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Eyes on Local TV: OTT’s Spicing Up the Secret Sauce

by | Jul 9, 2020 | BIA, Blog

TV[R]EV’s latest report, Eyes on Local, digs into why local TV has growing value to both national and local buyers by exploring innovations in ad technology, data, and audience consumption patterns and impacts of the pandemic. The report provides insights from a number of key players throughout the local TV ecosystem, defined to include Local TV, MVPDs and Local OTT. Spoiler alert, it is the Local OTT segment of this market where the report spends most of its time, as that’s where the is innovation and growth.

To provide context , we’ve seen lots of data about how the newly “Working from Home” labor force somehow manages to find time in their work day to consume more TV content.

All that viewing creates more impressions for advertisers to buy. However, even national marketers are shifting spending into local TV.

Alan Wolk, one of the study’s authors concluded that, “Although TV viewership is up across the board, the states are opening up and then shutting down on unpredictable timelines. That leaves advertisers in a bind, which is why more and more of them are looking at how they can take advantage of addressable advertising, local inventory or both to make sure they are getting the right message to the right audience at the right time. This puts a new spotlight on both local broadcasters and the cable operators who provide them with the bulk of their audiences and the innovative solutions both have been using to expand their ability to reach audiences that advertisers are frequently unable to reach via linear TV.”

For buyers looking to reach data-driven audience segments in brand-safe, premium, full-episode, full-screen video, OTT has been very exciting. With the increase in OTT viewership overall, this creates a steep increase in locally targetable OTT impression inventory. Wolk noted, “OTT is booming. An analysis done by MadHive of 52,543 campaigns across all major DMAs comparing the first six months of 2019 and 2020 revealed a surge in reach for OTT ad audiences, with local OTT ad impressions up 78% year over year.”

EffecTV’s General Manager James Rooke, one of the industry experts interviewed for the study offered that, “With more eyes on local TV, the need to understand its power and potential is critical. This is a unique moment in time where a combination of factors including viewership shifts, a phased reopening of states at different rates, and an increased need for campaign flexibility, have placed a renewed focus on the power of local to more effectively deliver audiences for advertisers. Ultimately, if executed on correctly, we could see long-term benefits for local television as a marketing medium.”

For a copy of the report, click here. When checking out, enter code “BIA” for a $25 discount TV[R]EV is offering to BIA’s readership.