Mediaweek’s A to Z of 2023: B is for BVOD


GroupM’s Nick Brignell: “TV and VOD don’t exist in a vacuum”.

To wrap up 2023, Mediaweek is looking at the biggest trends, events, platforms, and brands of the year. Welcome to Mediaweek’s A to Z of 2023 … and beyond.

By Nick Brignell, GM GroupM Nexus Solutions

It was a massive year of announcements in the BVOD and VOD sphere, from new measurement solutions, heavy investments in content to differentiated advertising models. Having just come through the Upfronts season, we’re certainly seeing 2024 gear up for the streaming wars.

Amazon Prime is set to be the latest to introduce an ad-supported tier, and all eyes are on how new ad-tiers from Paramount, Netflix and Amazon Prime will fare. For now, Nine remains resolute that it won’t be following suit to introduce advertising on Stan, keeping it as a subscriber only, ad-free platform. But, it wasn’t so long ago that Netflix founder and CEO Reed Hastings was just as steadfast. Does this economy provide the right context for audiences to happily opt in to ad-supported tiers in the value exchange for premium streaming services and content rather than reducing their subscriptions?

Alongside ad models, we saw a real shake up in the video measurement space, driven by several announcements from Foxtel that will shape the future of measurement across Total Video in Australia. Firstly, a partnership with Kantar to deliver a new audience measurement service ingesting data from Foxtel’s set top boxes using return path data. Secondly, a measurement partnership with global technology company VideoAmp, which was touted as a long-term play to address Total TV measurement gaps with the current measurement solutions in the Australian market such as OzTam. Complex? Yes. Controversial? Yes. But, it will accelerate much needed innovation in this space.

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Foxtel, Seven West Media and Paramount all announced a slew of amazing data and tech partnerships, but the one that piqued my interest was Nine’s announcement of its powerful data lake – Nine Tribes. Bringing in new audience enrichment capabilities from Stan and Domain, along with extending the activation capabilities across BVOD, Publishing and Audio, make it a truly Omni-channel solution.

But while there is a lot of exciting innovation on the horizon in the VOD and the TV landscape it’s hard to look at the future of one medium, one channel, without looking at it in the context of the wider media ecosystem. TV and VOD don’t exist in a vacuum – which is why this Omni-channel move from Nine got my attention.

Omni-channel is not exactly new, but it’s evolved and we are going to hear more and more of this hyphenated word in 2024. Whether it be Omni-channel planning, Omni-channel activation, Omni-channel personalisation, Omni-channel environments or my favourite: Omni-channel solutions, 2024 will be the year brands will need to look at the gaps in their planning and consider what they will do in this space to drive effectiveness.

But what does Omni-channel really mean? Omni-channel is all channels, all creative formats, all buying models, with the ability to flex budget in-flight to maximise impact. Simple, yeah?

But let’s throw into the mix a few other factors for the year ahead. Omni-channel media buying starts to look a lot harder as 2024 is set to be a watershed moment with anticipated privacy and regulatory changes, including cookie deprecation and the ACCC’s focus on walled gardens.

What we will see next year is a case of ‘Back to the Future’ media buying (minus the Nike Mags). Context and Geo – two targeting metrics that dominated a decade ago in the Year of Mobile, will come roaring back to the fore – with added sophistication and better data.

Cohort-based marketing fuelled by location intel will form the basis of targeting in 2024, but addressable creative can be built and aligned with all a brands’ individual audiences, talking directly to their known interests and place in their consumer journey. Having this level of consideration and relevancy within the creative results in campaign uplifts, a brand uplift, and a higher relevancy in the message they are delivering to potential consumers.

Coupled with these targeting strategies, brands will have to look around this new media complexity and start to add more nuanced approach to creative, and adopt addressable, to better target consumers with relevant content. We’re accelerating readiness for the planned third-party cookie deprecation with a global GroupM partnership with Google Chrome, as come Jan 1, brands need to start building out what their cookie-less advertising strategies and performance, awareness and consideration campaigns will look like in the future. Brands will need to start to look at changing their campaign dynamics and utilize more rounded targeting such as: Product availability, Business location, Localised consumer insights.

In April, Google will start its first round of deprecating cookies. Utilizing Omni-channel planning tools can allow brands to test and learn what their contextual, geo and cookie-less strategy could look like right now. Brands who have dipped their toes in to omni-channel cookie-less targeting channels like DOOH, BVOD, Audio, and Commerce, coupled with utilizing addressable creative, will be on sure-footing for the year ahead.

So knowing all this and gazing into my crystal ball – the trends impacting the TV and VOD space are just one part of the consideration for marketers. The future’s bright – but it has to be Omnichannel.

See Also: Mediaweek’s A to Z of 2023: A is for AI

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