adjust frequency across channels as well as bid prices, so you are not overspending on a channel that isn’t contributing to your overarching goal. Furthermore, programmatic platforms allow for advanced audience targeting, making your TV ad spending much more accurate and potentially reducing costs for your brand.
So Many Acronyms, So Little Time
For today’s purposes, we are going to deep dive on the top TV landscape terms, so you can get yourself and your team up to speed on what everyone is talking about! Make sure you sign up for the blog so you can get the upcoming posts where we’ll get into more about execution and channel insights.
The TV Landscape
LTV (Linear TV)
An umbrella term that includes all kinds of live, real-time broadcasting television. Linear TV is watched on a channel, when its presented, at its scheduled time. Linear TV operates on traditional automated TV ad buying platforms that utilize standard ad performance metrics.
An umbrella term that covers all types of on-demand viewing, which allows viewers to watch their content at their own leisure and convenience. This includes CTV, VOD, SVOD, SMP, and recordings (don’t worry, those acronyms coming up).
An umbrella term that includes all non-traditional TV. “Advanced TV” encompasses OTT, CTV, SVOD, and ATV.
PTV (Programmatic TV)
Programmatic TV is not a type of TV! Programmatic TV represents any TV ad buys that use data and automation to more precisely target specific consumer segments, with the end goal of driving higher ROI on media spend.
Professionally produced video content delivered over the internet, rather than through a cable or satellite provider. OTT is about HOW the content is delivered. If you are streaming your content through a broadband connection provided by Rogers or DirectTV (traditional providers), it is still considered “Over-The-Top”, because you are bypassing the traditional infrastructure used to deliver professional video. “OTT” has nothing to do with the device, streaming service, or how content is consumed. “Professionally produced” traditionally refers to “long-form” content, which means the runtime is at least 20 minutes.
Types of Programmatic TV
CTV (Connected TV)
“Connected TV” refers to any TV that is connected to the internet by any means. This includes regular TVs that are made “smart” by connecting through a secondary device. CTV is a type of Programmatic TV because it allows real-time TV ad buying.
A Connected TV, usually gets its internet connection in one of three ways:
- Smart TV – The TV has internet capabilities built inside.
- SMPs – Streaming Media Players (i.e. Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, TiVo) Note: these are also called “3rd party appliances or accessories”
- CGPs – Console Gaming Platforms (i.e. PlayStation, XBOX, Wii)
ATV (Addressable TV)
Allows advertisers to purchase audiences, using household level profiling and segmentation to deliver different TV ads tailored to different households watching the same program. The software sits inside the DVR (set top box), allowing the network provider to serve custom ads to the households. Network providers include Comcast, Dish, DirectTV/AT&T, Cablevision, and Verizon.
Programmatic Linear TV
This is traditional live television advertising that is planned with advanced audience data and purchased programmatically. Ads appear during scheduled TV programs and all viewers tuned in will see the ad.
More Acronyms Relating to CTV
SVOD (Subscription Video-On-Demand)
Video content that requires access to a subscription video-on-demand service. This includes providers like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Go, and History Channel.
AVOD (Ads-Supported Video-On-Demand)
Video on-demand content that is free and supported by ads. This includes providers like: Crackle, Quazer, and Crunchyroll.
vMPVD (Virtual Multi-Channel Video Programming Distributor)
These are distributors that aggregate live and on-demand television but deliver the content “Over-The-Top” to allow programmatic targeting. These include: Sling, Direct TV NOW, PlayStation Vue, YouTube Live, Hulu Live, fubo TV, Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire TV.
ODV (Original Digital Video)
Originally produced online video. It’s also defined as “professionally produced video” and is made for online distribution and viewing (not TV).
Phew… are you still here? That was a lot. We hope you can use this post as a reference point, if anyone ever tries to talk to you about PTV in relation to your CTV ad spend and they’re wondering what SMPs you are looking to target or whether you need a list of AVOD’s and vMPVD’s. Sound good?