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The CTV Industry Should Be Talking About Content-Level Data

February 28, 2022

The Content Objective in CTV

CTV has become a main theme for brands and publishers in recent years and is already being prominently featured in the conference and events space in the first two months of 2022. While a variety of conversations and knowledge sharing have been presented, there is a main theme missing from the conversation. Though it continues to grow in popularity in relation to CTV, there is a lack of discussion around the “content”  object and its adoption by publishers.


What Is the Content Object?

The content object provides publishers with the ability to deliver information and insight into the content that ads will be displayed on to buyers. This includes data such as title, series, genre, ratings, keywords and more. Since 2016, the OpenRTB specification has provided the means to transmit content level data. However, nearly 6 years later, we are still seeing a lack of consistent content-level data in the majority of CTV bid requests.  Part of the problem is that publishers use various content management systems, many of which are proprietary, and lack a standardized taxonomy for categorization of content-level data.


Why Content-Level Data Matters for CTV?

Historically, buyers have been focused on cookie and user-based targeting strategies. In CTV environments where cookies are not supported and cross-device user attribution is a challenge, buyers need additional options they can leverage in their audience targeting strategies. With a recently renewed interest around contextual targeting, content-level data could provide important contextual clues buyers can leverage to reach their desired audience.

Given this, it is increasingly important that publishers and industry bodies work together to define standards around content-level data classification and to provide additional targeting options that more closely mirrors linear TV buys, such as genre, series, and ratings.


New Content Related Opportunities in CTV

Similar to the content object, the addition of new “network” and “channel” objects in the updated OpenRTB 2.6 specification adds more opportunities for content owners and publishers to provide  additional contextual clues. This can help assist buyers in identifying opportunity patterns in the bid stream. As the industry adds new content related fields in the bid steam, it is important we consider adopting standards around the classification of the data transmitted through these new fields. Standardized classification of this data is critical for effective targeting of such data.


Getting the Most Value from Granular CTV Data

At EMX, we are working with our CTV publishers to ensure content level data – and soon to be network and channel level data – is made available in the bid stream to provide alternative targeting options to buyers not focused around cookie-based or user-based targeting. Additionally, we are participating in key industry working groups to help define and evolve the standards for CTV and privacy focused targeting. By having additional targeting options and data insights to review, campaigns will have the opportunity to be more strategic and will work smarter to return the results that brands want to see in CTV.

If you are interested in learning more about CTV, download the Big Village CTV Guide to make your media investments go further.


Written by Mike Ivancic, Product Director at EMX