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The Ins & Outs of Connected TV, Part 3: Are CTV Ads Right For You?

In Part 3 of our Connected TV series, we’ll help you figure out when to include CTV ads in your campaign. If you missed Part 1 or Part 2, you should give those a quick read before diving in.

By this point in the blog series you know that here at AdBiblio, we think CTV technology and advertising is really cool. The combination of the traditional TV commercial format with AdBiblio’s precision targeting (demographics, interests, geo-locations, and days & times) creates a fantastic opportunity to expand your campaign’s visibility and impact.

But that doesn’t mean Connected TV is right for every campaign.


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I know the question that’s probably top-of-mind is, “How much does CTV cost?” so let’s go ahead and talk about it. This is the most premium product we’ve offered yet, and while we’re always committed to bringing you high-tech ads at the lowest possible cost, CTV does come at a relatively high price.

To book a CTV campaign, you’ll need a minimum of $5k reserved solely for the CTV ad impressions.

On top of that, we strongly recommend not running a solely-CTV campaign. Instead, CTV impressions should be combined with pre-roll video, native ads, and banners using Cross Device Targeting to maximize impact and awareness.

To really use CTV to its full advantage, you should have $10-20k in mind for the full package.



So let’s say you do have your next big title ready for promotion. Should you always choose CTV ads, or are there times when your budget is better spent elsewhere?



Round 1: Connected TV vs Traditional TV


If you definitely want to run TV ads for a given campaign and you’re trying to decide which avenue is best, we’d still recommend a combination approach. Traditional TV reaches tens of millions of people across the US and (for now) has more channels available for ad placement than CTV. But as we know from our Part 1 blog post, CTV also reaches tens of millions of people, most of whom are unreachable through traditional TV ads (“cord-cutters” and “cord-nevers”). If your goal is to saturate the TV market, you should always bolster your traditional TV buy with a CTV package.


That said, the combination approach requires a pretty big budget, and sometimes you may need to choose whether to focus on one medium over the other. In these cases, consider your target audience and where you’re more likely to reach them.

Nielsen’s Q2 2017 total audience report profiled CTV households and found that these homes “…skew younger with nearly half under the age of 45 and are much more likely to have children. There are a greater percentage of these homes in urban and suburban areas. These device owners are more affluent and work primarily in white-collar occupations.”

This means CTV ads may be a better choice for Children’s, Middle Grade, YA, and any other titles that are likely to resonate best with readers ages 18-45. It’s also great for Cookbooks, Romance, and titles aimed at moms. Business books have a high likelihood of reaching affluent white-collar workers. Access to Sling TV’s ESPN programming can make it a more affordable choice for Sports titles. And since CTV is the only way to add niche targeting to your TV ads, it’s also the right choice for niche genres and topics.

On the other hand, if your book is intended for an older, child-free, rural, and/or blue-collar audience, or if you want to prioritize a certain network or TV show that isn’t yet available through CTV, then traditional TV is still an excellent option.

Winner: Connected TV



Round 2: Connected TV vs Pre-Roll


Obviously you know by now that we’re going to recommend a combo of both, so let’s get straight to the point: what if you’ve only got $5k and you really want to focus purely on video? Should you go full CTV, or full pre-roll?

This may come as a surprise since we’ve just spent so much time talking up CTV, but if your budget is <$10k we’re likely to recommend pre-roll unless your title pairs particularly well with TV. Pre-roll will maximize your reach for $5-7k budget levels, since there are currently more available channels for streaming web video than for CTV. Desktop, mobile, and tablet advertising also offers more precision targeting than any form of TV advertising. You’ll be able to leverage lexicon & parallel genre targeting, a wider variety of interests & traits, or even use our proximity targeting to show readers your video in-app while they’re shopping at bookstores, Costco, waiting around at the airport, and more.

Winner: Pre-Roll



Round 3: Video or Non-Video?


If you already have a pre-roll or CTV-compatible video created, you should definitely incorporate it into your campaign strategy for $5k+ budgets. But what if you don’t have a video: Should you make one, or stick with non-video advertising?

If your budget is $5-10k, video creation makes the most sense if your title or author checks at least one of these boxes:

  • is associated with or has been turned into a TV show or movie
  • already has a strong online video presence / following, or is actively focused on growing it
  • has had success with video ads in the past
  • is expected to resonate particularly well with online video audiences (ex. a Ready Player One type of story where online activity features heavily in the plot, or a cozy mystery that pairs perfectly with Hallmark Movies & Mysteries), or has a plot or character that translates particularly well to video format (ex. a book that reads more like a TV show or movie, like a fast-paced thriller)

Otherwise, you could be better off saving your budget for native and/or banner ad impressions rather than carving out a portion for video creation.

At a $10-20k budget, creating a simple book trailer is usually a great choice. Remember that CTV ads are especially good for Children’s, Middle Grade, YA, Cookbooks, Romance, Business, Sports, niche genres & topics, and any other titles that skew towards readers ages 18-45. Data from eMarketer shows that online video (where your pre-roll ad would be seen) is also most likely to reach audiences in that same age range, but is also viewed by more than half of adults up to age 64:

graph showing ages of digital video viewers


If your budget and audience fit the bill, video will add a high-impact splash alongside your native and banner ads to drive title recognition and discoverability. You’ll also be able to use the video as content on your website, social media, and YouTube.

Winner: Video




To sum up what is probably the longest blog post I’ve ever written:

  • Connected TV tech lets you add precision targeting to the traditional TV commercial format, and reach ever-growing numbers of cord cutters
  • CTV ads work best when paired with pre-roll, native, and banners for Cross Device saturation
  • For budgets of $10k+, CTV should always be part of your campaign strategy discussion



If you’ve got questions I didn’t answer, or if you want to see a proposal for a CTV package campaign, Mary Beth ( is always just an email away!


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