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Mike Fletcher 

European marketers anticipate rise in advanced TV ad spend for year ahead

European marketers anticipate rise in advanced TV ad spend for year ahead

Advanced TV is providing a much-needed bright spot in an uncertain ad market as 84% of European marketers anticipate their spend to increase across this burgeoning category during 2021.

This is according to an exclusive survey, commissioned by FreeWheel and conducted by market research firm CoLab, amongst advertisers and agencies across Europe about the future of TV advertising.

Around a third of agencies believe that additional budget for advanced TV, which includes VOD, addressable TV, connected TV, programmatic TV, TV everywhere and audience-based linear TV, will come from a reallocation of spend away from standard linear TV.

However, only 28% of European marketers agree. Over half (51%) believe the growth in spend will come from a year-on-year increase in overall marketing budgets.

Despite the disagreement, both European marketers and agencies are certain that a reallocation of budget won’t come at the expense of digital.

Only 23% of advertisers and 24% of agencies believe budget will be redirected away from digital display, and just 16% of advertisers and 14% of agencies believe it will come from existing digital video ad budgets.

The top three drivers of advanced TV advertising spend across Europe are, according to the survey, because it maximises campaign efficiency (57%); its ability to offer better consumer identity data at an individual rather than household level (56%); plus the opportunity it presents to better manage frequency of exposure.

Two areas of advanced TV likely to benefit most from increased spend are VOD and Connected TV.

Some 22.4% of advertisers predict more budget for VOD, and 18.3% forecast higher spend for Connected TV.

Agency predications are again more conservative but still place VOD and Connected TV as the top two areas of spend, with +18.6% and +15% respectively.

“Across all advanced TV channels, advertisers consistently predict higher spend than agencies for 2021 so it’s interesting to witness this positivity,” said Virginie Dremeaux, executive director, product and sales marketing international for FreeWheel.

As well as being more optimistic, European client advertisers are also more focused on short-term marketing outcomes for advanced TV (46% versus 26% who are looking at longer-term success strategies).

To achieve this short-term marketing ROI, 64% of marketers believe that creativity will be key to campaign success, with 63% identifying ‘reach’ as a priority KPI.

According to European marketers, issues around measurement are the main inhibitors to pursuing advanced TV strategies, with ‘a lack of accurate audience measurement / campaign planning tools’, plus ‘a lack of accurate campaign effectiveness measurement tools’ cited as the top two roadblocks.

Over half of agencies (55%) believe that advanced TV is too expensive, while another 55% cite cross-channel campaign management difficulties, and 56% report a lack of accurate campaign effectiveness measurement tools as barriers to entry.

“The opportunity for advanced TV across Europe is remarkable but greater clarity is needed to make the most of this momentum,” Dremeaux concluded. “The varying perceptions on drivers and inhibitors need to be addressed to allow for advanced TV to fulfil its true potential during the year ahead.”

Dremeaux presented the findings of FreeWheel's survey into advanced TV at The Future of TV Advertising Global.

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