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Media Trends | Seen and Heard

The Trade Desk’s Forward ’24: TV’s Tipping Point conference

Author: Max Barkley – Associate Director Digital Strategy

Our agency President sent Megan Smiley (Vision Media’s Director of Account Strategy) and me off to New York City to attend The Trade Desk’s Forward ’24: TV’s Tipping Point conference, with the mission to find and meet The Trade Desk’s CEO, Jeff Green.

The hot topic at this year's Forward '24 conference was, unsurprisingly, Connected TV. From Jeff Green’s keynote to TTD’s Chief Commercial Officer Tim Sims, along with executives from brands such as Paramount Advertising, Disney, NBCUniversal, and Samsung Mobile – the gauntlet was thrown down early and big claims were made in support of the fast-growing channel.

Green proclaimed that “CTV can save journalism - period.” Going on to say that CTV supports quality journalism while social channels promote fake news and host hate comments and content. Advertising on CTV and the Open Web will allow for greater access to trusted media sources through SSPs (Supply Side Platforms). Suppliers and Publishers are founded on journalistic principles that social media platforms don’t follow. Walled Gardens, like Meta and X, limit engagement with posts that include external links to keep users on their sites, limiting access to external news. Currently, none of the Walled Gardens are competing in the CTV landscape, and Green wants to use the CTV/Open Web to fight the social walled gardens. The overall message - protecting good journalism is key.

Many of the event’s speakers shared their support for CTV and belief in its full-funnel capabilities (including the use of QR codes in ads). From their perspective, CTV offers greater attribution, optimization, authentication, data, audience, and guaranteed buying. John Halley, President of Paramount Advertising professed, “Connected TV does not look like its linear predecessor. It is a full-funnel product that can deliver both targeting and attribution and optimization.”

Brand executives informed the audience of their experiences and results with TTD’s UID2 (Unified ID 2.0), an email-based identifier protecting consumer identity while enabling targeted advertising that works across the web, mobile apps, and CTV. There were multiple mentions of how UID2 has amplified both reach and engagement and resulted in overwhelmingly successful campaign results.

There was a lot of excitement about streaming live sports and the connection to that genre’s highly engaged audience. With 40% growth YoY in streaming NFL games on CTV, streaming sports is growing rapidly. Jaclyn Wyatt, Head of Digital Marketing at Samsung Mobile shared, “When we got into live sports programmatic buying, we actually increased our audience reach in digital [by] 33%.” She was one of many executives promoting the benefits of advertising alongside live sports on CTV.

The TTD team also teased a new service coming soon called – S&P500+. The service will allow buyers to target 500 premium publishers (NYTs, Hulu, Disney+, ABC, Wall Street Journal). This will be an attempt to provide the best of the open internet and protect journalism and content. The launch date is currently TBD.

Max and Megan at The Trade Desk conference 2024

Given the event's host, it makes sense that the key takeaways from Forward ’24 are that CTV is the best direction for effective advertising and that using TTDs UID2 will result in better reach and engagement with qualified audiences. There certainly is promise in the developments happening with CTV and UID2. If you haven’t advertised on CTV, especially during live sports, you may want to have your agency test it in your media plan. As the fastest-growing channel in the US and projected to grow 22.4% in 2024, CTV may be your newest ad tactic.

And finally, connecting one-on-one with the CEO and chairman of an organization like TTD is more difficult than you might think. We were close a few times but just couldn’t make it happen. Green did leave us with something to ponder on the way home, “This year is the tipping point for TV, but TV is the tipping point for the rest of the open internet.”


TTD Event Summary Video -

TTD’s UID2 -