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4 reasons why pharma’s shift to Connected TV is finally happening

The shift of viewership from linear TV to streaming TV has reached a tipping point in America — for the first time in history last July, Nielsen reported that viewers spent more time streaming content than watching cable television.1 This has huge implications for pharma marketers, who have historically valued advertising on linear TV over CTV due to its ability to reach a larger audience. Observing the audience shift to CTV, pharma marketers are shifting their media investments into that channel, particularly due to its availability of premium inventory as well as its abilities to leverage an interoperable identity framework across publishers, drive greater efficiencies across their CTV spend, and measure business outcomes for pharma campaigns. In this article, we will examine these four reasons.

1. Premium CTV reach and inventory

As audiences move to streaming, pharma marketers need to find the best CTV inventory to reach their target audiences. Through our platform, you can access the largest premium inventory marketplace that offers first-to-market opportunities with popular streaming services such as Peacock, Paramount+, Max, Disney+, and others. This abundance of premium inventory gives you the opportunity to reach over 100 million streaming households in the U.S.2 You can also understand the quality of inventory you’re running on and optimize toward the most impactful impressions to deliver a more positive consumer experience with our TV Quality Index (TVQI). We’ve even carved out premium CTV inventory specific to pharma advertisers within our CTV marketplace, which offers long-form ad slots, access to premium inventory direct from the publishers, and data targeting based on pharma client requirements. Lastly, if you’re looking to maximize incremental reach for viewers who are no longer watching linear TV, you can leverage our artificial intelligence solution that uses linear TV data. This feature identifies likely cord-cutters and can improve incremental reach by 15 percent to 20 percent on average.3

2. Interoperable identity framework

Trying to identify your audience across CTV publishers can be a daunting task. The CTV ecosystem is fragmented, and without a proper framework for identity resolution, it’s harder to make connections across siloed data. The best solution to this problem is to find an interoperable identity framework that works across publishers. Designed with the needs of modern marketers (like you!) in mind, Unified ID 2.0 (UID2) is an interoperable identifier that can provide holistic targeting and measurement for the privacy-conscious world of pharma. At The Trade Desk, our extensive partner network leverages UID2 and offers the best way to reach the right consumer while ensuring privacy and compliance. UID2 has been adopted by some of the biggest streaming services on the market, including Disney, NBCUniversal, and Paramount.

3. Single, centralized platform

Pharma marketers need a privacy-conscious, centralized platform to successfully navigate the fragmented CTV ecosystem and make the most out of their CTV buys.

“Activating all media channels using a unified platform is the most optimal path to deliver a consolidated customer journey. Omnichannel activation leads to greater cost efficiencies and the ability to flex up and down on traffic as needed for the brand to optimize business outcomes.”

Glenniss Richards
Senior Director, Digital Media Activation at Bayer

On our platform, you can consolidate all your CTV media buys across multiple inventory sources in one place. This enables you to holistically measure your CTV campaign results across screens and publishers to understand how your CTV ads are driving toward business outcomes. By utilizing our platform, you can eliminate wasted spend with frequency controls while creating better consumer experiences. You can also quantify the efficiencies gained from frequency control on our platform in the form of cost savings and additional unique reach. On average, advertisers save 38 percent due to frequency controls, and increase household reach by 24 percent.5

4. CTV impact measurement

To help you understand the impact of your CTV campaigns — whether optimizing for reach or Rx metrics — our measurement marketplace includes measurement partners like iSpot to measure incremental reach on top of linear in platform. Our clients can leverage third-party measurement partners like Veeva Crossix and IQVIA, which can tie CTV ad exposure to Rx data for frequent optimization, maximizing campaign impact.

“As our clients test new CTV platforms, they need to go way beyond legacy metrics like impressions and clicks — they need to know if their campaigns reach relevant audiences and help drive positive health outcomes. They need this data early and frequently, at granularity that aligns with their strategies, and contextualized against robust benchmarks.”

Hart Mechlin
Director of Veeva Crossix Analytics Partnerships

When it comes to reaching your audience across their devices with efficiency and measurable impact, The Trade Desk is an easy choice.

Learn more by reaching out to your account manager at The Trade Desk today.


1“Streaming Usage Increases 21% in a Year to Now Account for Nearly One-Third of Total TV Time,” Nielsen, July 2022,

2The Trade Desk’s household graph.

3The Trade Desk’s platform data.

4The Trade Desk–iSpot benchmark reporting, September 2022.

5The Trade Desk’s platform data. Note: Prior results do not guarantee or ensure future performance.