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Companies are aggregating services in response to the proliferation of all these apps. Consumers don’t want to subscribe in a million different places to watch TV. The Hulu-ESPN-Disney+ merger will likely bring all 20th Century Fox content into one app. Paramount+ just released loads of content, and Amazon recently purchased MGM, merging its intellectual property with Prime Video and Amazon Studios.

Providers should soon figure out a way to say, “You get access to all of these apps,” rather than all these channels, right? Otherwise, what would differentiate them from cable? With cable and satellite, customers pay for hundreds of unwatched channels, but people just want all the channels they watch in one place. The app aggregation will continue as providers respond to consumer demands.

Follow the date

Don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and dive into the data; 64% of marketing executives agree it should drive strategy.

All TV will eventually be able to be bought programmatically, and more programmatic buying will come with layers. Google released within Google Marketing Platform a way to buy digital TV ads through current ad-buying systems, making inventory available. Automated methods of optimizing media will also begin blending into TV, and we’ll buy ad commercials the same way we’d buy a YouTube or programmatic display ad.

Audience consumption patterns will soon fuel programmatic ads across both linear and digital TV, automating the entire process with a sleek online user interface. Get cozy with your audience’s consumption patterns because that data will help you determine what weight you should give digital versus linear, why, for what networks, and more.

Optimize spending

The cost per 1,000 impressions, or CPM, is dramatically different between linear and digital TV. Digital TV targeting is based on a variety of demographics. Also, digital offers many ad types, such as display, interactive, and other ads not available on linear.

But here’s the digital caveat: Advanced targeting decreases scalability and reach while CPMs increase. Sometimes that increase doesn’t make sense because a lower conversion rate across a mass audience on linear still provides more customers at a lower cost.

In fact, linear TV is more efficient because you pay less to reach more. Even the lowest viewed shows on broadcast TV reach between 100,000 and 2 million viewers — stellar numbers for a YouTuber. But CPMs for YouTube ($20-$25) and CTV ($35-$65) are much higher than linear TV ($10-$15). Monitor costs and test different strategies to optimize your spending.

Although our country is divided on how to access it, we all agree that video content has a permanent place in culture. Both the devices on which we watch TV and how we receive content have evolved. Cable and satellite providers still reach millions of viewers every hour, and they’re learning to incorporate digital into their offerings. Despite reports of its death, linear TV could be the answer to the wave of streaming fatigue hitting cord-cutters.

RSVP for Ad Age In-Depth: TV Pivot on May 24 and 25 at AdAge.com/TVPivot

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