Connected TV (CTV)

GUIDE


Overview

Connected TV advertising brings programmatic benefits of programmatic to TV advertising to reach highly-engaged audiences and create a big-screen experience. From near-instant reporting on campaigns to placing ads on streaming services like Hulu and targeting millennials who make up most cord-cutter households, Connected TV advertising gives marketers an efficient channel for reaching TV viewers.


In Choozle, Connected TV targeting can be launched by using connected TV specific private marketplace deals.

What Is Connected TV?

Connected TV (CTV) is any television that’s connected to the internet. Connected TV advertising is the placement of ads on connected TV devices like Roku, AppleTV, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, or Smart TVs.

Marketers have used traditional TV advertising for awareness-based campaigns because the channel offers the ability to reach highly-engaged audiences. Connected TV offers these same benefits but enables enhanced targeting options and inventory selection to create an efficient channel for reaching a growing market.

Like other digital advertising buying methods, connected TV offers flexibility and control of campaign management and optimization. Also, connected TV offers the same digital advertising reporting on campaigns, including where an ad is served, how many impressions were served, which audiences are seeing impressions, and expanded connected TV metrics like cross-device attribution and video completion rates.  

By default, all the PMP deals available in the Deal Explorer are third-party pre-negotiated deals that are accessible to all advertisers in Choozle. If you wish to explore using first-party PMP deals, contact your account manager or support center for assistance and more information on setting up first-party PMP deals. 


Connected TV Definitions 


Connected TV includes all Internet-connected TV, through consoles, sticks, or smart TVs, delivering streaming content on any device alongside a premium, professionally produced content similar to watching a traditional TV commercial. 

Within the space of Connected TV, several definitions are important to know. 

  • Connected TV Devices and Consoles: These devices connect your TV screen to the internet via built-in functionality like a Smart TV or by an external device such as Chromecast, Fire Stick, Roku, Playstation, Xbox, etc. 

  • Over-the-top (OTT): Often used interchangeably with Connected TV, over-the-top refers to the method of how streaming content is accessed. It is delivering film and TV content via the internet, without requiring users to subscribe to a traditional cable or satellite pay-TV service like Comcast or Time Warner Cable.

  • Traditional/Linear/Broadcast TV: Linear TV refers to traditional television viewing. To watch a show, the viewer must tune in to a specific channel on a television at an appointed time. Viewers access linear TV via subscription to cable or satellite services or through over-the-air broadcasts. Content is organized into a “linear” manner, meaning that content providers manually and deliberately insert ads/commercials.


Setup of Connected TV Ad Groups

Choozle sources Connected TV ad placements through private marketplaces. Choozle has a pre-negotiated library with details on placement, dimensions, price dimensions, price floors, and geographic availability of the placements available for purchase. 

After your creative assets are uploaded, you will be able to add them to an ad group by following the below steps. 

  1.  Add a New Ad Group
  2. Leverage connected TV and video-specific goals to maximize the performance of your ad group.
    1. CPCV: CPCV represents the cost per completed view.  CPCV is calculated by dividing the total spend by the number of completed views. You can also expect very low targets for cost per completed view—around $0.03 (USD)—for publishers with high CPMs.
    2. Completion Rate: Represents the percentage of impressions in the campaign that reached completion of the ad. Completion rates for CTV are extremely high (in the range of 92% to 97%), as the environment doesn't allow for skipping the videos. 
  3. Define your ad group name, budgets, and bids. However, you will likely want to revisit your Base CPM bid and Max CPM bid based on the connected TV deals you select. 
  4. Select connected TV creative type. Ensure that your video creative meets the specifications required for connected tv inventory. 
  5. Select your targeting parameters such as Geolocation and Custom Audience. We suggest that outside of geolocation and basic data targeting within a Custom Audience, do not layer additional targeting tactics (site, contextual targeting, etc.) with your connected TV targeting. If you add more targeting tactics to your connected TV-specific ad group, the reach and performance will be greatly impacted.
  6. Launch the Private Marketplace (PMP) search 
  7. Once you have launched the Private Marketplace (PMP) search, you will have the option to filter the search to only show deals with connected tv inventory.  
  8. Use the search function to narrow your search results of connected tv Private Marketplace deals. It is important to note that the availability and floor prices of inventory are subject to change. When selecting connected TV private marketplace deals it is important to ensure the size of the available inventory. Contract groups include hundreds of quality Connected TV deals grouped based on a category or related inventory types to achieve maximum reach.
    1. Deal: The name and description of the deal - A short description of what type of inventory is available within the private marketplace deal. 
    2. Available Imps: The number of impressions in the contract. 
    3. Floor price: The floor price of the contract. 
    4. Type: An indicator if the deal is part of a Contract or Contract Group. Contract groups refer to the combination of individual contracts with similar characteristics such as content, format, media type, etc.
    5. Brand approval—if brand approval is required before activation, work with your account manager or the support center to set up proper permissions before launch.
  9. Once you have found your desired deals, you can click Add to add them to your 'Selected Deals.' You can add as many deals to an ad group as you’d like but keep in mind your base CPM bid will need to accommodate the floor price of all your selected deals.  
  10. Now that you've selected your deals, you'll want tadjust your base CPM bid and max CPM bid to account for the floor price of your selected deals. A floor price is a fixed CPM rate that the publisher sets that prevents advertisers from serving campaigns that pay below a certain price threshold.
    1. Base CPM bid: Bid a minimum of $0.10 CPM above the price floor to ensure that you can participate in the auction for this inventory.
    2. Max CPM bid:  Your max bid must be big enough to accommodate any bid modifiers for schedule, audience, etc. A high max bid will not help you enter PMPs with floor prices that exceed your base bid unless you use advanced settings, like scheduling or fold, that use a bid modifier.
    3. If you experience issues securing inventory, we recommend increasing your bid to at least a $1 CPM above the price floor. If you still don't have any luck securing inventory, we recommend increasing your bid further.
  11. To bid exclusively on inventory available on connected tv devices, you'll want to select Connected TV under Device Types in the Advanced Settings.  Selecting this option will reach inventory on over-the-top devices and smart TVs. 
  12. Save ad group.

    The Difference Between Contracts & Contract Groups

    Choose from more than 7,000 third-party inventory contracts. These include everything from niche mobile apps to Connected TV inventory to streaming audio options. Within the Private Marketplace Search, you will be able to select from many ready-to-launch publishers deals with inventory spanning across display, mobile, video, native, audio, and Connected TV. These deals are available in two types:

    • Contracts: Third-party contracts that have been individual pre-established deals with specific publishers or supply-side providers. These will provide you more visibility into what inventory you are bidding on as you can select the specific deals you wish to include your targeting. 
    • Contract groups: the combination of individual contracts to create groups of contacts that share similar characteristics such as content, format, media type, etc. These deals can provide a greater scale of available impressions and sometimes provide a more cost-effective CPMs/Floor price range. 

    Floor Price & Base Bids

    A floor price is a fixed CPM rate that the publisher sets that prevents advertisers from serving campaigns that pay below a certain price threshold. For example, if a publisher sets their floor price to $20, all advertisers will need to bid at least that amount to serve any campaign. To be clear, a price floor is not an evaluation of the inventory; it’s simply a baseline amount that decides who gets to bid on the inventory. A higher price floor only limits the bidders who see and bid on impressions. 


    Connected TV inventory is available through Private Marketplace auctions are by invite-only and require participants to meet a minimum floor CPM. We recommend using a base bid that is higher than the floor price CPM. 

    • Base CPM bid: Bid a minimum of $0.10 CPM above the price floor to ensure that you can participate in the auction for this inventory.
    • Max CPM bid:  Your max bid must be big enough to accommodate any bid modifiers for schedule, audience, etc. A high max bid will not help you enter PMPs with floor prices that exceed your base bid unless you use advanced settings, like scheduling or fold, that use a bid modifier.

    If you experience issues securing inventory, we recommend increasing your bid to at least a $1 CPM above the price floor. If you still don't have any luck securing inventory, we recommend increasing your bid further.

    What do you do when there is a wide floor price range for contract groups? Since Contract Groups are a collection of several deals, the floor prices or minimum CPMs required to enter the auctions can vary widely which is why you'll see floor price ranges like $18 - $40. 

    As a best practice, your base bid is going to determine which auctions you enter. If your base bid is $18, you will only enter the auctions that have a floor price of $18. That may only be the case for one deal in a contract group, which means you wouldn’t be eligible to enter the rest of the auctions. This means you will not be bidding on any of the deals in the contract group that are over $18. 

    General tips: 

    • Make your base bids high. If the contract group floor price ranges from $18 to $40, set your base bid to $40 for maximum coverage in this example.
    • Create multiple ad groups with varying base bids. Using the floor price range of $18-$60 as an example, you could create one ad group with a $20 base bid, one with a $30 base bid, and one with a $40 base bid.
    • Alternatively, you can choose to only target Contracts and avoid Contract Groups altogether. By only bidding on Contracts, you can have more visibility into the exact floor prices of each deal and you can adjust your bidding strategy accordingly. 
    • Be sure to set your max bid high to account for any bid factors that you may have applied. If your base bid is $20 and you’re bidding 2x during prime time, then your max bid will need to be at least $40.

    Optimizations and Best Practices

    Household Targeting 

    Connected TV enables you to use similar targeting parameters as other digital advertising campaigns. You can enable targeting based on geolocation, first-party data, and third-party data to target your most valuable viewers and households. 


    When setting up your custom audience, we recommend not excluding data segments because Connected TV targeting is based on entire households, and you could inadvertently narrow your reach. For example, if you exclude men, you will be excluding every household where a male resides.


    If using data targeting, we recommend using contract groups for your connected tv targeting. These are available to expand your reach for household targeting ad groups. These contract groupings can be as large as our available deals, or more specific like all live sports deals. 


    Device Types 

    It is important to keep in mind that most viewers will watch Connected TV inventory on other devices with others in their household. For example, watching Hulu on a tablet device while lying in bed or watching ESPN highlights on a mobile device while commuting. 


    If you are having issues scaling your reach, you can enable other device types. 

    Frequency Capping 

    It is recommended that you set your frequency cap for CTV at 1/30 minutes or 1/hours, since these timeframes typically align with content lengths.


    This is recommended since frequency capping occurs at the household level for connected TV, meaning we would be frequency capping across all devices tied to a single IP address. The granularity of normal frequency cap (where you can cap impressions for a single device) is not possible across connected TV device inventory. In general, you should consider the number of devices and users in a household and then estimate the number of combinations possible to get a frequency that gives you the best chance of hitting your campaign goals.


    Optimizations 

    If you are looking to target viewers of your Connected TV ads, you can enable cross-device targeting to retarget households that have seen your ad across all their devices. 


    Whitelists and blocklist are a good starting point in optimizations if using Connected TV private marketplace contract groups. This offers more granularity in optimizations to set bid parameters based on high performing placements and low performing placements. For example, you can add com.sling.nbcsports.ctv.chromecast to a whitelist and set a higher bid parameter to identify your higher preference for showing during that type of content than the rest of the Sling placements included in the contract grouping. 

    Creative Requirements


    Connected TV devices have large screen sizes and support high-definition video creative formats. The large screen size and relation to other highly-produced content should be kept in mind when determining the video creative used in a Connected TV campaign. The following specifications are recommended:

    Length

    30-seconds or less (minimum of 15-seconds, though there are a limited amount of six-second spots available) 

    File Format

    MP4 format only; MOVE, FLV,  and WEBM file formats are not supported 

    File Quality

    1080p (1920x1080)

    Bit Rate

    Minimum of 1200-1500 kbps: 1.6-3.2 Mbps preferred

    File Size

    15050 MB, preferably compressed at 1.5 Mbps

    File Tags

    VAST only; VPAID and MRAID tags are not supported

    Additional Notes

    Although both first-party and third-party hosted creatives are supported, Connected TV devices do not support the ability to click through to a landing page.


    If you are running on full-episode player inventory (on desktop, tablet, or mobile), you can set up a URL to click through, but not when running only on Connected TV -device inventory.