Regional buys regarding streamers are rapidly becoming the next logical step in most successful brands’ comprehensive media campaigns. At a recent Advertising Week New York panel about the rise of regional buys, Jason Swartz, Interconnect vice president of advanced advertising and new business for national sales, discussed the benefits of market-to-market execution including data, targeting, reporting and exclusivity. Swartz was joined by Carolyn Sheflin, Spectrum Reach vice president of advanced advertising sales, and Brad Stockton, Dentsu vice president of advanced advertising and new business for national sales.

Despite the fact that linear TV has been and continues to be the quickest and easiest place to drive a mass reach, streaming has changed the TV advertising space on both an agency and multichannel video programming (MVP) level, according to Swartz. While it was nice to have just a few years ago, the pandemic caused all demographics to start streaming. As a result, regardless of what audience a brand is seeking to engage, streaming must play a part in their omnichannel strategy to maximize reach.

Today, the definition of TV has changed to include new platforms such that streaming is TV. Over 106 million households steam content in any given month, that’s 82 percent of Americans who have watched some kind of streaming content in the last 30 days. 

Streaming has become such a force to be reckoned with in just the last two or three years, and especially since the pandemic caused the world to spend more time at home, that it must be a part of any successful campaign. For advertisers, the issue remains how to get the right message in front of the right person. A new definition of success in this space involves streaming platforms in addition to linear TV.

Some verticals have picked up on streaming quickly as others are still acclimating. According to Sheflin, all verticals—local, national and addressable—have utilized streaming due to the reach it has in the marketplace. A study conducted by Spectrum Reach at the end of 2020 analyzed 1,000 campaigns within the Spectrum footprint either running linear campaigns only or linear and streaming campaigns together to find that the addition of streaming increased reach by 28 percent. Additionally, the effect is consistent on a local and national basis.

Streaming isn’t new, it’s just now more popular than ever before. Years ago there were direct-to-consumer brands utilizing streaming to get in front of linear TV screens in an efficient and effective way. One of the primary benefits of streaming is that it’s highly targeted and highly measurable. These elements together point to why streaming was so popular among early adopters. 

Its mass scale is what has enabled all verticals and brands to take advantage of it today. Brands that neglect streaming in 2021 and beyond are missing a massive amount of the market that is otherwise unreachable. So, regardless of whether the industry is quick-service restaurants, auto, or retail—brands must be leveraging this space.

According to Stockton, there are a number of elements to track and assess in order to get the most bang for your media buys. For example, it’s essential to determine which markets are popping on both local and national audiences to know where the next dollar should be spent. 

In addition, advertisers running local and national campaigns must know where they intertwine and how effective they are. Last, engaging in one-to-one experiences with audiences through digital and streaming—which is local in nature—means double-clicking into those regions, which assists advertisers in gasping a campaign’s effectiveness.

Multichannel video programming distributors (MVPD) have unique data sets on linear, video-on-demand, and all streaming services and partners that can be compiled and de-identified for the purpose of understanding unduplicated reach and frequency (TURF) metrics in a marketplace whether in an individual market or on a national scale. Doing so provides proof of performance in individual markets and national markets from an addressable perspective that allows two things: it allows advertisers to target more homes that are in a specific audience and it helps them understand the impact of every platform on the buy.

Set-top box (STB) data is second-by-second viewership information collected by operators such as Cablevision, DirecTV, Dish Network, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and AT&T Uverse. The term refers to the box that delivers linear TV to the home and excludes internet-based devices such as Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV. 

Beyond STB data, there’s data available that can be used in a cross-platform situation. According to Sheflin, all MVPDs have unique data that can be aggregated and de-identified to then be matched with consumer profile data from a myriad of different platforms for the purpose of reaching audiences beyond age and gender. This shows up from a targeting perspective and from a measuring perspective. 

From a targeting perspective, addressable is the easiest sort of literal match, but it isn’t always scalable, especially on a local basis. Often, advertisers can look at viewership habits and audience concentration to create a digital or linear TV campaign for a specific audience comprising a high concentration of a certain characteristic.

From a measuring standpoint, advertisers may take the de-identified data and analyze it with exposure files to look at things like the lift of a TV campaign or cross-platform reach and frequency and other metrics. This unique data set offers TV solid proof of performance.

Data is everything. Advertisers must first break down behavior tactics and profiles to identify who the individuals are that make up the target audience. Remaining privacy compliant in this context means the individual’s data with one company, such as name and email address, can connect to another partner’s first-party data for the purpose of hyper-targeting. This approach allows advertisers to know exactly who they’re reaching with the right message.