As audiences have shifted attention to OTT, Connected TV, YouTube and other video streaming platforms, so have digital advertising buyers and sellers.
What’s the right streaming product mix to grow revenue? And how do local media outlets cash in on the rapid growth of video streaming – even if they’re not native to television?
At a panel at LMA Fest in Chicago this summer, the industry experts shared where they think streaming revenue and content are headed. The panelists were Jeff Moriarty, executive vice president/chief product officer at Nexstar Digital; Lisa Bishop, chief digital officer at Allen Media Broadcasting; and Sam Chassé, the revenue lead for news partnerships at Google.
At Allen Media Broadcasting, the company has grown OTT revenue from zero in 2019 to more than 25% of its digital revenue in 2022.
Bishop said the market was ready before the company was, so team members had to work to catch up. In 2020, they focused a lot on education for their sales teams and their markets.
“There was a lot of confusion about what OTT was. We had to educate our sales teams who could help educate our clients,” she said.
Bishop said they produced client seminars in each market to provide that training.
The focus on training has paid off. The churn for their clients is very low, and 93% of advertisers participate in OTT packages.
Furniture and automotive dealerships are categories where AMB sees a lot of sales, she said.
“It has become a very, very large part of what our offerings are. Our clients absolutely love it.”
Nexstar Media Group’s audiences are consuming more video than ever on apps and streaming, Moriarty said.
In addition to 239 local television stations, Nexstar owns the politics news site The Hill and television networks The CW and NewsNation.
In fact, most of the viewing on The CW is happening in the app, he said. The television stations in that group are up 150% on video plays.
The company is working to launch a connected TV app in December, to be available across five platforms.
Nexstar, like many others in the industry, is harnessing the power of AI to power that app, analyze what viewers are watching and deliver a more customized experience.
Moriarty expects the content mix will be local news, local weather and NewsNation clips, all customizable to the viewer.
“We’re still trying to figure out how much local content vs. national content to put in here,” he said.
Experimentation with AI plus the data available to product managers and executives are what makes CTV such a huge opportunity on the sales side, Moriarty said.
“It reminds me of the days of 2009 where apps were the Wild West,” he said.
With that in mind, publishers should focus on making sure they have quality inventory available, he added. Play placements and characteristics will separate high quality from low quality.
Google is also focusing on improving the ad side of OTT and CTV, Chassé said.
Content owners have said they want better interoperability and the ability to move between all services in this space.
Because of this content creator feedback, Google is focused on seamless monetization and differentiated demand. Google Ad manager also provides flexible integrations, optimizing yield and actionable insights.
Publishers also should not forget about YouTube in light of recent improvements to Google Ad Manager data and monetization, Moriarty said.
“There’s a lot of inventory sitting in there already that you may not be taking advantage of,” he said.