Addressable TV Ad Spend: Massive Four-Year Growth


The Video Advertising Bureau (VAB) has released an in-depth guide for marketers analyzing all aspects of addressable TV—including investment projections and 10+ real-world case studies provided by companies including Xandr, Comcast Spotlight, Verizon Fios and Spectrum Reach.

VAB’s key finding: addressable TV ad spending is projected to grow by 343% from 2016 through 2020.

Perhaps the top takeaway from the guide, Address For Success, is the growth of addressable TV ad spending by the end of 2020 to $3.3 billion.

Further, the U.S. footprint for addressable TV has increased 30% since 2016, eclipsing streaming/OTT services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO, Roku and others, the VAB finds.

Additionally, the U.S. addressable TV audience P2+ has grown 27% to over 162 million over the past two years — a larger audience than Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, MSN and many other digital platforms, a stat designed to get IAB members’ interests.

The VAB report’s findings also show that 62% of advertisers using addressable TV believe it is a “valuable” part of their media buy and are planning to increase their investment.

In fact, 40% of U.S. addressable TV agency and marketing professionals say they are now making a significant investment in the platform. Seventy-one percent of these marketers have been buying addressable TV for less than one year.


In addition to analyzing addressable TV ad spending growth, the Address for Success guide also examines the increase of addressable TV households in the U.S., how addressable TV precision targeting works, and other “advantages” for marketers who are considering including addressable TV into their media buying plans.

New case studies from a variety of multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) evaluating the benefits of combining linear TV media buys with addressable TV to drive awareness, interest and action through product purchase path funnels are also including in the guide.

Advertisers’ Investment

There has been a recent influx of new advertisers integrating addressable TV into their media plans. An estimated $2.1 billion was spent on addressable TV advertising in 2018, on par with projected expenditures in ad-supported OTT during the same period. The majority of U.S. addressable TV agency and marketing professionals (55%) are planning to increase future spending. Fifteen percent of advertisers are including addressable TV in their buys on a regular basis, while 35% have experimented with it.

Linear + Addressable TV = Positive Business Outcomes

Address For Success includes more than 10 case studies from a variety of MVPDs featuring multiple advertiser categories, including travel and tourism, automotive, TV entertainment, financial, retail furnishings, appliances, beauty retailer and credit cards. Combining linear TV buys with the boost addressable TV offers delivered positive full-funnel outcomes for advertisers across the categories studied. The scale and attention plus emotional engagement linear TV delivers combined with addressable TV’s enhanced ad relevancy, precision targeting, advanced data capabilities, as well as its superior visibility trust and transparency within the digital advertising ecosystem, led to improved results and return-on-investment across the board.

“The real-world cast studies in this guide illustrate how addressable can deliver not only bottom of the funnel results, but also higher-order metrics, such as brand awareness, ad recall and purchase intent,” said VAB President/CEO Sean Cunningham. “Through full-funnel activation, marketers can segment and target the right consumer, checking each stage of the purchase process.”

Xandr SVP/Ad Sales Parnerships Jason Brown added,. “We also see advertisers using addressable technology to better reach ‘light TV viewer’ households in a more effective way, which is improving the efficiency of their TV buys. We are excited to collaborate with the VAB on ‘Address for Success, and to continue to share with the industry the advancements advertisers are making in the addressable TV space.”

You can find the Address For Success comprehensive guide for marketers here.

For the purposes of the Address For Success guide the term “addressable TV” refers specifically to the platforms and technologies available through MVPDs only and defines addressable TV as the use of technologies to enable advertisers to selectively deliver ads to individual households via cable, satellite, and Internet Protocol television (IPTV) delivery systems and set-top boxes (STBs).