Advertising Week Q&A with Edward Wale, VP, Europe, LG Ad Solutions

Q: Talk us through your role as VP of Europe at LG Ads Solutions, how did you come by it?

The rapid growth that CTV advertising has experienced in recent years presented me with the opportunity to support LG Ad Solutions’ global expansion of its CTV advertising services for marketers. Based in London, I am responsible for growth in the EMEA region, to answer the growing demands of advertisers throughout our major European markets to supplement the truly global approach and provision we have for brands worldwide.

Q: What are the key considerations or challenges for brands looking to expand their advertising on CTV?

As the Connected TV opportunity grows for advertisers, one of the biggest challenges is fragmentation. This is driven by the increasing number of platforms and channels where people are consuming content. The landscape is stacked with opportunities – 94% of internet users in the UK are reachable via CTV – and we are certainly seeing advertisers shifting media dollars to follow the audience. But whether you are an experienced marketer or new to streaming, there are challenges to navigating the complexity.

The best first step is to choose the right partners who also take an audience-first approach and are committed to work together with the advertisers’ various inventory and measurement partners on their behalf. A data-first strategy, utilising the huge amounts of audience information available through CTV is one way to do this, allowing precise targeting and holistic TV marketing campaigns.

Audience insights can be garnered from a number of data sources, including traditional industry measurements like Barb, and newer capabilities such as Automatic Content Recognition (ACR), a privacy-first, anonymised alternative content identification technology available only through Smart TV partners, like LG Ad Solutions. This is the way advertisers can take advantage of the opportunity to target incremental and hard-to-reach audiences at scale, while also maintaining a unified view to optimise campaigns across linear, connected TV and digital campaigns.

Q: Which key characteristics make CTV a smart investment for advertisers and how can they demonstrate ROI?

With a predicted ad spend of £2.3 billion by 2026 in the UK alone, CTV is clearly an attractive offering for marketers. There is a guaranteed level of quality which cannot necessarily be met by other forms of advertising. Premium, sound-on video experiences are increasingly scarce in desktop and mobile web, and targeting is set to become more challenging with cookie changes – conversely CTV offers a scaled, long-form video experiences that deliver superior impact front & centre on the largest screen in the home.

Marketers also have a variety of ad placement options to enhance user experience and increase relevance to viewers. Content discoverability is on the rise, and Smart TVs open the doors for native ads to capture user attention before they even choose what to watch, blending seamlessly with content at the same time. Shoppable ads can enhance the user experience further, using QR codes to direct consumers to a brand’s choice of digital destination, boosting the ability to measure and improve conversion

But crucially, the wide range of data available to marketers allows for a granular understanding of campaign success. By harnessing metrics such as ad completion rates and conversions such as tune-in, app downloads, web traffic, location behaviour, and even purchase, marketers can more effectively  measure the incrementality of their campaigns.

Q: FAST channels seem to be prevalent in most streaming services, what are the opportunities for FAST services?

Shifting trends in television viewership and consumer price sensitivities have meant audiences are increasingly reducing their subscriptions and turning to ad-supported offerings instead, such as new tiers introduced by the likes of Netflix and Disney+.

Increased availability and demand has led to growing support for free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) – it’s predicted that FAST will make up nearly 20% of the UK AVOD market by 2027.

With a wide array of niche content options on FAST channels, marketers have the opportunity to target audiences that often can’t be found elsewhere, and reach difficult-to-find consumers more precisely.

Q: As VP of Europe, you are at the forefront of LG Ads Solutions’ European expansion. What can the European market expect to see from LG in the near future?

As CTV advertising continues to grow in Europe, we’re working hard to meet advertisers’ demands for inventory and continue to expand our offering and accessibility to marketers.

LG Ad Solutions direct-to-glass datasets — measuring content shown directly on the screen, regardless of the source —  are evolving measurement capabilities to deliver deeper insight. A strategy based on this glass-level data can help all brands investing in CTV, linear, or a combination to integrate planning insights and delivery strategies to optimise their return on spend and successfully manage retargeting across devices.

This is especially true for media and entertainment brands seeking valuable streaming and gaming audiences, who are now able to target gamers and specific game fans, and better understand the lifetime value and behaviour of streaming audiences.

In terms of our products and services, we have also recently announced partnerships with RTL AdAlliance and Teads for our European customers to enhance our offering. Also, as more audiences adopt a streaming first consumption pattern, and we continue to see growth in LG Channels viewership,  we will be bringing more fantastic content to the service in Europe with partners such as DAZN, Fifa+ and ITV Studios.