Ad insertion in an evolving digital landscape: Taking control over your ad revenues with trusted technology

January 4, 2024 by Dimitri Tarassenko, SVP, Product Development

The explosion of digital video platforms and increased audience fragmentation means media companies need to scale and diversify their distribution models to capture and grow the widest audience possible. More affordable, ad-supported viewing models such as FAST and AVOD are becoming increasingly popular options for consumers looking to access high quality content while managing subscription costs. Digital TV Research predicts total global AVOD revenues will increase by $30 billion to reach $69 billion by 2029. Today, content providers need flexible and highly efficient advertising workflows to support multiple business models while maximizing monetization across an ever-increasing range of distribution channels.

Here’s the good news: Advances in workflow automation and growing streaming viewership mean digital ad revenues are performing well. GroupM data shows that total connected TV ad revenues are forecasted to reach $42.5 billion in 2028. As we head into a busy election year with a significant amount of ad dollars up for grabs, major media companies are rethinking their approach to complex ad insertion workflows to simplify multi-platform distribution while taking control over their digital ad revenues.

Next generation ad signaling to power your linear channels

Traditional TV advertising is still a compelling prospect for advertisers, with billions of dollars in ad spend allocated every year for non-addressable campaigns targeting huge sets of linear TV viewers. However, as overall linear consumption declines in favor of online video subscriptions, we’re seeing an increased focus on digital advertising as ad sales teams push to convert traditional inventory into more valuable, targeted ad campaigns. Whether your organization delivers content via traditional broadcast, cable, or OTT distribution, the likelihood is that you’ll be trying to find ways to increase the value of your ad inventory while supporting more personalized and relevant viewing experiences.

In an increasingly fragmented distribution landscape, all media companies need effective ad break signaling and metadata insertion capabilities to facilitate seamless downstream ad insertion and personalization. Content providers need frame-accurate signaling capabilities to ensure that viewers enjoy high quality advertising experiences. At the same time, the ability to provide custom ad profiles for any distribution platform helps enhance ad value and enable effective regionalization. Through advanced content versioning and ad enablement tools, media companies can easily monetize previously undecorated channels and expand their distribution across new markets and digital platforms.

Enabling this level of channel customization at scale and delivering seamless advanced advertising requires highly interoperable, intelligent signaling technology provided by a solution like LTN Connect. Video advertising systems have traditionally been notoriously complex and siloed. Tying together disparate ad sales, playout automation systems, and ad decisioning platforms to enable efficient downstream ad insertion is incredibly demanding. Content owners of all sizes are looking for the connective tissue to bring together a fragmented ecosystem and enable the bi-directional data transfer that drives personalization and ad targeting.

Linear addressable advertising is here to stay — and it’s ready to pay off

A few years ago, linear addressable TV advertising was considered a ‘next big thing’ technology that many brands and content owners were hesitant to bet on. Asking risk-averse media leaders to invest in any relatively unproven, breakthrough technology is a challenge — especially when ROI is harder to gauge and scale is difficult to achieve. Fortunately, linear addressable advertising technology is maturing rapidly and media companies and ad buyers are gaining more understanding and confidence around its potential. eMarketer estimates total ad spend on linear addressable advertising in the U.S. will reach $4.2 billion in 2024, doubling the estimated total from 2020. Today, successful early adopters have navigated initial roadblocks around effective measurement and legacy hardware, delivering impactful linear addressable advertising campaigns to fuel increased digital ad revenues and hyper-personalized viewing experiences every day.

Universal ad signaling technology makes linear addressable advertising easy, helping media companies deliver targeted advertising across live linear programming. Through intelligent watermarking, SCTE triggering, and other metadata formatting and insertion, fully managed services like LTN Target deliver frame-accurate ad insertion for addressable inventory — enabling brands to target households with relevant, highly personalized ad experiences while enhancing value for broadcasters and supporting complex competitive separation agreements. The best part is that built-in workflow automation, seamless interoperability, and always-on monitoring make the shift to linear addressable a lot quicker and easier than you might think.

Take control over your ad revenues with transparent technology partnerships

Rapid growth in online video consumption and ad tech innovation has created the environment for a highly competitive vendor marketplace. Many technology providers have been quick to pioneer advanced ad insertion systems that enable broadcasters to pursue digital distribution strategies across OTT and FAST platforms. While agile partnerships based around pay-as-you-scale charging models with additional fees per ad break or per impression can help get your digital channels up and running, many content providers are beginning to find themselves victims of their own success. As digital viewership and total ad spend increase, media companies’ high-performing channels can face significant taxes from their technology providers when revenue models involve incremental costs or sharing a proportion of your CPM with your ad insertion partner.

Today, many media organizations are growing frustrated with this model and looking for ways to take greater control over their digital ad revenues. For some, that might mean questioning whether to invest heavily in developing new technology in-house — or potentially even acquiring a technology company to extend their existing tech stack. For the most part, re-assessing your vendor strategy is a quicker, easier, and more cost-effective option.

Throughout the media industry’s digital evolution, LTN has maintained its commitment to cost-predictability and flat fees that align with traditional distribution models and fixed costs of origination and distribution of content. In a landscape where experimentation is critical, broadcasters need assurances and transparency from their technology partners to know they can cost-efficiently and reliably launch new services while exploring new business models and advertising capabilities.

Media companies have tried and tested advanced advertising workflows at scale, and now have a much deeper pool of data and actionable insights to inform their advertising strategies. Importantly, they now know that they can make a lot of money from addressable campaigns. In 2024, business leaders are at a crossroads as they look for ways to capitalize on digital ad success while securing long-term profitability; embracing more transparent vendor pricing models is a smart first step.

Trusted expertise to unlock your next phase of growth

Folks understand the need for deep, proven experience and intelligent technology to simplify disparate video transmission and ad insertion workflows. At the same time, media businesses aren’t looking for technology partners that might take advantage of their hard-earned success. While content remains king, technology and service providers must remain the enablers – and hopefully, the kingmakers.

Re-imagining your video transmission and advertising workflows requires a future ready IP-based video transport backbone with built-in business intelligence and an ecosystem of interconnected technologies and services. Schedule a demo with us today to discover how LTN Wave can power your monetization strategies across any distribution platform.