Insights Advanced TV

Advanced TV Speak Made Easy

By Matt Frattaroli on October 15, 2019

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Matt Frattaroli

SVP, Digital Platform & Agency Partnerships


Every industry has its language and acronyms, but it’s not every day that two parallel industries converge into one. For years, digital gurus have been forecasting the coming of addressable TV. Big money is shifting to these new platforms for finding the right viewer at the right time. US ad spend on addressable, linear, and CTV advertising is expected to grow from $17.3 billion in 2021 to $47.8 billion by 2026.1

For anyone diving into the market, or simply looking for a refresher, here is the basic vocabulary and how it is used – or misused – by industry experts.

Term Definition Examples
Advanced TV An umbrella name for the many pathways to TV audiences and content, often accompanied by the use of data to target a household across any device. Addressable TV, CTV, OTT, and data-driven linear TV
Addressable TV Using data to deliver an ad to a specific household on a TV screen. Enables advertisers to use audience targeting and segmentation with each advertisement. Two households watching the same program will see different ads within the addressable ad pod (each commercial break has reserved space for national, local and addressable ads).
Connected TV (CTV)

Televisions that connect to the internet - directly or through a device that plugs into the TV. Content accessed by apps and streamed over smart TVs, mobile, or OTT devices via an internet connection.

Smart TV, Fire TV, Roku or Apple TV device
Data-Driven Linear TV Traditional television that leverages data for planning of a media buy. This is a transitional approach until full addressable TV is a reality. It is more of an offline planning activity that leverages data from varying channels.  Understanding what percentage of viewers of a specific channel or program are also likely to be buyers of a specific brand or product.
Linear TV Traditional television viewing. Viewers can watch linear TV through cable or satellite services, as well as over-the-air broadcasts. Tuning into a show when it is scheduled to air by programmer, often via a set-top box.
Over-the-Top-TV (OTT) Video content transported from a video provider to a connected device over the internet outside the closed networks of telecom and cable providers. Content is delivered "over" the cable box to provide access to TV content. Hulu and Netflix
Smart TV A television with a built-in connection to the internet. No sticks or dongles are required. LG, Samsung, and Vizio
MVPD Multichannel Video Programming Distributor refers to any service provider that delivers video programming services.  Cable, satellite and fiber TV providers
vMVPD The "v" stands for virtual. A streaming pay-TV subscription, which provides access to traditional linear TV networks as well as on demand content delivered over the internet without the traditional set-top box infrastructure. Sling, DirecTV NOW, and Hulu 

The Alliant team is excited to help you navigate more than just the language of Advanced TV. Check out how we can deliver audiences across the many TV pathways to ensure you reach the right viewers, or reach out directly to learn more!

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