Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

CTV Leaders: Sam Wilson, MD CTV, EMEA, Magnite

NDA has launched an interview series, CTV Leaders: Building the Future of TV, featuring inspirational leaders across the industry. Next up is Sam Wilson, MD CTV, EMEA, Magnite.

Sam has over 15 years of experience working across the digital advertising industry, specialising in connected TV (CTV), programmatic, and digital media sales. Prior to Magnite, Sam held the position of VP Platform, EMEA at SpotX, before the business was acquired by Magnite in April 2021. He has previously worked at Brightcove, Kaltura and Limelight networks driving their growth in the European Market.

What is the biggest opportunity for advertisers AND consumers in CTV at present?

At Magnite, we often use the term ‘streaming TV’. Though CTV and streaming TV aren’t synonymous, there is an important reason for this. Audiences do not delineate between screens but prioritise content, user experience and flexibility when it comes to watching their favourite shows. This means a device agnostic approach to TV advertising mirrors consumer behaviour most accurately and can lead to the best results.

There is a unique opportunity for advertisers who adopt a streaming TV approach. We know consumers switch between streams and screens multiple times a day, but data now suggests when brands reach audiences in this way, the return on their ad investment is higher.

Magnite’s latest research, ‘Streaming TV’s New Era’, shows a massive 72% of ad-supported streamers are more likely to make a purchase from a brand they’ve engaged with on multiple devices. 

For consumers, the quality of programming and constantly improving user experience means they are watching more content than ever before. Continued investment from advertisers in streaming TV means media owners are able to also invest in making more shows and ensuring the best viewing experience for their audiences.

What are the biggest challenges and how will we overcome them?

Streaming TV is reaching critical mass as audiences watch more content delivered via an internet connection than on linear formats. As this migration occurs, a challenge our industry faces is in ensuring the viewing experience matches, or exceeds, the high standards set by traditional broadcasting.

Working with partners who can ensure a seamless ad experience is critical. Frequency capping, server-side ad insertion and competitive separation are all important factors for brands to consider when allocating their media spend within the streaming TV ecosystem.

What technology or innovation in the sector are you most excited about?

One of the biggest changes the TV industry is experiencing is the transition to programmatic buying. Advertisers have been calling for this for some time and we now see significant advances in programmatic adoption. This gives brands and their agencies more real-time insight into campaign performance and return on investment.

Streaming TV also offers brands an opportunity to become much more creative in how they communicate with audiences because of the more in depth understanding of who they are reaching.

Additionally, this increase in programmatic campaigns is resulting in a more democratic TV ecosystem. Advertisers with smaller consumer bases or budgets are now able to tap into the power of TV advertising. This means more variety for audiences and more options for brands who want to utilise the power of streaming.

Finally, innovation in ad formats is creating new opportunities for CTV advertisers. Tiles, the TV offering supported by SpringServe, Magnite’s ad server, is a unique product which supports advertising within the OEMs’ home screen UI. Media owners can use this to promote shows and services enabling audiences to find new experiences.

What is your favourite CTV ad or piece of content at the moment and why?

Recently, I’ve really been enjoying Paramount Plus’s Yellowstone. It’s a fantastic portrayal of the American West with some old school cowboy characters that hook you in. That, and I’m a sucker for Kevin Costner.

What is your most proud achievement in the CTV sector to date?

In the past two years, Magnite has combined several best in class platforms to create Magnite Streaming -a CTV and OTT-first platform for media owners and advertisers. Combining multiple platforms in a relatively short period of time was a monumental feat driven by the need to provide customers with the next iteration of programmatic technology to match the advances in streaming TV viewing.

The Magnite team who worked on this project were incredible and made me very proud to work for a company who is so invested in driving our industry forward and creating real change for our customers.