Sports event

How to broadcast a programmatic CTV advertising campaign around a sporting event

Julie Selman, UK & Nordics Managing Director of Magnite, explains how the Olympics changed the consumption of CTV in sports and outlines some of the trend changes and best practices advertisers should remember.

With the end of the Tokyo Olympics, it’s clear that digital channels have played a key role in fan engagement. In the UK alone, 20% of millennials planned to stream Olympic events live online. Cable cutters, the cordless, or viewers who simply prefer to watch for free have streamed the OTT games on The Olympic Channel.

This is not surprising. The live streaming market is expected to reach $ 247.27 billion by 2027, with die-hard sports fans favoring digital viewing for its accessibility and affordability (or free).

With more sporting events being broadcast digitally, programmatic CTV presents a unique opportunity for advertisers looking to score points on CTV’s growing audience, campaign flexibility and a lower barrier to entry in terms of budget. .

Here’s why live sports budgets are starting to shift to streaming.

Fans flock to streamers

Sport has always been a great opportunity for advertisers, as games are watched in very engaged environments. Now consumers have more options to watch live sports content, and fans are tapping into the Olympics live or catch-up through streaming services.

OTT accessibility plays a role in building fan bases. For example, a recent study found that this year’s Tour de France saw a spike in audience intentions, with 18% of UK respondents citing ‘ease of access to broadcast / broadcast channel’ as a factor motivating their interest in watching.

The Covid-19 pandemic has only accelerated the shift to digital visualization, shifting the focus to screens rather than media.

Sports teams have embraced this trend. In fact, virtually all of the major European football clubs have developed their own OTT services, such as Manchester United’s MUTV SVOD platform. Broadcast rights also open to streamers, with live sports streaming service Dazn becoming the first streamer to win exclusive rights to a leading national league in its home territory.

With the ease, affordability, and on-demand viewing of CTV, many fans prefer it over linear TV. In fact, 59% of UK fans say they would watch the sport exclusively on streaming platforms if given the option.

Part of the appeal of streamers is their technology, which has made the viewing experience more interactive and up-to-date. With programmatic VCT, fans get more power over programming as well as perks like playing VOD content, live stats, analysis, and the option for behind-the-scenes footage. In fact, 69% of sports fans around the world said their overall viewing experience had been improved by emerging technologies.

Programmatic CTV scores in terms of flexibility and scale

With programmatic, advertisers can easily access, enhance and process live sports inventory. An advertisement can run quickly, in time to play a much-anticipated game. Likewise, brands can adjust their budgets to take advantage of unexpected peaks in audiences. Additionally, network reports provide near real-time information on where advertiser ads are serving.

To fully optimize a live sports campaign, sports advertisers will want to make sure they are working with a provider that gives them the right tools to capitalize on peak engagement, while remaining protected against overspending. Advertisers should also keep budget fluidity in mind. Close or overtime games can see a higher audience, presenting a golden opportunity for better ROI that brands may not want to miss.

Here it is recommended to have separate pace targets for live events. If advertisers budget their budgets evenly throughout the week, it will be difficult for them to take advantage of opportunities such as league games. Additionally, instead of working with hard frequency limits, advertisers should also consider interval spacing, which allows brands to space their post throughout the game or match.

Ultimately, the way people watch live sports is changing. As more fans flock to streamers to follow their favorite teams, programmatic is taking live sports faster and further, improving performance. With CTV, sports advertisers now have the ability to capture live premium sports inventory with programmatic efficiency – at scale and across devices. It is a win-win solution for the public as well as for the brands.


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