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Media And Advertising In 2021

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The short-lived Quibi was one of the casualties of the pandemic ridden 2020, nonetheless many media … [+] experts expects 2021 to be banner year for connected TV devices and streaming video. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

© 2020 Bloomberg Finance LP

By all accounts 2020 was a miserable year. A global pandemic led to an economic recession impacting the ad marketplace. Production studios the television and film industry. Stay-at-home orders closed retail stores and movie theaters. Viewers migrated to home entertainment, HBO Max, Peacock and the short lived Quibi were launched. Sporting events were either canceled, suspended or postponed such as the Tokyo Olympics. Meanwhile, there was a contentious election and in January the U.S. will have a new President. What else could happen in 2021? We asked some experts.  

Tim Jones, CEO, Publicis Media Americas

“The old rules no longer apply: Cookies are going away, commerce has exploded and consumer expectations are driving the industry towards new future proofing opportunities and structures. In order for brands to succeed in a platform world, they must be digitally-resilient, have identity systems to provide personalization at scale and have the infrastructure set up to deliver relevant and meaningful experiences. When brands progress in all of these areas, they can create long-term consumer value and maintain a competitive advantage that will last far beyond any crisis lifecycle.”

Rob Davis, President & CMO, Novus Next

“Two growing marketer needs that were accelerated by the pandemic will extend into 2021: flexibility and customization.  Long-term media deals are becoming ever-rarer as advertisers face continued economic and operational uncertainty; they need increasing flexibility to quickly pull back or shut off their advertising.  Similarly, many brands—be they regional or national in distribution— will increasingly be looking to local media to help adapt to the wide array of local COVID regulations, closures and variance in consumer demand.  Geo-targeted media will offer the needed customization. ” 

Esther Maguire SVP of Marketing, VideoAmp

“Connected TV Prevails: It’s important to reach people when they’re most receptive to consuming ads, that’s why Connected TV will remain as a powerful medium for connecting the dots between awareness and attribution in 2021. One-to-one engagement is an advertiser’s dream, but from a privacy perspective, it’s difficult to make those connections. Barriers and regulations like GDPR, new PII classifications and the death of the cookie are only the beginning. People want to make authentic connections with brands, not feel like a target. For an advertiser to find the right moments to connect with consumers, CTV should be in their arsenal.”

Brian Morrison, CEO, Terraboost Media

“The heaviest OOH spenders currently are companies thriving during the COVID era, such as Amazon

AMZN
and Netflix

NFLX
. While roadside traffic and commutes are down, consumers still must travel to supermarkets, drugstores, and doctors’ offices. Terraboost Media has built a network 100,000+ hand sanitizing billboards located at the entrances and pharmacy wait areas of retailers such as CVS, Rite Aid, and Stop & Shop. CPM are low, frequency high, and OOH affords opportunities to break through the clutter in ways other media cannot replicate. Our hand sanitizing billboards provide advertisers the ability to sponsor health and wellness and keep families safe.” 

Bill Harvey, Executive Chairman, Bill Harvey Consulting

“Optimism will rise as vaccinations reverse the pandemic tide. Because this will happen unevenly by market, brands will increase their use of local media and rediscover its ability to find growth pockets for nationally topped-out brands. First results of trials of the WFA/ANA cross-platform measurement specifications will reveal that panel data cannot be used as a truth source and that combining big and panel data is more complicated but do-able. DCT expansion will result in new ROAS compilations that will benefit all television forms. Addressable TV will become easier to buy and more national network inventory will become addressable.”

Abhay Singhal, co-founder and CEO, InMobi  

“Time spent using mobile apps rose to new heights in 2020, and apps will likely be even more popular in 2021. After all, Americans have been spending more time looking at their mobile device screens than they’ve spent watching TV since 2019, according to eMarketer. For media and entertainment companies (and really all advertisers), it’s critical to reach their target audience where they are: using mobile apps. Savvy marketers will increasingly leverage mobile in-app advertising in the coming months, taking advantage of its viewability, addressability and scale, among other benefits.”

Kym Frank, President, Geopath

“The emergence of outcome-based planning and buying that we saw take root over the past two years will flourish in 2021, especially as more granular data becomes available across all platforms. Consumers who were previously restricting their mobility will emerge from their homes – hungry for experiences and interactions. Marketers will look to leverage this increased out of home activity so that they can make up sales ground lost in 2020. That will mean an emphasis on using dollars efficiently by engaging with consumers where they can best convert them to purchase. It’s a convergence of events that we feel will lead to a solid year for OOH ad growth.”

Naveen Wall, Associate Director of Client Strategy, Movable Ink

“Customer retention will remain critical for streaming services as consumers reduce discretionary spending. As Pay TV households decline, the appetite for subscription stacking will grow (the stacking of several services on top of one another). Competition will heat up with new Subscription Video on Demand entrants, tiered pricing, and free ad-supported video services as consumers supplement their streaming diet with free alternatives. SVOD will continue growing, however, projections forecast a slowdown peaking in 2024 due to an overcrowded market and subscription fatigue. This places increased importance in 2021 on building loyalty and driving adoption with superior content and customer experience.”

Tim Vanderhook, CEO, Viant Technology

 “Connected TV (CTV) is growing in importance which is fueling the shift away from device identification and toward household identification as vital to the new digital ecosystem. As constant market disruption is accelerating consumer consumption changes, industry leaders need to have eyes on every device in the home. Marketers who embrace household measurement will gain a clearer picture of return on ad spend (ROAS) and the true impact of their advertising campaigns.”

Yashina Burns, Director, Data Privacy and Legal Affairs, DeepIntent,

“While CPRA won’t become law until 2023, other states will likely create similar regulations in the interim and further push the ad industry to adopt targeting technologies that are more conscious of consumer privacy. Marketing leaders need to get ready now by focusing on privacy-friendly solutions that limit the use of sensitive personal information. Publishers and platforms that offer compliant data collection across platforms – especially in the healthcare space where privacy is of the utmost importance – will be well-positioned to continue the services they offer to marketers amid the coming regulatory change.”

Michael Schoen, SVP/GM of Marketing Solutions, Neustar

“While entities like Gartner

IT
 and the U.S. Census Bureau have endorsed differential privacy, it’s not understood or used widely within the marketing ecosystem. In 2021, we’ll start to see a seismic shift in marketers leveraging differential privacy algorithms as a way to provide highly accurate multi-touch attribution without requiring individual-level advertising impression data. Advances in privacy like this are needed because traditional privacy safeguards, like anonymization, have been found to be ineffective. This advanced data science approach ensures brands can measure advertising performance across closed media platforms in a privacy-centric way without relying on third-party cookies and MAIDs.”

Bill Magnuson, co-founder and CEO, Braze 

“In 2021, streaming brands will need to step up their sophisticated retention efforts. Despite the saturation in streaming as new user growth has declined for two consecutive months (September to October saw a 46% decrease in new user acquisition), there’s still new streaming services being rolled out. While new content is slowing down significantly, and as we continue to see a “k-shaped” economic recovery, streaming services will focus on retention activity and getting more out of their existing customers. Industry leaders have already prioritized lifecycle marketing where everything from onboarding to ongoing customer engagement is examined and tested every day.”

Raman Abrol, General Manager and Chief Commercial Officer, Amdocs Media 

“COVID-19 accelerated the debate around theatrical runs, premium VOD and a streaming-centric future. Disney’s Premier Access of Mulan, along with WarnerMedia and AT&T’s

T
approach with Wonder Woman, are redefining release windows. As consumers remain cautious about returning to theaters, expect several options to be explored in 2021, like condensing traditional release windows, partnerships between theaters and studios to share VOD revenue, and experimentation by theaters in new areas like e-gaming, e-sports, luxury experiences and corporate seminars. We’ll see revised premium recurring bundles that incorporate several of these unique experiences in the home, providing new revenue opportunities for content platforms and service providers.” 

Amanda Shelton, VP, Product, Valassis

“Amid the pandemic with people spending more time at home, connected TV grew exponentially in 2020. There are certain consumers that simply cannot be reached on traditional TV anymore – only streaming or CTV platforms. Going into 2021, this momentum will lead to continued rapid growth in this channel. That said, we’ll see several changes in the advertising marketplace. For starters, advertisers will demand increased transparency around reporting, in terms of what content consumers are viewing, which publishers the ads are running on and their return on advertising spend.”

Mahesh Narayanan, President of Affinity Answers  

“In 2021, I won’t be surprised if some media companies enter the TV device market or Internet TV market (via stick, like Roku or Amazon Fire TV Stick), to control the end-user experience. Negotiations like HBO Max on Amazon Fire and Roku, took forever and has definitely impacted subscriber growth. AT&T has WarnerMedia, Comcast

CMCSA
has NBCU, so a Verizon

VZ
, ViacomCBS merger won’t be surprising to me. Marketing content on TV devices will become like an SEO exercise. Sponsored search results on TV devices (like Roku, Samsung) may become an increasingly adopted tactic.”

Kristin Dolan, Founder & CEO, 605

“Fragmentation of TV puts premium on data-driven audiences. With the ongoing pandemic, we’ve seen more people spend more time at home – in front of screens, so the attention paid to how people watch television is more relevant than ever. An abundance of programming, on new platforms, designed for niche audiences means an increasingly fragmented TV environment that places a premium on data-driven insights. To succeed, especially when working with constrained budgets, advertisers will need to determine where and when their target audiences are consuming TV content to uncover and most effectively reach these new audience segments.” 

Daniel Elad, Chief Strategy Officer at TheViewPoint

“The pandemic has seriously impacted businesses across the globe. Hence, many have abandoned particular ad channels, but not CTV. Since March 2020, the ad dollars poured into CTV have reached a total of $8.11B, and this figure will account for $11.36B next year. Since we’re entering another pandemic year, I believe TV upfront deals will remain on pause. Meanwhile, more dollars will be shifting via programmatic pipes, and the pandemic will expedite this process. Unlike TV upfront, programmatic offers better flexibility for allocating ad spend, providing granular targeting and the opportunity to manage campaigns on-the-fly.”

Buzz Knight, CEO/Founder, Buzz Knight Media

“The balance sheets of broadcast companies will continue trending with lower margins yielding more experimentation to create new revenue streams. Diversity will continue to be an important boardroom topic and there will be small improvements by the audio industry as it relates to content creation and business implementation. Ad attribution methods will continue to evolve, improve and grow via new forms of technology that will help advertisers track campaign performance. New measurement options will emerge allowing broadcasters to add other forms of data to the story they are telling advertisers. Talent will begin to migrate to other distribution platforms as their fear of the future will continue to creep in.”

Matthew O’Connor, CEO, AdQuick

“Out-of-home advertising will rebound at a frenetic pace in 2021, but this comeback won’t happen simultaneously across all regions. What we’ll see is advertisers in a sprint to reclaim out-of-home media in high traffic commuter areas as people come back to work. Airport advertising, transit advertising and large billboards in Los Angeles and New York will rebound first as advertisers seek to target prospective B2B software and direct-to-consumer customers.”

James Heller, CEO and Co-Founder, Wrapify

“In 2021, I believe we will see large brands thinking more granularly about how media is purchased. As a result, there will likely be a shift from national campaigns towards more hyperlocal campaigns as more consumers leave major metropolitan areas where the population is denser and not as conducive to the work-from-home environment. There will be a big push for transit and out-of-home advertising next year if a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, but the challenge will be if the traditional media business will be able to handle the uptick in demand.” 

Anne Hunter, VP of Product Marketing, DISQO

“2021 will see marketers increase focus on consumer privacy as legal requirements, technology environments and consumer expectations continue to evolve. Advertisers must bring ethics to their strategies as they ready themselves for a future without cookies — and privacy can no longer simply be treated as a box to be checked in compliance.  2020 brought a reckoning to companies across numerous dimensions, from how they treated their people and customers through the pandemic to their efforts supporting inclusion and representation. Across the board, there is an increasing premium on clarity of purpose and authenticity. In 2021, this will extend further into transparency around data collection with consent and trust.”

Jo Kinsella, President, TVSquared 

“TV has undergone warp-speed acceleration, with transparent, cross-platform measurement and automation at scale empowering buyers and sellers to be more collaborative and agile than ever before. In 2021, we need to take what we learned from 2020 and continue to shake up the long-standing narrative around TV. For marketers, it means being completely data-driven with their TV campaigns – employing test-and-learn strategies to identify the right audiences and maximize reach and engagement across platforms and devices. For sellers, it’s about providing transparent, timely proof of performance and bringing next-level flexibility to planning and buying to meet advertiser demand and protect and grow ad spend.”

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