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Who Controls Connected TV Ad Budgets?

Connected TV (CTV) ad buyers must consider how CTV purchases factor into their broader digital and TV campaigns. Figuring out how to best plan, buy and measure CTV ads is becoming more consequential as more money flows into this area.

We forecast that US advertisers will spend nearly $7 billion this year on CTV ads. By 2023, that figure will reach $14.12 billion.

For ad buyers, it’s important to delineate who at the brand or agency controls the CTV planning, buying and reporting. Do these responsibilities fall to the linear TV team? Do they fall to the digital team? Does this distinction matter anymore?

“There are some agencies that have the TV people lead [connected TV ad buying], there are some agencies that have the digital people lead, and there are the programmatic leads,” said David Gandler, CEO of virtual cable-streaming service fuboTV. “We're talking to all groups because there are still a lot of agencies that are not sure which is the route that they're going to go. My sense is, everyone is going to go toward the digital side only because there's more addressability and technology.”

Other agencies are trying to break down the divisions by combining TV and digital leads.

“I was at [a meeting with] an agency where they've just done a reorg, and their whole positioning is, ‘Our digital and TV people are completely locked,’” said Jim D’Antoni, director of ad sales at Dish Media. “They took three digital investment executives and three TV investment executives, and they're running the group together to try to break some of those silos down.”

Direct-to-consumer brand Dollar Shave Club does not want to separate CTV from linear TV in its buying.

“It's like we're trying to plan all together at once,” said Sam Kang, vice president of media and acquisition. “Of course they're different, but in terms of where the consumer is, we're trying to think about the consumer first, and then delivering on what we think the media plan should look like, and not the other way around.”

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