How to keep Connected TV clean in 2018 [Best Practices]


When it comes to programmatic advertising, the hottest new format is undoubtedly Connected TV (CTV). In 2017 we saw a 2,400% increase in YoY dollars spent on CTV. Of course, this demand did not go unnoticed by the supply-side of the world and was promptly met by a major influx of new publishers, applications, and overall avails. This combination of events leads to the perfect breeding ground for bad actors to appear and try to get their cut of the action, with undesirable, or even fraudulent inventory.

Making matters that much more delicate for agencies and their advertisers, true Connected TV is viewed on actual household TVs via in-app environments that do not play nice with current impression verification technology. This means the onus is on the buyer to understand what they are buying and hold the entire supply chain accountable for the result.

To ensure that you are getting the most out of your client’s CTV campaigns and not falling prey to undesirable or fraudulent inventory, follow these best practices developed by our Advanced TV Team:

5 best practices to help keep your Connected TV campaign clean

1.     Direct publisher relationships

Develop direct relationships with the publishers you are buying from. Without 3rd-party verification, a trusted relationship between buyer and seller is the key to a clean supply chain.

2.     Private marketplace is key

Always buy via private marketplace (PMP), not open exchange. This is the simplest way to ensure that you are only buying from your intended publishers and that there isn’t any inventory masquerading as something it’s not.

RELATED: Private exchange + your programmatic marketing mix: 5 steps to get started

3.     Test…

Test new inventory sources before diving in with live budgets. When working with a new publisher it’s important to try out the inventory to check for reporting discrepancies, confirm targeting capabilities, and get a feel for the overall experience. 10k impressions should do the trick.

4.    …and learn

Regularly check in on key metrics even after testing is complete. True CTV should keep completion rates at or above 90% and clicks should be next to nothing (because they’re on a TV screen after all). If these metrics start to fall out of line, consider them the proverbial canary in the coal mine for suspicious activity.

5.    Stay vigilant

Once a process is in place and you are following the above steps, there is no need to be paranoid. But active awareness of what is taking place in your supply chain is paramount to ensure that you do not become victim to undesirable inventory down the line.