Media buyers will soon be able to buy local and national ads on Hulu via the ubiquitous STRATA media-buying platform. In order to allow over-the-top (OTT) advertising to be purchased this way, Hulu will convert its impressions to TV ratings, exemplifying the way OTT content providers are reshaping themselves to meet the changing demands of media buyers and advertisers.
In addition to original Hulu content, the OTT service can also provide advertisers with access to content from four of the largest U.S. television networks, allowing them to reach cord cutters and cord shavers as well. According to Nielsen, as The IAB reported, digital and OTT viewing isn’t eroding linear TV watching so much as it’s adding to the total number of hours spent viewing. And the cord shavers (those who watch both linear TV and streaming video) make up a highly valuable audience, because data from their digital viewing can be used for cross-screen targeted campaigns.
Brands are increasingly likely to include both digital and linear television advertising in their media plans. An AOL study showed that 53 percent of advertisers agreed that TV, online video, and OTT advertising should be combined into one overall video budget. Hulu’s partnership with STRATA means buyers can add OTT advertising to the media mix alongside linear television; Hulu executives say this increased capability will help local TV buyers better meet their clients’ campaign goals, according to Adweek.
In addition to making the buying process more efficient, combining OTT and television ads can increase campaign ROI, because, according to research by Nielsen and the IAB, combining digital with TV advertising is more effective than using either alone. Nielsen found that prior exposure to an ad online enhances the impact of TV exposure. At the same time, a study by Accenture found that advertising on multi-platform TV (defined as television content viewed through a variety of channels) significantly enhances the impact of digital ads.
Local television station groups provide advertisers with valuable connections to local communities. At a recent industry conference, Shereta Williams, CEO of Videa, told BeetTV that innovation in programmatic buying platforms for television content will allow advertisers to use local TV more effectively. Videa, in fact, is the only automated supply-side platform seamlessly integrated with STRATA. While programmatic TV is not yet truly addressable, the ability to layer consumer data on top of television-viewing data—including data from consumers’ digital video and OTT consumption—will allow media buyers to make sure advertisers are more likely to reach people who over-index in interest for their products.
The partnership between Hulu and STRATA is an example of the convergence of data sources Williams expects will continue improving the value of local TV advertising by offering better feedback for media buyers in specific markets. “Local stations are the dominant reach vehicles in those markets,” Williams said, adding that 2017 will be the tipping point for programmatic buying. She expects the coming year will bring increased amounts of inventory available for programmatic purchasing, along with media buyers who are more comfortable with the process: “Having markets learn how they can use [programmatic platforms] to talk to folks across all these different touchpoints will be really exciting.”