Linear addressable advertising is here: What ad sales, ad operations, and engineers must do to make it happen now

March 30, 2021 by Roger Franklin, General Manager, LTN Signal
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After a long period of waiting, linear addressable advertising is about to meet broadcast companies head-on. A handful of networks have been quietly testing campaigns on live TV, and linear addressable has proven its viability. Get ready for a flood of questions from your clients and board.

This opportunity to net an estimated $3.6 billion in new dollars annually will breathe new life into TV ad sales — and make heroes out of the early adopter teams who get it right.

There are a few challenges ad sales, ad operations, and engineering teams need to solve first, but they’re manageable. We’ve been working hand in hand with the industry’s most ambitious players, and have a clear picture of what each function must do to scale up linear addressable quickly.

A handful of networks have been quietly testing campaigns on live TV, and linear addressable has proven its viability.

Ad sales: Scaling linear without disrupting existing business

Hitting the right balance isn’t easy. You must protect existing contracts and revenue streams while activating addressable ad inventory.

That means learning the new business models. For example, multiple advertiser spot optimization (MASO) unlocks new revenue by selling the same advertiser spot multiple times to different advertisers for different audience segment targeting.

It may be new and painful, but linear and digital ad sales teams need to work together to activate more addressable ad inventory. Take advantage of your digital ad sales team’s experience in digital advertising to make MASO work. That may mean, for instance, selling unsold advertising spots programmatically.

It’s also critical that you work with your advertising operations team to ensure your addressable advertising technology stack can protect competitive separation agreements.

Linear and digital ad sales teams should think about selecting an ad signaling solution that delivers single addressable advertising campaigns across any network, distribution platform, and business model to allow scalability while minimizing cost.

It helps to think ahead, too. Linear addressable advertising will be even more valuable when advertisers figure out how to use contextual information (like plot points or news segment topics) to serve up the right ads at the exact right time.

Linear and digital ad sales teams need to work together to activate more addressable ad inventory.

Ad operations: Protecting ad integrity and championing addressable advertising delivery

While linear addressable offers lots of benefits, ad operations players probably won’t sleep at night until you know ads will be delivered with frame accuracy and correctly: The right addressable creative in the right distribution platform.

Look for visibility over the operations workflow and well thought-out automation built into your ad signaling solution. By automating the processes across ad decisioning and downstream systems, and delivering the monitoring capability to identify any disruptions before they occur, you can retain control over the workflow and protect your business.

...ad operations players probably won’t sleep at night until you know ads will be delivered with frame accuracy and correctly: The right addressable creative in the right distribution platform.
Family watching TV

Engineers: Managing interoperability and workflow disruption

Engineering teams face an avalanche of ecosystem fragmentation with varying platform, network, and system requirements. You may not exactly relish the challenge of transitioning to linear addressable advertising but it might be easier than you think.

Hear us out: While you may prefer developing technology solutions, features, and capabilities in-house, that might not be the easiest or most sustainable course this time. Platform fragmentation isn’t slowing down and automating ad delivery at scale isn’t efficient for individual broadcasters. You may want to consider a managed service that can automate ad signaling and will keep up with the evolving ecosystem of platforms.

While moving to addressable may feel onerous, being proactive will make you the revenue-advancing hero linear broadcasters desperately need.

While moving to addressable may feel onerous, being proactive will make you the revenue-advancing hero linear broadcasters desperately need.

Don't get left behind

With the many hurdles blocking linear addressable advertising’s take-off removed, this is the perfect time for ad sales, ad operations, and engineers to band together quickly to capture additional revenue and lead the addressable TV revolution.

The stakes are huge. Those who act quickly will benefit from first-mover advantages. Those who don't risk a substantial hit to their competitive position.

Stay tuned for some exciting news we'll be sharing in this space.

With the many hurdles blocking linear addressable advertising’s take-off removed, this is the perfect time for ad sales, ad operations, and engineers to band together quickly to capture additional revenue and lead the addressable TV revolution.
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