7 TV Advertising Trends to Follow in 2024
CTV is still growing. Retail media networks continue their ascent. AI is getting in on the TV advertising game. And political ad spend is going to be HUGE this year.
What does it all mean for advertisers?
Here’s what you need to know about the top TV advertising trends in 2024.
Trend #1: The continued rise of CTV
According to data from eMarketer, 2023 is the first year that U.S. cord-cutting households (68.7 million) outnumbered pay TV households (62.8 million). Broadcast and cable fell below 50% of all TV usage for the first time ever.
Journalist Cleo Abram explains that this growth in CTV viewership puts TV advertising at an inflection point:
Learn more from Cleo about TV advertising: TV Advertising Explained
This continued trend of CTV growth democratizes TV advertising for brands of all sizes and capabilities, much like Facebook and Instagram once did for digital advertising. As viewers continue to move to streaming services, all brands — from local mom and pop shops to regional, national and fortune 100 businesses — need to understand how they can use CTV to achieve full-funnel KPIs.
Related content: CTV Measurement: 8 CTV Metrics Linear Advertisers Love
Trend #2: FASTs are growing…fast
Free ad-supported streaming (FAST) options continue to grow, and viewers are trading off sitting through ads for more content. FAST channels are similar to the traditional TV experience — choose a channel and watch whatever is scheduled at the time of viewing.
But there are no subscription strings attached.
Streaming services gained popularity as cord cutters began to liberate themselves from bloated cable bills. And now, as economic headwinds like inflation continue to put pressure on personal finances, consumers are scaling back on subscription costs.
As a result, FASTs like Pluto and Tubi have grown rapidly, with 50 million monthly active users and $1 billion in yearly revenue (something even leading industry analysts didn’t see coming).
And budget-savvy consumers aren’t the only benefactors. Advertisers benefit from more non-skippable, premium ads slots. FAST providers offer budget-friendly content — and big opportunities for advertisers to get in front of viewers. Here’s what this means for TV advertising trends in 2024:
Shift towards more live events (and more engaged viewers)
More local coverage (and local tv advertising)
Curated channels with a high degree of personalization (perfect for niche targeting)
High engagement with placement in premium content
Watch the webinar: How FAST Fits Into the Streaming Landscape
Trend #3: Audience extension is now a necessity
As the growth of FASTs indicates, the TV landscape is becoming highly fragmented. And in this environment, audience extension (or reach extension) has become increasingly important.
“At a time when everyone is vying for eyeballs and attention, it’s impossible to achieve true scale within the confines of any single streaming service,” explains Jon Kaplan, Chief Revenue Officer at Madhive. “But using that service as a starting point to reach that audience wherever they may live is a far greater opportunity.”
Audience extension works in two ways:
Advertisers can take a first-party audience segment — for example, a streaming subscriber list or a CRM list — and find those same people outside of a single media property.
Advertisers can take a demographic that they're already targeting on one property — say auto buyers — and extend that audience segment everywhere else.
Not only does this generate more revenue for media companies, but it also makes the initial ad buy more attractive and productive for the advertiser. Expect audience extension to continue to gain popularity as an advertising strategy in 2024.
Watch the webinar: Extend your reach to new audiences—and build new revenue streams
Trend #4: Political will drive ~$11B in advertising
With another election looming, political advertising is expected to infuse the advertising industry with nearly $11B in 2024.
And the biggest growth in political campaign advertising will be on down-ballot races — such as Governor, Attorney General, and Secretary of State. In fact, 75% of ad dollars is expected to be spent on down-ballot contests this election cycle compared to 25% for the presidential race.
With the increased focus on down-ballot races, most of that advertising spend will be hyper local — targeted at specific congressional districts, zip codes, etc. While candidates for local offices were previously priced out of TV advertising, CTV advertising allows local campaigns to target granularly, at the hyper local level, for more affordable and efficient reach.
Viewers can expect to see significantly more TV ads for more local candidates in 2024, especially if they’re considered to be undecided.
Trend #5: Everything on CTV gets a local spin
It’s not just political ads that are taking a local approach.
As viewers continue to steadily migrate away from linear to CTV, advertisers in all industries are taking advantage of precise targeting capabilities to execute ad campaigns with local precision — at national scale.
This is allowing everyone from local businesses to national brands to get a higher degree of efficiency and optimize spend (another significant benefit during an economic downturn).
For example, Cannaluxe, an up-and-coming DTC brand, partnered with Neiman Marcus to sell their luxury CBD skincare products at 21 select Neiman Marcus stores. Using precise CTV targeting, Cannaluxe streamed commercials with an embedded QR code to cannabis-friendly audiences local to those 21 stores. The QR code was a direct-response vehicle that drove viewers to a Neiman Marcus landing page with the Cannaluxe offer.
The CTV campaign generated over 10M impressions and drove 150K online shopping sessions for Cannaluxe. But beyond ecommerce, Neiman Marcus also saw an influx of in-store purchases at target locations.
Check out the full case study: Hyper-local CTV campaign generates serious holiday sales for CBD skincare brand
But this localization isn’t only for national brands—it’s also fantastic for small- and medium-sized businesses that have traditionally been pushed out of TV advertising due to high costs and significant wasted spend.
Like local political candidates, local auto dealerships, law firms, restaurants, and other businesses can also take advantage of CTV’s targeting capabilities to efficiently reach their local customers and clients. Expect to see more local CTV advertising as these businesses discover the upside.
Trend #6: The continued rise of retail media networks
One of the hottest trends in advertising right now is the retail media network (RMN), a retail-owned digital platform that sells ad space.
The value of these retail media networks lies in their ability to leverage the retailer’s first-party data to not only reach customers within their owned and operated websites and apps — but also outside of their owned media. This approach allows retailers to find and scale audiences for their advertisers, while also offering local targeting.
Retail media networks are beginning to discover the opportunity of adding CTV to the RMN mix. Madhive CMO Jeff Fagel explains:
"The meteoric ascent of retail media networks signifies a game-changing shift in the digital landscape. Their strength lies in the utilization of first-party data, which empowers retailers to reach customers not just on their own websites and apps but also beyond these familiar digital confines. This approach enables retailers and brands to broaden their reach to drive acquisition, and scale audiences effectively."
CTV advertising also allows retailers to deliver ads that are more interactive and engaging than traditional TV ads. Viewers can interact with ads on their smart TVs or through streaming devices like Roku or Amazon Fire Stick.
In 2024, we anticipate a boom in accessibility as RMNs converge with CTV and local advertising. There are going to be a lot of possibilities opening up for brand partnerships — like Lowes and Scott’s teaming up to drive consumers into the store to buy lawn treatment products and online sites like TripAdvisor extends its reach beyond its owned media channels. For instance, a user who frequently searches for beachfront resorts on TripAdvisor may see streaming TV ads for seaside resorts, creating a more personalized and effective advertising experience.
Trend #7: Integrating AI into TV advertising
More and more television advertising is being sold programmatically. And for these campaigns to succeed, every ad placement must be optimized.
The challenge is that there are millions of queries demand-side platforms (DSPs) have to make decisions on every second. Layer on targeting parameters like location, demos, and behaviors across a large volume of campaigns, and the ask becomes that much more elaborate.
Leading adtech providers are utilizing AI and machine-learning technologies that can analyze these massive amounts of data to drive decisioning engines that can make split-second decisions about the best available opportunities.
Journalist Cleo Abrams explains how AI can improve the performance — and experience — of TV advertising:
“Needless to say, this will take tremendous innovation and scale,” explains Madhive Co-founder and Chairman Adam Helfgott on TVREV. “The ad platforms that will thrive are the ones that continually enhance their tech stacks and have the compute power to process the robust data this process requires.”
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