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TEGNA’s Premion Is Bringing Ad-Supported OTT To Local

50 million people get their local broadcast TV via TEGNA, a company that owns 49 stations in 41 markets across the U.S. TEGNA was far-sighted enough to see the future coming, and in 2016 they launched Premion, which positions itself as a one-stop shop OTT advertising platform for regional and local advertisers.

With Premion, advertisers are able to place addressable TV ads on over 125 top-tier content providers via OTT and VOD, giving them access to brand-safe and fraud-free inventory that reaches the fastest growing and highly engaged OTT audiences.

One of Premion’s key advantages, according to President Jim Wilson, is that the inventory is directly sourced, meaning that it is bought directly from the network itself. “Many of the recent CTV/OTT entrants claim to have directly sourced inventory,” he notes. “But most actually source their inventory from open exchanges. That could lead to brand safety issues, which is why it’s so important for advertisers to know exactly where their inventory is coming from.”

As the first company opening up local broadcast OTT inventory to advertisers, Wilson feels his job is to educate marketers on effective OTT media buying strategies. “The OTT industry is evolving quickly and it’s very complex. The more we can help clients and potential clients to understand it, the sooner we’ll see large-scale adoption.”

Jim Wilson

 

What is your company doing to transform TV advertising?

Recognizing the rapid shift of audiences to streaming TV early, we launched Premion more than two years ago to help advertisers take advantage of the fast-growing CTV/OTT era. We make it easy for local and regional advertisers to target and reach their desired audiences in premium, brand-safe OTT platforms at scale.

What are the opportunities for your company in OTT advertising?

As the industry pioneer and leader, we’re helping to educate marketers on effective OTT media buying strategies. As advertisers shift even bigger budgets to streaming advertising in 2019, they need trusted partners committed to brand safety and provable transparency to advance the CTV/ OTT advertising industry.

What’s wrong with the conversation right now?

The OTT industry is evolving quickly, and it can be confusing for marketers to know what they’re really getting when they advertise on streaming platforms. For example, when it comes to inventory quality, recent CTV/OTT entrants claim to have directly sourced inventory, but most actually source their inventory from open exchanges. When it comes to brand safety, it’s important for marketers to understand exactly where that inventory is coming from.

Where are the biggest challenges for the industry?

The complexity and fragmentation of the OTT ecosystem remain hurdles to widespread adoption.

Achieving scale is still a concern: It’s a challenge for agencies and brands to have representative and scalable media plans when applying granular addressable targets, especially at the local and regional level.

While more progress has been made with measurement, there’s still a lack of standardization. Each platform has its own set of targeting parameters and approaches to measurement.

What is the biggest threat to a thriving OTT environment?

Advertisers need help in solving four key challenges: brand safety, transparency, addressability and scale. Our industry will need to work together to drive the industry forward in all these areas.

In one sentence each, who wins and who loses?

Platforms win as the scales have tipped toward the distribution platforms.

Slow-moving media companies that are not agile enough to go direct to consumer will find themselves losing audiences.

What development do you think is most important to watch right now?

In the year ahead, proving the value of CTV/ OTT spend effectiveness is a top priority for marketers. Look for improvements in the area of attribution in CTV and whether scale exists to do that.

How do you think networks will adjust the upfronts?

Networks should work on more industry-specific upfronts that are smaller and sync with their clients’ media planning and budgeting schedules. Will this happen? I fear the networks are stuck in the cycle.

Who ends up controlling budgets for OTT? Digital buyers? TV buyers? Advanced TV specialists?

A likely scenario that will play out is that there will be video teams in charge of buying OTT and TV, and then digital teams will manage social platforms, search and display.

 

 

Want to learn more? Download the TVREV report on ad-supported OTT.