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Alan Wolk, of TVREV, on the future of CTV and the evolution of “the TV industrial complex”

The thing we still call “television” is rapidly evolving — both from a viewer and an advertiser perspective. Today viewers can choose from an amazingly wide and ever-expanding inventory of content across multiple streaming channels, some free, some paid.

Advertisers — who once viewed television as a simple, tonnage-based “reach” vehicle — now, with CTV (Connected Television) have at their disposal the kind of granular targeting that digital advertisers have enjoyed for years. Furthermore, evolving viewing expectations about ad production quality lowered ad production costs, making CTV-based advertising a credible option for smaller DTC brands which formerly would have been deterred by these costs.

To get a better sense of how the TV industry is evolving, I caught up with Alan Wolk, Co-Founder and Lead Analyst at TVREV, an analyst group comprised of veteran journalists and top executives from the TV and advertising industries.

Alan and myself discuss the latest industry mergers, the degree to which what Alan calls “the TV industrial complex” is consolidating or expanding, and the significance of Netflix’ recent announcement about launching an ad-supported service.

We also converse about the rise of contextual video targeting, which will let advertisers buy viewers based on topic interest across multiple channels and networks, the impact of “cord-cutting,” the significance of Amazon’s interesting deployment of an ad-supported TV network, and how Amazon may be strategically shifting video content across paid and unpaid channels to maximize revenue.

TV, as an industry, may be very slow to evolve but there’s no doubt that the advent of CTV is causing “the TV industrial complex” to inevitably morph into something newer — and hopefully better — from both a viewer and advertiser perspective — than we’ve ever seen.


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