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Pinch Me! The Q4 Inventory Squeeze: What to Expect and How You Can Beat It With MadHive

The CTV space has seen rapid growth in the past year, both in terms of programming and viewership. Streaming services like Paramount+, Pluto TV, Tubi, and Peacock have brought content we all know and love — from The Office to The Walking Dead — to streaming platforms.

This rapid growth is a huge opportunity for advertisers and media buyers, but capitalizing on it can be daunting. Given the fragmentation of consumer attention across so many channels and devices, it can be difficult to create a holistic, fraud-free television strategy.

At MadHive, our goal is to simplify it all. We work with companies of all sizes and types to deliver data-driven digital TV campaigns at scale. We got our start in local TV, and we’ve worked with leading local TV station groups for years. We’re uniquely qualified to help buyers of all types — from local stations, to agencies and brands — reach those needle-in-a-haystack customers across the US.

Given that local DNA, we’re uniquely suited to help clients deal with fluctuations in inventory, especially seasonality. Finding a specific customer on a specific publisher is just one more needle in one more haystack. We’ve seen the ups and downs of the market, and one thing we’re preparing for is an inventory crunch in Q4 2021. Due to higher upfront commitments this year, spiking holiday sales, end of the year budgets, and many other factors, Q4 will likely see tighter inventory.

While volume in programmatic is dynamic and always changing, we wanted to share the ways we’re helping our clients prepare for this shift.

Three tips to navigating tighter OTT inventory in Q4

Broaden your campaign parameters

Allowing your campaign to reach a broader audience is the best way to protect your campaign from under-delivery due to inventory constraints. Consider expanding your geographic targeting footprint, adding additional publishers, widening your audience pool, or adjusting the frequency per household and/or device.

Leverage complementary channels and device types

We love big screen impressions, but we know that cross-channel campaigns offer huge storytelling potential. In fact, research has shown that when TV complements other video ads, it produces a “halo effect” for traditional big screen TV ads. In other words, exposing the same viewer to your ad on digital short form video and the TV set can make your campaign resonate even more. At MadHive, we support cross-channel campaigns allowing you to plan, activate, and measure all in one place!

Test, learn, and optimize

One of the best aspects of digital buying is the ability to test, learn, and improve campaigns over time. At MadHive, we work with clients to understand how campaigns are performing and use machine learning and other proprietary technology to make improvements.

As mentioned above, broadening campaign parameters is an effective way to improve pacing and to correct campaign performance in flight. Another way to improve campaigns is pacing. In an inventory crunch, pacing may be lower than usual due to demand, so modifying in-flight is extra important. If your campaign is under pace, it’s a good indication that you should broaden your targeting parameters. Conversely, if it’s over pace, you can narrow your target audience and/or geography where applicable.

Whenever there is growth, there is opportunity. Buyers should remain optimistic about programmatic TV and its ability to drive ROI in Q4. There are more CTV impressions available than ever before, and that will continue to be the case as streaming platforms continue to grow. Even if there is a short term squeeze, we believe there is long term opportunity. And we’re here to help our clients navigate it.




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