You may have heard people buzzing about “Convergent TV” lately in the advertising world. As THE 3RD EYE’s Media Director, I’m here to clue you in. What does Convergent TV even mean? And why does your brand need to tap into it to thrive in today’s market?
Media changes every day, which is what I love about it—but also what makes it tricky to keep up with sometimes. And Convergent TV may feel like a fresh term, but the practice of combining traditional and digital approaches is nothing new.
Stay tuned and I’ll answer all your burning questions about Convergent TV.
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What is Convergent TV?
Convergent TV is the combination of Linear TV meets Streaming Video. You might say it’s the convergence of TV meets digital.
Linear TV, to clarify, is any traditional TV (broadcast, cable, satellite). And streaming video refers to more novel, digital ways to watch TV.
For consumers, the line between the two is blurred. But, as marketers, we need to understand the difference, so we can marry the two and reach the consumer across both Linear and Streaming.
What do SVOD, AVOD, and FAST mean?
Marketers love acronyms. That doesn’t change when it comes to Convergent TV.
SVOD stands for Subscription-based Video On demand. What does that mean? You simply subscribe to it. Like Netflix, it’s a service where you pay for streaming and have no ads.
AVOD stands for Ad-supported Video On Demand. Think Hulu, that first tier. This is a subscription that you pay for but is still supported by advertisers.
FAST stands for Free Ad-supported TV. These are your Tubis of the market. Free subscriptions are available, and ads inevitably appear when watching.
Some more you might come across are OTT or CTV, which are simply two terms that encompass the ways users access digital TV/Video content. OTT, standing for “over the top of”, refers to viewing video on demand through traditional network providers. CTV, or connected TV, refers to using an internet-connected device to access such content.
What does Convergent TV mean for the future of advertising
Convergent TV is here to stay—which is why I’m surprised that people are just starting to consider it. I’ve been taken aback by how many clients want to avoid entering the space.
To consumers, TV is TV, and they bounce between both Linear and Streaming options seamlessly. Not going after Streaming is avoiding half of the equation—ultimately losing the opportunity to reach your consumer and gain a deeper understanding of your target’s behavior.
For the past few years now, consumer behavior has been changing when it comes to TV. As more streaming platforms come onto the scene, people are getting smart. They’re considering their budgets and combining premium services with ad-supported ones to get the best bang for their buck.
As consumers evolve, advertising must evolve alongside them in order to reach them in the right place, at the right time, and through the right medium.
How will Convergent TV impact brand campaigns?
The beauty of Convergent TV, especially when it comes to streaming services, is that you can target a specific audience. You don’t have that broad reach that you would with the linear message.
With this in mind, as marketers, we develop custom Creative that really speaks to that streaming audience. If that audience is then exposed from a linear TV perspective, we have that additional reach. And now, we have the data to personalize that message and optimize viewer experience.
By injecting the learnings from a streaming audience into our creative strategy for Linear TV, we can optimize the ad’s message more effectively for the target audience.
With Convergent TV, we complement what we’re doing from a linear perspective in the video streaming space, and vice versa—making each campaign more effective than the last.
Targeting different audiences via Convergent TV
How to approach boomers and seniors or multicultural audiences differently when it comes to Convergent TV
Boomers & Seniors
The pandemic was a game-changer when it came to the public’s consumption of content. In many ways, it launched us into streaming video. When the shift in behavior hit two or three years ago, THE 3RD EYE was at the forefront. We entered the space early.
In one of our first campaigns with providers, we were first to target the 65+ audience. It was a tough sell, because many people felt that seniors were not online. But that wasn’t the case. They were there.
Soon we were analyzing various data sources, finding the intersection, and identifying what was performing best across our converged campaigns.
We layered in findings from both Linear and Streaming to ensure that we were reaching the consumer across all the different platforms across all the different touchpoints effectively and efficiently. The content became more targeted. We’d find unexpected behaviors and wrap them into our considerations. For instance, we found that some of these consumers were watching MTV at four o’clock in the morning.
Ultimately, efficiencies are key. It’s about finding that audience at the right time, in the right moment, and in the right context. So we’re finding partners that are able to give us that visibility across platforms—whether that’s game shows, Westerns, or Judge Judy.
Recently, we’ve seen boomers become cord cutters. They have to budget their dollars, so they’re not subscribing to cable at the same rate, instead subscribing to some of these platforms and connecting to streaming devices. With that said, it’s important that we engage, and we reach them in their wheelhouse.
When it comes to multicultural audiences, it’s important for us to keep in mind that they are very digitally savvy. They’re at the forefront when it comes engaging with content via connected devices.
But we have to be very strategic. It’s all about finding the right avenues, the right partners, and the right data sources to inject these campaigns into.
To ensure that we reach the consumer, especially when it comes to Hispanics, we want to speak their language. And we want to reach them through relevant content that they’re consuming.
In my experience, sports or music are the most effective avenues to engage the Hispanic consumer—especially when it comes to connected TV.
Convergent TV isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. If anything, the technologies surrounding it continue to improve. The data we get from consumers will only get better, and targeting efforts will only get more efficient.
In this new marketing landscape, we can reach the consumer in a more timely manner. We’ll continue aligning both linear TV and streaming TV audience insights, developing better and stronger campaigns.
Need THE 3RD EYE’s help implementing Convergent TV into your campaign strategy? Email us here for a head start.