As we turn the page on 2022, we spent some time reflecting on the year that was – and wasn’t. 2022 started out with a bang and then soon fizzled as talks of a looming recession increased and advertisers started to slow spend in anticipation of the economic downturn. And yet,  there were some bright moments. We saw YouTube further solidify its place in the streaming landscape as CTV continued to attract audiences and advertisers alike. As we gear up for the coming year, here are some of the key trends that we have on our radar. 

The First-Party Data Era Has Arrived

  • Google may have delayed the “cookie-apocalypse” – again – but the time for brands to build their 1P data infrastructure is now. Those who wait, will see a huge impact on their business. YouTube, as a cookie-less platform alternative, will be an increasingly important part of plans as 1P reservoirs grow. 

YouTube as a CTV player

  • Agencies will continue to increase the way they see YouTube as a CTV player vs. just a digital or social player.

Contextual Advertising is Back in Fashion

  • With Behavioral targeting moving out of the spotlight, contextual advertising and the ability to reach audiences –  in a safe and suitable way – will be all the rage. But there will be the opportunity to do impactful behavioral targeting on YouTube and other walled gardens that many people mistakenly think will go away. 

The Notion of “Premium” Content will Evolve

  • More than ever before “Prime Time” is and will continue to become even more “personal”. Audiences have more choices than ever not just what to watch but where to watch and this will dramatically impact how media is bought. Those who are not incorporating YouTube as part of their “Premium” plan will miss out.

More Definition Around What is Suitable CTV Content

  • The industry will have to define what suitability looks like on CTV, a place where content is proliferating and there is plenty for some brands to want to avoid. 

Buyers Will Make Transparency a Must-Have on CTV

  • The buy-side has been asking for more transparency for the last few years on CTV. I think that 2023 will be the year that they put their foot down and demand transparency into planning and reporting on where they run their ads. Once one publisher opens up transparency, others will have to follow.