TV and digital have been on a collision course for years, but they are finally meeting head-on. TV advertisers are buying networks’ streaming video (OTT) inventory. Digital advertisers are investing in addressable TV. And both are converging within connected TV. However, the increasing parity between TV and digital is not without its headaches, as advertisers on either side try to understand the ongoing merger of the two channels. Brand and agency execs gathered at Digiday’s Future of TV Summit in Palm Springs, California, to discuss the opportunities and challenges as the future of TV advertising draws closer.

What we learned:
The future of TV demands a dictionary
What are we talking about when we talk about the future of TV? No one is really sure. Terms like OTT and connected TV are often used interchangeably, even though OTT refers to a method of delivering content (via the internet) and connected TV refers to a device to which that content is delivered (via an internet-connected device hooked up or built into a TV). Addressability is another confusing term. Some define it broadly as targeted advertising, but its truer definition is targeting ads at the household level. This linguistic limbo may seem inconsequential, but a lack of lingua franca can introduce or reinforce barriers and curtail investment.

  • The TV and digital video ad industry is overrun with ill-defined jargon that can overcomplicate an already complex marketplace.
  • This language barrier can obscure advertisers’ understanding of emerging opportunities like OTT and addressable TV to the point of impeding investment.

Bottom line: As TV and digital converge within connected TV, the industry needs to establish a baseline of terms to aid education and avoid ad dollars being lost in translation.

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