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What’s Linear TV? Is it Still Relevant to Advertisers in 2024?

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What’s Linear TV? Is it Still Relevant to Advertisers in 2024?

In the ever-evolving world of media and entertainment, the term “linear TV” may sound like a recent addition to our vocabulary, but the concept has actually been around a lot longer than you might think. In fact, each time you turn on the TV to watch your broadcast show of choice, you’re watching linear TV. While streaming TV has soared in popularity during recent years, it’s important to keep in mind that linear still has its place in the market. 

As we delve into the intricacies of linear TV and assess its relevance in 2024, it’s crucial to understand its roots, the mechanics of linear TV ads, the benefits and the challenges it faces in the wake of the growing popularity of internet-connected alternatives. In this post we’ll cover all that and more including what linear TV is, the pros of advertising on Linear TV, and the cons of this type of advertising. Let’s dive into all things linear.

What is Linear TV?

 

Linear TV, often synonymous with traditional or broadcast television, is a method of delivering television content in a scheduled, linear fashion. Unlike on-demand services that provide viewers with the flexibility to choose what and when to watch, linear TV follows a predetermined schedule. In simpler terms, everyone tuning in watches the same content at the same time, creating a shared viewing experience.

The term “linear” in Linear TV refers to the nature of content delivery. Programs are broadcast in a linear fashion, as noted above, adhering to a set schedule. This differs with non-linear models like streaming services, where viewers have the freedom to choose the timing and content they wish to consume.

Linear TV vs. CTV and OTT

As technology continues to reshape the way we consume content, terms like CTV (Connected TV), and OTT (Over-the-Top) have become integral parts of the media lexicon. Let’s explore the key differences between Linear TV and the dynamic duo of CTV and OTT, taking a look at their distinct characteristics.

What is OTT?

Over the Top (OTT) advertising is a content delivery method that involves the direct transmission of TV shows and associated ads over the internet through streaming video services or devices. This model allows viewers to access on-demand content, breaking away from the traditional linear schedule.

Unlike Linear TV, which relies on cable or satellite infrastructure, OTT services deliver content directly to viewers over the internet, offering flexibility in terms of when and where content is consumed. OTT platforms excel in providing on-demand content, allowing users to choose what they want to watch and when they want to watch it.

Services like Sling TV showcase that OTT and Linear TV are not mutually exclusive. While Sling TV utilizes linear content scheduling, it delivers that content over the internet, blending aspects of both models.

What is CTV?

CTV, or Connected TV, refers to televisions that are connected to the internet, whether through built-in smart TV features or external devices like Roku. CTV is a classification based on the type of television. Smart TVs and traditional TVs equipped with devices like Roku fall under the CTV umbrella. CTV and traditional linear TV are not mutually exclusive. A TV with a cable subscription and a connected device like Roku can seamlessly support both traditional and internet-delivered content.

While Linear TV operates on a more traditional, schedule-based model, both CTV and OTT leverage the internet for content delivery. This opens the door to highly targeted advertising campaigns due to the granular data available. Internet-based content delivery, characteristic of both CTV and OTT, enables advertisers to leverage granular data, tailoring campaigns to specific demographics and user preferences.

Unlike linear advertising, which follows a set schedule, CTV and OTT allow for more flexibility in ad placement, optimizing viewer engagement. It’s important to note that Linear TV, CTV, and OTT each bring unique strengths to the table. But with all that said, linear TV still has its benefits – let’s hone in on some of the pros of linear TV advertising.

Benefits of Linear TV Advertising

 

Linear TV advertising offers a variety of benefits that cater to diverse marketing needs. Let’s take a look at a few of the pros to this type of advertising.

Non-Skippable Ads

Linear TV ads are designed to captivate audiences, with durations typically ranging from 30 to 60 seconds. Unlike some digital platforms where ads can be skipped, the non-skippable nature of linear TV ensures that viewers engage with the content, providing advertisers with a guaranteed viewership.

Household Reach

One of the major strengths of linear TV lies in its ability to reach multiple individuals within a household. As linear TV overwhelmingly targets television sets, advertisers have a higher probability of delivering their message to a diverse audience under one roof, making it an efficient medium for household-focused campaigns.

Diversification in Marketing Mix

Linear TV can be a helpful tool when diversifying your marketing mix. Certain demographics, especially seniors, gravitate towards linear TV compared to internet-connected devices. This preference creates an opportunity for advertisers to tap into audiences that may be underserved by digital channels.

Brand Safety and Trustworthiness

The highly regulated nature of linear TV contributes to a brand-safe environment. Advertisers benefit from a controlled and trustworthy space for their messaging, as linear TV ads are perceived by viewers as more reliable compared to digitally delivered ads. This trust can enhance brand credibility and positively impact consumer perception.

Hosts of Major Live Events

While digital platforms are gaining traction for live events, such as Twitch and ESPN hosting live sports, linear TV remains the preferred host for many major events. Whether it’s breaking news, the excitement of the Super Bowl, or the thrill of prime-time programming, linear TV stands as the go-to destination for communal viewing experiences.

Targeting Options for Cable/Satellite Buys

For advertisers seeking precision in targeting, cable and satellite linear TV buys offer a range of options. Advertisers can strategically target based on specific channels, TV programs, and airtime, providing a comprehensive approach to reaching a broad yet specific audience. This level of targeting allows for a nuanced and effective campaign strategy.

The benefits of linear TV advertising are multifaceted, offering a combination of guaranteed viewership, household reach, regulatory safety, trustworthiness, and the ability to tap into diverse audiences. As advertisers navigate the complex landscape of media consumption, linear TV provides a unique set of advantages that contribute to a well-rounded marketing strategy.

Challenges of Linear TV Advertising

 

As with any type of advertising, linear TV advertising can also present marketers with a set of challenges. Let’s dive into a few common challenges linear TV advertisers might encounter.

Fragmentation of TV Landscape

The surge in popularity of OTT, CTV, and similar alternatives has contributed to the fragmentation of the TV landscape. The increasing trend of cord-cutting is reshaping viewer habits, posing a challenge for advertisers to maintain a consolidated reach.

Limited Precision in Targeting

Unlike internet-connected TV, the typical linear TV buy often falls short in terms of precise targeting. There are some agencies that do allow you to buy highly targeted linear TV space, but only a small percentage of linear TV buys occur in this way. This limitation can hinder advertisers from efficiently reaching specific audiences with their campaigns.

Measurement Difficulties

Measuring the impact of linear TV ads can be a challenge. While some agencies can provide insights, it’s not commonplace to obtain detailed information on who viewed commercials and their post-viewing actions. 

Luckily, at Tinuiti, our patented solution, powered by Bliss Point technology, applies modern machine learning and optimization techniques to non-click-based media. That’s a fancy way of saying we can statistically prove whether your Streaming and Linear TV buys are working, and we can show their incremental marketing impact relative to other channels.

Unskippable Ads

While the non-skippable nature of linear TV ads ensures engagement, viewers often take advantage of these moments to do other activities, lessening the effectiveness of the ad experience. The challenge lies in maintaining viewer attention and maximizing the impact of the ad during these unskippable moments.

Comparisons with CTV

The absence of certain challenges on CTV platforms raises questions about the future of linear TV. As viewers increasingly turn to CTV for its targeted capabilities, some wonder if linear TV is destined to follow the path of outdated technologies like landline phones.

In confronting these challenges, advertisers in the linear TV space must continually adapt their strategies to align with the shifting dynamics of viewer behavior and emerging technologies. The future of linear TV advertising hinges on its ability to address these hurdles and offer a compelling narrative in a world marked by increasing digitalization and evolving viewer preferences.

Is Linear TV Still Relevant?

 

In the midst of the digital revolution and the surging popularity of streaming services, the relevance of linear TV remains steady. While digital and streaming platforms are experiencing vast growth, linear TV continues to hold a pivotal role in the media mix for a variety of brands. Its appeal lies in its ability to reach audiences that have not fully embraced streaming TV, offering a unique opportunity for advertisers to connect with demographics that might be underserved by purely digital channels. 

It’s crucial to remember that it doesn’t have to be either-or. In many cases, the best strategy involves some level of investment in both linear and CTV. Recognizing the strengths of each platform and their distinct audience demographics allows brands to craft a comprehensive and diversified media mix, ensuring a broader reach and maximizing the impact of their advertising efforts. As the media landscape continues to evolve, striking a balance between linear TV and digital alternatives capitalizes on the strengths of both traditional and modern viewing platforms.

Looking for more information on linear media, or interested in incorporating Streaming Ads into your strategy in the coming year? At Tinuiti, we have a team of experts that can get you started. Check out our Streaming+ services (which can also help you with targeted linear TV buys!) here or contact us today for more information.

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YouTube Ad Specs, Sizes, and Examples [2024 Update]

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YouTube Ad Specs, Sizes, and Examples

Introduction

With billions of users each month, YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and top website for video content. This makes it a great place for advertising. To succeed, advertisers need to follow the correct YouTube ad specifications. These rules help your ad reach more viewers, increasing the chance of gaining new customers and boosting brand awareness.

Types of YouTube Ads

Video Ads

  • Description: These play before, during, or after a YouTube video on computers or mobile devices.
  • Types:
    • In-stream ads: Can be skippable or non-skippable.
    • Bumper ads: Non-skippable, short ads that play before, during, or after a video.

Display Ads

  • Description: These appear in different spots on YouTube and usually use text or static images.
  • Note: YouTube does not support display image ads directly on its app, but these can be targeted to YouTube.com through Google Display Network (GDN).

Companion Banners

  • Description: Appears to the right of the YouTube player on desktop.
  • Requirement: Must be purchased alongside In-stream ads, Bumper ads, or In-feed ads.

In-feed Ads

  • Description: Resemble videos with images, headlines, and text. They link to a public or unlisted YouTube video.

Outstream Ads

  • Description: Mobile-only video ads that play outside of YouTube, on websites and apps within the Google video partner network.

Masthead Ads

  • Description: Premium, high-visibility banner ads displayed at the top of the YouTube homepage for both desktop and mobile users.

YouTube Ad Specs by Type

Skippable In-stream Video Ads

  • Placement: Before, during, or after a YouTube video.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Vertical: 9:16
    • Square: 1:1
  • Length:
    • Awareness: 15-20 seconds
    • Consideration: 2-3 minutes
    • Action: 15-20 seconds

Non-skippable In-stream Video Ads

  • Description: Must be watched completely before the main video.
  • Length: 15 seconds (or 20 seconds in certain markets).
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Vertical: 9:16
    • Square: 1:1

Bumper Ads

  • Length: Maximum 6 seconds.
  • File Format: MP4, Quicktime, AVI, ASF, Windows Media, or MPEG.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 640 x 360px
    • Vertical: 480 x 360px

In-feed Ads

  • Description: Show alongside YouTube content, like search results or the Home feed.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Square: 1:1
  • Length:
    • Awareness: 15-20 seconds
    • Consideration: 2-3 minutes
  • Headline/Description:
    • Headline: Up to 2 lines, 40 characters per line
    • Description: Up to 2 lines, 35 characters per line

Display Ads

  • Description: Static images or animated media that appear on YouTube next to video suggestions, in search results, or on the homepage.
  • Image Size: 300×60 pixels.
  • File Type: GIF, JPG, PNG.
  • File Size: Max 150KB.
  • Max Animation Length: 30 seconds.

Outstream Ads

  • Description: Mobile-only video ads that appear on websites and apps within the Google video partner network, not on YouTube itself.
  • Logo Specs:
    • Square: 1:1 (200 x 200px).
    • File Type: JPG, GIF, PNG.
    • Max Size: 200KB.

Masthead Ads

  • Description: High-visibility ads at the top of the YouTube homepage.
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080 or higher.
  • File Type: JPG or PNG (without transparency).

Conclusion

YouTube offers a variety of ad formats to reach audiences effectively in 2024. Whether you want to build brand awareness, drive conversions, or target specific demographics, YouTube provides a dynamic platform for your advertising needs. Always follow Google’s advertising policies and the technical ad specs to ensure your ads perform their best. Ready to start using YouTube ads? Contact us today to get started!

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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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