With a new year comes a new raft of predictions for what might unfold within it. PerformanceIN has been speaking with marketing experts in a number of disciplines to gauge their thoughts on what could make 2016 a groundbreaking year for their space. 

In this piece, Sarah Lawson Johnston, managing director for Europe at Mediaocean, predicts that 2016 will become the year TV and digital video collide

Boundaries between TV and emerging channels – such as digital video – are already blurring as the industry realises the need for a seamless content experience. This year convergence will become a reality as marketers look to create cross-channel campaigns that combine the power of TV and digital video – so what will be the major themes and challenges? 

Closer connections between TV and digital platforms will create a crossover of technologies in the coming year, and automation will increasingly be applied to amplify the impact of TV ads.

While the adoption of addressable TV is currently low — accounting for just 1-2% of media spend — enthusiasm will grow as marketers begin to understand the opportunity it presents for precision targeting. Advances in data-driven targeting and enhanced segmentation options will enable marketers to personalise content and tailor TV ads to viewers’ interests, driving conversions and limiting wastage. Cross-channel campaigns will enable the sequential targeting of consumers across multiple platforms including TV, mobile apps and the web.   

This ability to deliver TV ads that can be seen by the right individual, in the right location, at the optimal moment, will see the use of programmatic and addressable TV soar in the next 12 months. Channel 4 and Sky may be leading the way today, but by 2019 advertisers will spend $10 billion globally on programmatic TV. 

A surge in automation will naturally lead to a demand for more accurate measurement of real-time ads, enabling marketers to fully understand how their TV ads are performing to maximise ROI.

Current ad performance metrics for TV and digital differ greatly – due largely to the premium nature of TV and the limited availability of slots – and what works for digital video may be difficult to apply to TV. Alongside measurement, viewability and transparency within the programmatic TV buying process will become hot topics that require resolution.  

Multi-screening has brought social media and TV into closer proximity than ever before, with viewers commenting on TV programmes and ads in real-time across social channels. Social TV will rise in prominence next year as advertisers look to connect with the audience while they watch linear TV.

A handful of innovators are already fusing social with TV. For example, a recent campaign by UK fashion brand Missguided offered consumers the chance to appear in a TV ad by uploading footage of themselves in the brand’s clothing to social media platforms. 

The year ahead won’t herald the demise of TV in favour of digital – it will adapt and evolve, merging with digital video as well as channels such as social to ensure it stays relevant to today’s multi-screening consumer. In 2016, advances in technology and infrastructure will enable marketers to launch truly cross-screen campaigns, combining the precise targeting of digital video with the scale of linear TV.