CTV 2022: Attribution, Fragmentation, Clean Rooms and More

man with hands on glowing orb

By John Hamilton, Founder and CEO, TVDataNow

If 2020 was the year consumers woke up to the appeal of CTV and 2021 was the year advertisers began to take it seriously, what does that mean for 2022? We predict this will truly be the year of explosive and sustained growth, maturation, and great leaps in data and attribution.

We’re still a few years away from CTV becoming a fully realized ecosystem on par with digital performance media, but CTV is ascendant while digital media is set up for a few rocky years. With that in mind, we’ve identified five key predictions for where CTV goes in 2022.

1. More, Not Less Fragmentation

Even in 2022, it does not feel like we’ve reached a saturation point with CTV publishers. In addition to the premium apps found on all major OSs and devices, Roku’s self-publishing platform makes it super easy for anyone to launch an app and monetize it through advertising.

It has over 14,000 channels covering virtually every subject matter. But new opportunities for new publishers arise every day. With NFTs, cryptos, expansion of legalized gambling and other new subjects, it’s easy to imagine the number of apps will double by the end of next year.

2. More Budgets Coming from Digital as Opposed to Traditional Linear TV

The bulk of CTV spend has historically come from traditional linear advertisers trying to capture audiences on CTV. But the concerning trends in digital performance media will open CTV up to a whole new set of advertisers.

As digital performance likely craters due to the disappearance of cookies and the gatekeepers exerting more control over their ecosystems, digital marketers will seek a new channel for their spend. The growth in spend in 2022 will be in large part due to a shift from digital to CTV.

3. Someone Will Solve the Attribution Problem*

The results are in: Nielsen is not adapting to the new media landscape and will continue to lose its influence. They have not helped solve attribution in CTV, and it does not look like they will.

So who will step into the breach to make sure CTV gets full credit and attribution for the performance it delivers across the marketing funnel from brand awareness all the way to purchase and everything in between?

In 2022, a whole host of players will vie for the solution, and while we do not expect a complete attribution product next year, we will see a lot of progress. Soon, CTV campaigns will receive full credit for the outcomes it delivers.

4. Programmatic’s Share of the CTV Ecosystem Will Remain Flat in 2022.

CTV advertising was expected to top $13.4 billion in 2021, half of which ($6.7 billion) was programmatic, according to eMarketer. Since we predict CTV to grow in 2022, the rising tide that lifts all boats will ensure raw programmatic spending grows as well.

Yet, we do not predict an increase in programmatic market share. In addition, iDirect campaigns (including PMPs) will still be important to the largest publishers, with the longer tail publishers opting to monetize programmatically until they reach scale.

5. Clean Rooms to Deliver Insights Balanced with Security/Privacy in 2022

Large publishers, platforms and DSPs (e.g., Roku, Hulu, Trade Desk, etc.) are looking for a way to have better control over privacy and security while still being able to measure the effectiveness of advertising.

A clean room, which is software that enables companies to match user-level data without sharing raw data, has been a huge topic of discussion in digital media because of the aforementioned changes to cookies and attribution.

Many companies are emerging to serve this area in CTV, such as Habu, InfoSum and Snowflake. These will become clean room partners for the walled gardens to deliver performance insights to brand advertisers. They will become huge partners in CTV, especially as evolving privacy and security concerns require an adjustment of control over time-based on best practices.

There is still time to become an early adopter in CTV. As discussed above, it is still the beginning of this journey and there are still plenty of digital media advertisers that are worried about the future, yet have not discovered CTV as the next big opportunity. By getting in on the ground, advertisers can build strong relationships with publishers and other players while helping to build the foundation that many others will soon discover.