Member Guest Blog with Didomi – The Rise of CTV Advertising Should Not Sacrifice Consumer Privacy

In this week’s member guest blog post, we welcome Tamara Nordberg, Product Marketing Manager at Didomi as she explores the growth of Connected-TV (CTV) and explains why privacy is so important in this channel.

The digital advertising industry is widely considering “connected TV” advertising as the next big growth driver. In North America alone, the OTT market is expected to double over the next 5 years, growing by over $94 billion, according to analyst firm Digital TV Research.

Various players, from streaming platforms to telco providers and publishers, are all racing to build the best possible data and technology stacks to attract advertising dollars. The money will indeed flow for those who can offer the best audience solutions across devices and platforms. Dexter Goei, the CEO of Altice USA has recently declared that “everything is going to the OTT world over broadband.

But what do consumers think about it? Do they share the industry’s enthusiasm? It seems so.

A European-level survey conducted by Magnite (which has recently completed a strategic acquisition in the CTV and OTT ad market) indeed concluded that consumers are eager to see targeted advertising on TV, seeing it as an improvement over the current model of linear TV advertising.

When asked about what type of ads are acceptable to them, it revealed that 71% of  Europeans would accept targeted ads that are relevant to their interests, with country-level variations between 65% for Germans and 80% for Italians.

The survey even showed that, on average, 57% of Europeans would likely consent to ads that would be tailored to their online browsing behavior. Again, the lowest approval rate was among German consumers (46%) and the highest among Italians (67%) and Spaniards (65%).

Based on these findings, after briefly stating that “consumer privacy remains top of mind for advertisers and consumers,” the survey concludes that  “there is a disconnect between the concern for privacy and the acceptance of [CTV] advertising” and that “consumers are willing to sacrifice some level of privacy in order to watch ads.

I think we should approach targeted advertising on CTV in a different way.

Privacy should be at the core of this new model, otherwise, consumers will not trust it. This is why Didomi has launched its CMP on connected TV this week.

Consumers should have the right to accept or refuse this paradigm, and decide for themselves whether or not they want TV ad personalisation. You should collect consent before serving personalised ads, and allow them to update or revoke permission easily, at any time. Because let’s not forget that the model is based on personal data, collected through identifiers specific to each OS and platform.

In Europe and under the GDPR or ePrivacy frameworks, this requires consent.

Not providing a clear, transparent choice to CTV consumers before serving personalised ads would give the impression that advertising technology forcefully enters living rooms and pockets, which will not be accepted and could, in the worst case, lead to consumer backlash and lawsuits across the globe.

It’s a matter of both trust and compliance, which are two sine qua non conditions to make this new model sustainable.

Eric Schmitt, a research director and analyst at Gartner (not the former CEO of Google), agrees with that point-of-view. He told Adexchanger that “it seems likely that we will see a privacy reckoning in streaming TV as CTV and OTT scale and intersect with privacy regulations.”

Let’s be clear: we will all benefit from a growing, innovative global connected TV ad market. The opportunities are massive for advertisers, vendors and consumers alike. Magnite’s survey showed that 71% of consumers already prefer streaming over traditional broadcast, and up to 74% consume ad-supported video-on-demand services on a weekly basis.

But the adtech industry should place consumer permission at the core of the new OTT model. That’s the only way to have long-term, sustainable growth that respects consumers’ ability to choose their CTV experience.

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