TiVo aims to bridge CTV and linear for marketers

TiVo parent Xperi has said it expects connected TV and TiVo to bolster its growth in 2022, and during Upfronts the company is sending the message that it can bridge the gap of CTV and linear worlds for marketers.

“Historically linear lived in its own world, didn’t really integrate with other digital or CTV campaigns or targeting,” Walt Horstman SVP and GM Advanced Media and Advertising at TiVo, told Fierce Video.

Consequently, marketers could have separate targeting strategies for TV versus CTV, which may have complemented each other or could have duplicated, causing over frequency or various conflicts within messaging, he explained.

“What we’re finding is such an increased interest from advertisers of ensuring that messages are coordinated across media channels, and that foundationally is requiring then data that works across all of the platforms,” he noted, adding it ultimately delivers a better consumer experience.

Helping drive this is shifting viewing patterns and the new CTV ad-supported inventory, which brings benefits of video advertising from TV, along with advanced targeting, personalization, and measurement capabilities of digital.

“So by definition, it has forced television and CTV to coexist,” Horstman said, while also meeting needs of consumers who are bouncing back and forth between linear TV and streaming.

A theme for TiVo at the Upfronts is around how marketers can tap CTV to add incremental reach to linear and figure out appropriate budget allocations for CTV, as they face challenges in an increasingly fragmented world with a migration of viewership from linear TV into CTV, and particularly free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) channels that continue to see growth, according to Horstman.

“In order to really understand your CTV targeting strategy, you need to understand what you’re doing in linear TV,” Horstman said. Linear sets the foundation to build off into CTV, he added, and marketers need to ensure they’re not duplicating the audience while getting the desired reach extension.

In February TiVo launched its new suite of advertising solutions, dubbed Xtend and disclosed additional details around the CTV offering, which leverages TiVo first-party proprietary viewership data.

TiVo’s established viewership data is multisourced from MVPDs, who have TiVo software deployed in footprints (right now its deployed in between 5 million and 6 million devices) across the U.S. Along with set-top box data includes TiVo DVR devices. TiVo collects the data, organizes and cleanses and matches it up with programming metadata and ad occurrence data for a nationally representative showing of TV viewership across the country.

And with TiVo Xtend, it’s leveraging those dataset capabilities to assist with CTV, with TiVo data across 40 million households.

For example, a fairly common scenario that comes up in conversations with advertisers is that they want to use CTV to get incremental reach. In that situation TiVo can generate audiences who have seen or been exposed to their ad on linear TV, or not exposed on linear, and then create that audience on CTV. Marketers can then use it either for those incremental reach goals, or to retargeting on CTV, though the latter is less common, he said.

To further target audience segments, TiVo frequently combines its own data with other behavioral audience segments that either come from the advertisers or another data provider – with the key aspect of merging the different audiences together before they’re applied to a campaign, Horstman noted.

That was seen in a recent case study with an entertainment broadcaster, where one aim was to drive tune-in to a linear reality TV program from a CTV campaign. To do so, TiVo used its first party data about reality viewers on linear, but added in a second audience data source to ensure it could see CTV users who also had a cable subscription, bringing the two together for the right targeting.

Findings from the case study also supported the need for ad dollars to shift to CTV.

According to Horstman, the client had three buckets of promotion in their campaign – their own air promo inventory, a CTV schedule that TiVo ran, ad a linear schedule outside of their own air.

“What we found is that the linear that they paid for provided no incremental reach from their own promo schedule, whereas CTV definitely provided incremental reach,” he said.

So the recommendation for an entertainment marketer in that instance is “your better served shifting your budget allocation from that paid linear, because it’s just providing you additional frequency…over to CTV because that’s the vehicle that’s going to give you true incremental reach from your own air promo time.”

 Another finding relates to frequency caps, which many entertainment marketers are implementing on CTV, in the range of say 4-6 over the course of a week or so.  And TiVo is finding the sweet spot is actually higher.

“We wanted to challenge that assumption and found from the results that when we looked at the shape of the frequency curve, it was increasing all the way up to about 12 or 13,” Horstman said. So for a so-called “short-flight” campaign, such as for driving tune-in to a program the week ahead, “if you cap frequency at say four or five, you’re leaving tune-in opportunities on the table.”

The next generation of Xtend will benefit from TiVo’s Stream OS, which it plans to equip in smart TVs and deploy sometime within the next two years.