The continuing rise of connected TV (CTV) is presenting brands with a conundrum – while the audiences are growing at rates that can’t be ignored, there remain several core challenges around measurement, ad frequency and goals.

In August, eMarketer published a report forecasting that by 2022, 60% of Americans would watch CTV at least once a month.

There is also a belief that CTV may be one of the most effective ways of targeting millennials, agency executives say.

A survey of 2,000 people earlier this year by the research company Magid showed that streaming was the most used platform among millennials, with 49% saying they used it; and 45% for so-called Generation Z.

“What excites me the most is considering connected TV as an extension of digital spend, because it allows for more segmenting and advanced tracking on a larger scale,” Jeff Ratner, chief media officer at digital agency iCrossing, told Marketing Dive.

“If you think of it this way, connected TV presents brands that have not coughed up big dollars for TV an opportunity to get more granular with their targeting,” he added.

But agencies and marketers say there are a number of challenges with CTV.

While linear TV means selecting from a small number of major networks, with CTV, brands must navigate a space crowded with players. These include smart TVs and OTT devices, including the likes of Apple TV and Roku, and gaming consoles like Xbox; in addition, there are the many different TV sticks, like Amazon Fire and Google’s Chromecast.

There are also difficulties with inventory, as well as deciding where budgets for CTV should come from – should the budget be a digital add-on, for example, or part of an overall TV spend?

But the fact that smart devices are now so common and numerous in homes – everything from speakers to tablets using the same sign-ins – may make up for many of CTV’s ongoing challenges, some marketers suggest.

“CTV actually offers the same audience targeting capabilities as digital video buys,” Raphael Rivilla, of Cleveland, Ohio-based agency Marcus Thomas LLC told Marketing Dive.

Brands could work with a programmatic partner to use first-party data, third-party data and look-alike modelling to target their spots, he said.

“All of these can infer and connect relationships between cookies, mobile device IDs, households, smart TVs or connected TV devices,” Rivilla added.

Sourced from Marketing Dive, eMarketer; additional content by WARC staff