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The REVisionists: Premion is Local TV’s OTT Pioneer

The following is a selection from our latest report, “Local OTT: What You Need to Know.” Use the discount code [tvrev25] for $25 off when you purchase today.

With the phased reopenings during the pandemic, which is happening in different regions at different times, the importance of being able to target locally has become much more relevant for brands and agencies, and it is likely to remain top of mind for the next 12 months or so as we collectively navigate our way out of this situation, notes Tom Cox, President of Premion, and Head of Corporate and Business Development at TEGNA as he shared his thoughts on why local TV advertising is evolving and why it continues to remain so important.

Q: How does OTT factor into this new interest in local advertising, especially in light of what is going on now?

A: Brands obviously want to be able to take a localized approach in targeting specific geographies and demographics, depending on how those audiences respond to the pandemic and reopening. OTT delivers the capabilities to be able to facilitate that much more easily than traditional linear.

The other piece is that brands are changing their messaging as well. Early on, appropriately, there was a lot of sympathetic messaging around
how we’re all in this together. Brands are now starting to come forward with messaging that’s more optimistic about the return. The dynamic nature of ad insertion with OTT makes it easy for brands to change, alter, modify or improve their message as this phased reopening continues, in a way that allows them to target local consumers with more relevance.

Q: Can you talk about how TEGNA is making use of OTT?

A: At Premion, we believe OTT offers the best of both linear and digital – OTT combines the precision of digital targeting and measurement with the big screen experience of linear TV. On the innovation front, we’ve invested significantly in our targeting and delivery capabilities. As a local broadcaster, between our Premion direct sellers, TEGNA stations and our recent partnership with Gray Television, we’re also uniquely positioned to sell Premion with “feet on the street” in markets that reach approximately 75% of US households.

What’s unique about our approach is that we go in with sellers at our local TEGNA or Gray stations who have great brands and strong existing relationships with local advertisers. The fact that our different sales teams are all set up to pursue OTT in conjunction with linear is a key differentiator for us, especially in regard to the local side of the business.

This is also an important advantage for us in political advertising which is hyper-local and where we have deep political agency relationships. We’re also not limited to selling in our station markets as we are on the linear side of our business. With Premion, we can run targeted OTT campaigns in any DMA or geography, from regions and states all the way down to zip code levels.

Q: Incremental lift has become such a big buzzword these days. How are you guys defining it and more important, how are you handling it?

A: We work with a number of companies from a tech stack perspective to ensure that, in each market, we can reach existing customers on OTT who are not seeing the same advertising on our linear TV channels. We refer to that as being able to deliver unduplicated reach. We can then further refine that audience on OTT so that you are only reaching a specific target within that segment. From a brand or agency perspective, one of the benefits of combining OTT and linear is that, through the linear side you get massive reach, while through the OTT side you can get very specific targeting.

Agencies and brands are also looking for more simplicity and scale in planning, buying and measurement, and they’re seeking unified packaged solutions. Having tighter integration between ad-supported OTT inventory and linear TV inventory is what’s needed and we’re delivering this to advertisers today.

(to read more of this interview, buy our latest report on local OTT)