In 2024, 'Buy Local' Takes on New Urgency For CTV Advertisers

By Locality InSites Archives
Cover image for  article: In 2024, 'Buy Local' Takes on New Urgency For CTV Advertisers

As consumers steadily migrate from linear TV to streaming services, marketers are eager to connect with local audiences on streaming services, but it's an uphill climb. The landscape of local advertising in streaming services is notably fragmented, presenting challenges in scaling and measuring campaigns effectively.

The industry is responding to these challenges. Locality, the preeminent local ad solutions provider across streaming and broadcast inventory, is at the forefront of navigating this fragmented streaming space. The company offers a unified spectrum of premium streaming inventory, across 150+ Publishers, including vMVPDs, Free-to-Consumer services, Local Station Groups, and TV Manufacturers, enabling advertisers to effectively reach local markets, even within precise zip codes. Their strategy aims to streamline the complex process of local ad buying and measurement, making it more efficient and impactful.

In 2024, as political advertising ramps up to a forecasted $11 billion and streaming gains more market share, the local TV ad market is expected to be in high demand. According to BIA Advantage's October 2023 forecast, local CTV ad spending, not including political spending, will jump 11.8 percent from 2023 to 2024, while network broadcast spending will inch up 1.7 percent, and cable will dip 0.4 percent.

Amid the frenzy, Locality is poised to help marketers navigate the complexities of local CTV ad delivery. The company works with top publishers and platforms, like vMVPDs, TV Everywhere Publishers, TV Manufactures, Free-to-Consumer Services, and Local Station Groups, to place ads within widely viewed national, local, and original streaming programs at the local level. This ensures that brands can effectively reach local audiences immersed in their favorite content. It's a unique blend of local precision in ad targeting, set within the context of popular, high-engagement programming.

Heading into the new year, Locality's Executive Vice President of Sales, Steve DeMain, shared his predictions for local streaming advertising with MediaVillage.

Prediction #1: Continued Shift in Video Habits

The great streaming migration isn't slowing down. Streaming audiences are up seven percent since 2020, per Inside Intelligence/eMarketer's September 2023 analysis. Consumers are strongly moving to alternate video services, including vMVPDs like Roku TV and Sling, with an audience up 34 percent from 2020 to 2023, and FAST channels, which increased 32 percent in the same period, according to eMarketer's report.

To meet the demand for content, DeMain said more local broadcasters are making their content available on streaming services. They're activating Free Ad-Supported streaming channels, also called FAST channels, and providing content to ad-supported subscription streaming services, including YouTube TV and FuboTV, and Virtual Multichannel Video Programming Distributors (vMVPDs).

Local news and sports are leading the charge. In many markets, viewers are loyal to their favorite news broadcasters and sports teams and willing to travel to new platforms to find them. As more local content becomes available, advertisers will allocate more local dollars, DeMain noted.

"As you see a lot of consumer adoption, it ultimately drives more interest from advertisers," he said. "And the services will attract more viewers as the content offerings grow."

Prediction #2: More Personalized Ad Experiences

By advertising on streaming, brands can deliver customized messages to the most appropriate audiences.

When brands can tailor their messages based on viewer preferences, demographics, and behavior, it helps capture viewers' attention and drives engagement and conversion.

"I think we'll see a lot more innovation around personalized creative over the next year," DeMain said.

Artificial intelligence is helping create these opportunities. Locality is at the forefront of this trend, enabling brands to localize ads in ways that resonate deeply with specific consumer segments -- for instance; a retailer inserts locations, local vernacular, or cultural nuances into ads, with text specific to each market.

DeMain said he expects those efforts to double next year as advertisers use video, graphic, and text elements to personalize ads.

These efforts pay dividends. Consumers tend to respond more positively to ads tailored to their interests and preferences. According to Twilio Segment's The State of Personalization Report 2023, 80 percent of business leaders say consumers spend more (38% on average) when their experience is personalized.

Prediction #3: Advancement in Local Measurement Tools

Today's marketers are under more pressure than ever to show return on investment and local TV needs to step up its measurement offerings. This year, DeMain expects advancements, which are sorely needed.

The migration of viewers to streaming platforms heralds a change in how local advertising is bought and measured. The traditional reliance on dayparts and ratings in local TV is giving way to impression-based transactions, a method already prevalent in national markets. Streaming publishers, with their capability to provide detailed audience data, are leading this transformation.

"In the national market, we've seen a move to impressions across platforms. As streaming enables these capabilities at the local level, I expect to see a very similar pattern across all local media," DeMain said.

Prediction #4: Enhanced Protection from Ad Fraud

As more advertisers venture into streaming, they're seeking assurances regarding ad fraud and brand safety. DeMain said brands can safeguard their investment in local streaming by working with credible partners rather than smaller, unproven apps.

Locality, for instance, works with top publishers and directly integrates into their systems, which he said increases validity and security. "We know where we're placing the inventory or accessing the inventory and how we're executing the buys, and it's proven to work really well," he said. "We have a very select group of partners."

This concern is widespread in the industry. A Juniper Research report projects global advertisers could lose $84 billion to digital ad fraud in 2023. In response, companies are seeking robust solutions.

Locality's partnership with HUMAN Security exemplifies this trend. By incorporating HUMAN's MediaGuard, Locality strengthens its defenses against ad fraud, reflecting an industry-wide movement towards more secure advertising platforms. "This collaboration is part of our commitment to offer a secure and trustworthy environment for our advertisers, ensuring that their campaigns reach real audiences, which is essential for maximizing ROI and maintaining trust in the digital advertising ecosystem," DeMain adds.

Prediction #5: Viewer Engagement Increases with Local Streaming Content

In today's media landscape, where audiences are overwhelmed with video content, finding engaged viewers remains a challenge for advertisers. This is where the unique value of local content, especially in its streaming form, comes into play, according to DeMain. "There's a loyal viewership for local stations' news and sports broadcasts. As these offerings shift to streaming, they maintain that personal connection with their audience," he says.

While local TV offers enticing audiences, it can be difficult for brands to buy if they have to buy market by market. With local streaming inventory in hit primetime shows, local news, and the biggest sports events, Locality facilitates more access to local viewers, DeMain noted.

"We can access the top content, whether local news, sports, or any of the top streaming shows across top-tier publishers," he explained. "It's broad and brand-safe and gives the scale they need within local markets. That's really hard to do going one publisher at a time."

Prediction #6: Buying CTV Gets Easier for Small Businesses

DeMain sheds light on the rising accessibility of local streaming advertising for small businesses. "As streaming grows, local businesses want to reach their audiences across streaming in an approachable and cost-effective way," he says. This shift coincides with more local broadcasters making their inventory available on streaming platforms, simplifying the ad buying process.

At the forefront of this change is Locality's Channel Partnership business. This initiative features a white-labeled self-service platform that offers small businesses straightforward access to local streaming inventory. This development empowers these businesses to efficiently target their local customer base.

A key aspect of Locality's strategy involves leveraging AI technology for ad creation, significantly reducing the cost and complexity of producing compelling advertising content. "Our AI-driven tools are tailored to help small businesses craft impactful ads without the heavy investment typically associated with high-quality production. This levels the playing field, allowing them to create ads that truly resonate with their local audiences," explains DeMain.

Prediction #7: More National Brands Think Locally

If history is an accurate guide, national and local inventory will become more expensive and scarce as the 2024 political season heats up. National brands still need to reach consumers, and DeMain said they're turning to local streaming as an alternative. Locality is already seeing a rush of business.

"We have several major brands that have put in RFPs for avails in many markets across the U.S. due to their expectations for political next year," DeMain said.

When national brands target their buys locally, DeMain said they can break through the clutter and make valuable connections. "Political advertising has underscored the impact of local targeting," says DeMain. "We expect to continue to see national brands apply these insights more broadly, realizing the benefits of connecting personally with diverse local audiences."

"Brands of all sizes want to get messages in front of engaged audiences that will take action. Local does that," he said.

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