20 Major Advertisers Find CTV Frequency Problem ‘Exaggerated’


Connected TV is fragmented, and measuring challenges persist.

According to an analysis of 35 commercials from 20 of the world’s leading marketers, CTV’s frequency problem is “exaggerated.”

When all CTV’s benefits are considered, its frequency and duplication rates may be regulated, and its pricing can be compared favorably to linear TV.

The study measured 1.75 billion impressions and $35 million in media spending between January and April 2021 using Innovid’s Insights product. The marketing included programmatic, direct, and inventory partners.

Advertisers have hardly begun to grasp CTV’s full potential. The average campaign leveraged 47 million impressions from 10 publications and reached 13% of the 75 million unique, addressable U.S. CTV households.

The analysis suggests that brands should invest more media weight/impressions into CTV ads because 100 million impressions are needed to reach 40% of households.

Advertisers wary about CTV’s expenses may be surprised by the study’s average campaign eCPM of $23 — between broadcast ($36) and cable ($19) CPMs.

CTV can enhance ROAS by enabling first- and third-party audience targeting, granular reach, interactivity, and frequency tracking at the household level. Nearly 40% of marketers reported higher ROAS after investing in CTV.

The researchers conclude that targeting and other data layers likely drive more significant CTV advertising expenses.

The paper advises using programmatic technologies to maximize CTV’s impact and save expenditures.

The analysis discovered 32% duplication (55% of campaigns averaged 25% or less overlap, 40% averaged 25% to 50%, and 5% had 51% or higher overlap). In other words, most publisher reach was unique from other inventory sources and incremental to the campaign’s total reach.

CTV’s supply-chain fragmentation needn’t cause excessive duplication. “Manage, don’t avoid.”

Marketers should mix inventory types to scale. They should use a unified platform to analyze media partners and purchase strategies to discover duplication and diminishing returns, monitor household duplication rates, and optimize in-flight or future campaigns.

The “myth” about CTV’s frequency is that the limited market drives excessive supply.

The survey indicated an average campaign frequency of 4.6.

Low frequency despite more publishers (chart at the top of page).

CTV accounts for 60% of premium video advertising views; programmatic increases to 24%

More impressions don’t always increase frequency. Some ads with over 100 million impressions had a frequency of 6, while the highest average frequency generated fewer than 50 million impressions.

Average campaign frequency was mild (85%), medium (14%), and heavy (1%).

“While it may appear paradoxical to headlines about frequency control, this finding provides a compass to minimizing frequency,” say the researchers.

Eighty-five percent of households were exposed just one or two times, so frequency issues seem to be less about overall saturation than the possibility that viewers will be exposed to an ad many times when watching content from multiple inventory partners. Marketers often utilize weekly frequency caps with specific publishers, but consumers with numerous ad-supported VOD platforms may watch material from multiple inventory partners.

Since regulating frequency by publication alone isn’t enough to control exposure, marketers “must manage frequency from a consistent point of origin,” the research says. “CTV’s frequency issue is caused by several sources selling the same supply. Media planning, buying, and measurement necessitate a transparent supply chain.

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Evaluating campaign data through the lens of frequency distribution, duplication rates between publications, and each publisher’s average frequency by week allows companies to determine precisely how impressions are performing, states the research.


About Author

Barb has worked within the digital advertising and marketing space for over 20 years. Over the years, she found it difficult to find information on the simplest of subjects tied to the digital marketing space, so she decided to embark on a journey to create a space that others may appreciate.

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