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CTV Curation: The Key to Success in CTV Advertising

The world of Connected TV (CTV) advertising is rapidly evolving, offering new opportunities for brands to connect with their audiences in a highly engaging environment. CTV curation is the latest strategy becoming popular to those looking to navigate CTV advertising’s unique ecosystem. With its ability to streamline and refine the process of programmatic trading, curation has become indispensable in the CTV domain, where the challenge of balancing high costs against limited supply demands expert navigation. 

In this article, we dive deeper into the nuances of CTV curation, providing a richer understanding of its importance and offering actionable insights for advertisers looking to refine their strategies.


Why CTV Curation Matters in Programmatic Trading

Understanding the significance of CTV curation begins with a closer examination of the CTV supply chain. In the realm of CTV advertising, direct and guaranteed transactions stand at the forefront of trading activities. Despite its relatively recent entry into the advertising world, CTV distinguishes itself through the prevalence of direct transactions. Even though it shares technological similarities with digital advertising, the bulk of CTV’s programmatic campaigns are executed via private marketplaces or through programmatic guarantees, employing deal IDs as the foundational elements for finalizing the transaction conditions.

This trend can be attributed to a legacy perspective. In contrast to digital advertising, which prioritizes scalability, performance, and minimizing CPMs, television has traditionally been regarded as the epitome of a premium advertising medium by both brands and consumers. It’s viewed as a worthwhile investment, a perception that seamlessly transitions into the CTV space as traditional broadcasters migrate to digital platforms.

For those who own media properties and provide streaming services, utilizing deal IDs serves dual purposes: it enables the preservation of the elevated CPMs characteristic of traditional TV in their expanding CTV domains, or, for those just entering the streaming arena, it establishes a minimum pricing threshold that mirrors the allure of large-screen entertainment. Additionally, the CTV landscape is marked by a more limited supply compared to digital displays, leading to an uptick in costs. In situations where supply is limited, there’s a mutual desire for enhanced security and greater transparency in transactions.

Moreover, the creation of content for the big screen is inherently more costly, rationalizing the investment in securing these placements directly rather than risking the unpredictability of open programmatic trading. Brands with a history of engaging in direct transactions in the linear TV marketplace might find the open and varied nature of digital supply chains less navigable.

Given the elevated financial and operational stakes throughout the supply chain, curators have emerged as vital intermediaries, ensuring the maintenance of quality standards.


Advantages of Curation for Advertisers on CTV

Curation in programmatic advertising provides a strategic advantage by offering advertisers a carefully selected inventory. This process not only streamlines the purchasing journey but also enhances transparency from start to finish.

Key Benefits of Curation:

  • Refined Inventory Selection: Curators handpick the best inventory, simplifying the decision-making process for advertisers.
  • Simplified Buying Process: The curation approach eases the complexity of buying, making the entire process more straightforward.
  • Enhanced Transparency: End-to-end clarity in transactions and campaign execution is significantly improved with curation.

In the vast landscape of digital advertising, an unrefined campaign could end up dispersed over countless properties. Curation stands out by offering a premium filter, ensuring quality over quantity. While this method might require a higher initial investment compared to open auction bidding, it promises better performance indicators and efficiency by eliminating placements that could compromise brand safety.

CTV Curation’s Unique Position:

  • Unlike digital advertising, the challenge in CTV lies not in sifting through an excess of options but in securing access to high-quality placements.
  • The mainstay of CTV ad trading involves direct and guaranteed deals, which are notably more demanding in terms of time and resources to arrange and execute.

Having a curator to navigate this intricate landscape allows brands and agencies to extend the reach of their high-quality video campaigns with confidence, relying on the curator for:

  • Campaign Execution: Handling the intricate details of launching and managing campaigns.
  • Troubleshooting: Quickly addressing and resolving any issues that arise.
  • Optimization: Continuously refining campaigns to achieve peak performance.

Why Curators Are Invaluable:

  • Unified Deals Across Publishers: Curators can negotiate deals encompassing multiple publishers, streamlining the process for buyers.
  • Tailored to Specific Needs: Curators offer services that cater to particular channels, regions, or demographics, simplifying the selection process for brands.
  • Advantages for Publishers: Publishers can increase their reach without compromising on pricing standards, thanks to curators setting custom price floors.

This structured approach, particularly in territories like Europe, Central America, or Southeast Asia, is crucial. It addresses the challenges of running campaigns in areas with diverse broadcasting and streaming platforms, each with its distinct planning and performance tracking systems. Curators significantly reduce the due diligence required from brands and agencies, guiding them to the optimal curator for their needs and thereby smoothing the transition for broadcasters moving from linear to OTT platforms.


What’s Next for CTV Curation? 

CTV curators play a pivotal role in providing stability and expertise in an arena that is continuously evolving. They offer a layer of comfort akin to having a seasoned expert guiding the way through the ever-changing environment of CTV. With rapid advancements in technology, shifting guidelines, and evolving best practices, not to mention the dynamic nature of mergers and acquisitions that could alter the trading landscape overnight, their role is more crucial than ever.

Even for teams well-versed in digital strategies, the CTV platform presents a unique challenge. The intricacies of executing campaigns within this medium reveal a learning curve, illustrating that digital competencies don’t always translate directly into the CTV context. This scenario underscores the channel’s ongoing development phase, where hands-on experience and adaptation are key.

Despite these challenges, the allure of CTV for viewers remains unmatched, drawing significant advertising investments away from traditional linear, display, and social platforms. For advertisers looking to dive into CTV advertising, the window of opportunity is wide open, though it’s important to acknowledge that we are now beyond the phase of early adoption. In this scenario, leveraging curation emerges as an effective strategy to navigate and accelerate the entry process for brands and agencies. Curation offers a balanced approach, ensuring both quality and reach, making it an indispensable tool for those aiming to make their mark in the CTV advertising space.

This article was originally written by Lotame’s Head of CTV, Hunter Terry and published by Streaming Media. 

Is your business ready to get started with CTV advertising? Learn more about how Lotame can help you get Data Empowered with Connected TV and seize your CTV spotlight.