09.26.19

Navigating 3 Common Challenges of CTV Advertising

We live in a world dominated by Connected TV (CTV), e.g., a TV connected to the internet through built-in internet capability or through another device such as a game console. To put this popularity in perspective, over 70% of the internet-using population in the US is expected to use CTV next year—and advertisers are excited. Last year, ad requests for CTV increased by more than 1,500%. Despite the popularity, however, challenges remain, coming in the form of scaling, budget allocation, and measurement. While the market responds with more streamlined solutions, advertisers committed to CTV will need to find a way around the challenges. Here’s how:

Thoughtful Scaling 

Even though CTV offers plenty of opportunities to create quality ad experiences, the lack of scalable solutions persists due to a limited audience size and inventory, forcing advertisers to hunt for reach. However you look at it, the opportunity for scale still pales in comparison to other digital channels. For example, despite a widespread shift to CTV, especially from Linear TV, the total audience size is still under 200 million. In contrast, Facebook has over 2 billion users. Moreover, inventory is confined to ad-supported outlets, leaving popular destinations like Netflix out of reach for the time being.

While the market responds to mitigate these concerns, your only reasonable option is to set realistic goals and make CTV a supplementary part of an existing video strategy. As your video strategy (with CTV included) expands, you should rely on cross-device and resolution technology to identify additional devices of the target consumer. This will enable you to run an effective campaign across devices including CTV and complement the scale that you’re missing. (We call this kind of thing cross-channel advertising, and we believe it’s the future—due in part to the fragmentation we see in arenas like CTV.)

Proper Budget Allocation 

In practice, CTV and OTT advertising is still treated like a third wheel, so it’s understandable that you may be asking yourself, “Where should this money come from, TV or digital?” The answer involves a bit of both, with the final decision depending on your campaign goals. 

When it comes to pulling budget from digital or from Linear TV, you may feel the answer is obvious, but some advertising teams are still getting their feet wet fight with allocation. Rather than fighting over where the money is coming from, the key is to let the KPIs drive the budgets. Once the goal-based process for CTV and OTT budgeting is laid out, the battle between other teams will subside and the time and energy spent answering, “How will we pay for this?” can be reallocated toward “How can we do this right?”

Measurement and Reporting

The lack of standardization in the data derived from CTV and OTT advertising makes effective and efficient campaign execution a challenge. If all parties aren’t sharing information freely across the ecosystem, there’s no way to connect the dots. In fact, according to a January 2018 survey, CTV/OTT was one of the top areas in which a lack of uniform measurement was holding back ad spending. A partner with cross-device technology and expertise in running CTV campaigns can bridge the measurement gap between OTT and digital. By identifying your high-value consumer of the household across devices, you can retarget them across devices and get cross-device insights—including the path from the CTV campaign to the actual conversion.


You already know that CTV and OTT advertising deserve an increasing portion of your digital advertising budget. They’re not just coming; they’ve arrived. However, given the relatively nascent status of these options, pain points persist, including inventory fragmentation, budget allocation struggles, and non-standardized measurement and reporting. As a result, many are prevented from making the optimal investment. Despite some uncertainty, there are workarounds that you can take to stay ahead of the curve and win with CTV and OTT advertising while the competition remains stuck in the mud.