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What to Expect in 2021: More Digital Video and CTV

As we wrap up 2020 and begin to head into 2021, we’re keeping an eye on advertising trends we have seen and learned from in the past year to project what the coming year might look like. Here’s what we know. 

Digital video, digital video, digital video. You can say that three times fast and keep it in your head because it’s coming in hot in 2021. The pandemic has caused many changes in the advertising space, but digital video and connected TV are definitely the biggest. As stay-at-home orders were put into place and Friday and Saturday nights started to look different, digital video viewership skyrocketed, and we don’t expect a drop in 2021. According to eMarketer, it’s predicted that in 2021, adults 18 and older will spend an average 2.1 hours per day watching digital/streaming video.

In 2020 our media team adapted to the quickly changing digital environment by shifting portions of many ad budgets from linear TV to digital video. EMarketer reported, “Linear TV inventory is often bought upfront, but as buyers seek more flexible options, much of that will then be reallocated to digital alternatives.” It’s expected that around one-fifth of video budgets will shift from linear TV to connected TV next year.   

There are many reasons for this outside of viewership growth, with targeting capabilities and efficiency being the biggest. With digital video we are able to target a more narrow and predefined audience than you can with linear TV. For example, let’s say we wanted to sell Christmas trees. With linear TV we may want to target adults 25-54 in the Omaha DMA. With digital video, we can now target adults 27-31 in predefined ZIP codes who have behavioral interests in Christmas and frequently watch the Hallmark channel. A much more targeted approach, serving ads directly to your audience equals less ad waste.

Another big reason for shifted budgets is creative optimization. With digital video we are able to track performance on a much larger scale than what is possible with linear TV. We can A/B test creative to see the better-performing option and optimize accordingly. These two reasons among others are why we’re seeing such a shift in budgets in 2020 and into 2021.

So now that you’re up to speed on the biggest digital trends for 2021, keep an eye out for these things in 2021:

  1. Increased viewership in the digital/streaming video sphere
  2. Individuals flocking to shorter form entertainment
  3. Roku device surges 
  4. A Disney+ 2021 power play 

Our team is ready for you and your business. Set up a meeting with one of our digital media buyers to chat about how you can jump in on this trend.