New research highlights transparency and quality lessons for MENAT advertisers
Posted on 2024 Apr,05

The Connected TV (CTV) market in Europe is a source of considerable interest and investment from marketers across MENAT, but a new report has revealed that CTV advertising in Europe still suffers from a lack of transparency and need for quality verification. 

According to The Power and Potential of CTV in Europe, only 30% of advertisers and publishers have full transparency into where ad placements appear, and 27% never or rarely have insight into the brand suitability of the shows ads run alongside. These findings are part of a study conducted by DoubleVerify (“DV”) (NYSE: DV), a leading software platform for digital media measurement, data, and analytics, in collaboration with IAB Europe, the leading European-level association for the digital advertising and marketing ecosystem.

The report, which surveyed over 420 senior advertiser and publisher executives, complements the results of an analysis conducted by DV last year, which found that one third of impressions were served into CTV environments where TVs were turned off. This wasted digital investment on a hyper-premium channel was compounded by a sharp rise in CTV ad fraud schemes — which tripled between 2020 and 2022. Meanwhile, demand for CTV continues to grow beyond what individual broadcasters alone can serve.

Transparency and measurement were cited by respondents as key issues, with a major challenge for both advertisers and publishers being the availability and quality of measurement data on CTV. However, the report notes that, while verification on CTV buys is being increasingly considered to support quality outcomes, only 37% of advertisers and 41% of publishers have fraud protection. Meanwhile, only 44% of advertisers and 39% of publishers are measuring whether their ads have been viewed. 

Despite these obstacles, optimism surrounding CTV remains high. 95% of advertisers and 89% of publishers strongly believe that addressability and actionability are on the horizon for CTV, which will help advertisers drive outcomes from their campaigns and continue to fuel greater publisher investment. 

For advertisers, CTV is an attractive channel that provides an opportunity to access premium programming at scale — expanding and augmenting audiences they may already reach on linear TV. 51% of respondents cited scale as one of their key priorities. And while CPMs on CTV are typically higher than those of other digital channels, 51% of advertisers also see investing in CTV as a way to achieve cost efficiencies compared with linear TV. 

For publishers, the focus is on providing high-quality inventory and qualified audiences to expand yield and deepen revenue. The top priority for 51% of publisher respondents is convincing new partners to begin advertising on CTV. This is closely followed by increasing CTV revenues with new (46%) and existing (45%) clients , and extending audiences (38%) to help their advertiser partners amplify their reach. 

“Buoyed by the success of streaming services, consumption of CTV content is rocketing, but brands advertising in this environment need to be aware of the risk factors and ensure they have full transparency over buys and fraud protection in place”, said Daniel White, VP, Regional Vice President MENAT at DoubleVerify. “In particular, identifying and blocking fraud will be crucial to protecting ad spend and boosting brand trust in CTV. What’s more, with the European CTV market more advanced than that of MENAT, there are some key learnings here for MENAT-based brands and publishers as to the challenges that can arise and need to be overcome to pave the way for a flourishing CTV market in this region.” 

“With the CTV Market in MENA still in its infancy, the weight of OMG MENA’s buying is typically focused on Europe and the rest of the world for our export clients, those that advertise around the globe, but not exclusively. This is driven by the fact that there are still only a handful of broadcasters in the region with quality CTV inventory, such as Shaahid, Rotana and Starz On”, said Chris Solomi, Chief Digital Officer, OMG MENA. “We are hopeful this will change in the coming 12-24 months as and when premium content platforms such as Amazon Prime Video and OSN launch Ad funded products in the MENA.”

“For clients that are marketing to Europe and the rest of the world, the major challenge comes from the complex and fragmented nature of CTV and the fact, as this report shows, it is by no means uniform across the world. Outside of the global streaming platforms most TV is local. The key to ensuring greater transparency and brand suitability for CTV placements both in Europe and worldwide is to work directly with a mix of local and global premium content partners and be very wary of fraud in the space.”

The DV and IAB report explores the state of CTV adoption throughout the UK and Europe, what advertisers and publishers can hope to get out of their investments, what they can expect over the next few years, and what challenges they face in CTV adoption. This includes a data-driven assessment of CTV quality, transparency, and brand suitability. Spokespeople from the following organizations provided qualitative contributions to the report: The Heineken Group, easyJet, Samsung Ads EMEA, Omnicom Media Group UK, GroupM, the7stars, e-dialog, Jellyfish, Microsoft Advertising, Magnite, PubMatic, and Yahoo. 

*The research took place between June and August 2023 and leveraged the national IAB network in Europe. It received 422 advertiser and publisher responses from across 29 markets. The respondent representation was split, with 51% representing advertisers and 49% representing publishers. For this report, DoubleVerify and IAB Europe have designated advertisers and agencies as “advertisers” and publishers, media owners, broadcasters, and CTV apps as “publishers.”