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Misconception that only high-end brands advertise on CTVs, FMCG and CPG offerings are also expanding: Gavin Buxton of Magnite

Buxton, Managing Director - Asia, Magnite, spoke about how connected TV advertising is going to be the game-changer in the future and the various benefits it offers over the more traditional ways of serving ads

Gavin Buxton

It is a misconception that only high-end brands advertise on connected TVs, as there are also FMCG or CPG product offerings in the ecosystem, as per Gavin Buxton, Managing Director - Asia, Magnite.

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Buxton also said that more brands, across product categories, would start advertising on CTVs in the coming days as there is a vast and varied audience base.

He said, “A recent study conducted by MIQ and Samsung looked at brand awareness, ad effectiveness, and the actual drive to purchase for all brands. Therefore, I predict that the scaling of brands entering the ecosystem will increase across multiple product categories. It's not a setting for a high-end, luxury brand. It is a setting with multiple audiences."

According to Buxton, programmatic advertising on CTVs gives brands more dexterity in terms of how they can engage with audiences. Brands can stop, start, edit and change campaigns in real-time through programmatic advertising. There's a greater degree of transparency among the seller, the brand and the publisher. 

A Magnite APAC report highlights that OTT audiences have embraced ad-supported content and are willing to watch ads in exchange for free content. However, the ad experience remains important to all audiences. Relevant, non-repetitive, and engaging video ads better resonate and more effectively capture viewers’ attention. Brands who explore these avenues will reap the full benefits of OTT, as per the report. 

The adoption of advertising video-on-demand (AVOD) is rapidly increasing as audiences are migrating away from linear TV. Free streaming video has exceeded linear TV to be the most regularly watched platform among younger viewers, as per Buxton. 

On the growing AVOD adoption, he said, “The majority of media owners in the streaming sector are already evaluating hybrid and ad-supported revenue models, with Disney+ Hotstar being the most recent to adopt this strategy. But in the case of a platform like Netflix which had earlier proclaimed no ads for some time but now is entering into the ad space, especially in Asia and India where the capability to scale without offering a kind of lower cost or free service was going to face challenges”

Netflix's decision to go ahead with ads is a positive sign for the OTT ecosystem as a whole because it will allow advertisers to reach audiences that they previously couldn't, noted Buxton. 

A recent report by Magnite showed that the entire video landscape in India now reaches approximately 500 million video viewers, with a combined OTT reach of around 350 million unique users. The report also states that AVOD will dominate CTV and OTT evolution, driven by technology improvements and quality content.

Hence, the acceptance of the AVOD model is quite high now. Which has changed the consumer’s attitude towards ads on CTVs too. They have become more receptive in terms of ads, highlighted Buxton. 

Buxton said the acceptance of ads is higher on AVOD than in the traditional model. Therefore, people are looking for options to view premium content that is subsidised through ad funding. 

On the other hand, consumers are attracted to digital streaming for less hassle in watching content, as per him. He also said that CTV provides users with the convenience of viewing content at their own time and without channel hopping. Therefore, digital streaming ads play a major role by bringing the best of the two different world experiences to viewers.

As more OTT players enter the market and viewers consume more content on various screens, the OTT and CTV viewership fragmentation will persist. 

Buxton further said that the 18 to 44 years age bracket is where they are seeing the most pickup from viewers. He also said that while older audiences may still have a slight bias toward TV but they are also slowly evolving. 

Upon being asked about how publishers use Magnite's technology to monetise their content across all screens and formats (omnichannel), including CTV, online video, display, and audio, Buxton stated that at Magnite, they have independent SSPs that work with publishers, broadcasters and partners who use their technology for programmatic ad activations. 

“We primarily concentrate on product engineering, making efforts to develop programmatic ecosystems and enabling them to connect with CTV services based on market region. Our products enable their customers to activate omnichannel across all display, online video, audio, OTT, and CTV,” added Buxton. 

When it comes to CTVs, Magnite has also acquired ‘SpringServe’, an ad-serving platform for connected TVs for the launch of programmatic activations. 

However, there are different ways to activate any form of ad selling, like publisher direct, platform direct, and programmatically. While, according to Buxton, each market is at a different stage in terms of traditional buying mechanics and how they operate. “We observe advantages in terms of scale, transparency, monitoring and performance that brands would prefer. We are also seeing a marked rise towards the programmatic side currently,” he said.

This is because there is an expanding trend within what the buyers are looking for. Different platforms have different levels of adoption compared to more conventional selling mechanics, concluded Buxton.

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