VideoAmp partnered with Broadcasting and Cable at CES to talk to industry executives about the latest news and innovation, the future of Advanced TV, and what's needed to get there.
We spoke to Bryan Wiener, CEO at Comscore, Ramsey McGrory, Chief Revenue Officer at Mediaocean, Joy Baer, GM, Freewheel Advertisers at Comcast, and Christine Cook, SVP & Chief Revenue Office at CNN Digital.
In the videos below, hear from these industry leaders about the state of Advanced TV, its future, and what technologies are needed to get there.
Traditional television is adopting technologies and methods from digital in order to improve targeting, user experience, and measurement. Christine Cook speaks to the ways linear can benefit from historically digital capabilities:
"They [traditional television] haven't had the ability that digital has had and so there's movement in that direction, but there is still also value for the classic forms of TV. It didn't have the kind of addressability that digital has benefited from, so a move in that direction is a real positive for everybody. Including consumers who will get, hopefully, more compelling advertising."
Joy Baer doesn't just believe the convergence of linear and digital is beneficial, but necessary and inevitable.
"They have to converge, right? Because viewership is no longer captured on just one screen or on one device or another. We absolutely have to bring together, as an industry, the ability to advertise across screens, across devices, across mediums. And the convergence of those two things are in play. I'm not sure I think that it's the most efficiently done yet. I don't think the workflows, the technology, the measurement support all of that convergence at the level that we need to at scale. But we're heading in that direction."
"Things like NBC's CFlight are absolutely the types of mechanisms we need to use as a forcing function to move the market forward. Even if it's a proxy or a derived methodology that brings together linear and digital in platforms and gives advertisers a way to evaluate across screens," says Baer.
Ramsey McGrory argues that whether or not CFlight is universally adopted is more or less irrelevant. Its true value is what it's doing for the industry by sparking a conversation and steering change.
"We need more conversations and more efforts like what NBC is doing. I applaud them. Whether it becomes this standard for measurement attribution, not clear. But I absolutely applaud the leadership position that NBC has taken to put it out there and force a conversation around how we're measuring."
Ultimately, for technological innovations to take hold and evolve the traditional television industry, a change in mindset must happen first.
On targeting, Bryan Wiener asks, "Instead of going beyond age and gender, the better question would be why would age and gender — why would an 18 to 49 target — be thoughtful and appropriate to actually reach people when we can now know so much more about them? There's so much waste involved which isn't good for the advertiser and it's not good for the seller of the inventory."
In the debate over whether or not today's solutions can make holistic campaign measurement a reality, McGrory thinks the technology exists, but suggests a different barrier:
"It is possible. I think one of the bigger challenges is not the technology, but the change in management within companies around how they think about marketing as an enterprise driver of a real value. The challenges tend to be not, 'is there technology that can do this?' but 'can we organize, can we change the way we think about marketing using all of this data and automation?'"
"Advanced TV is really bringing the targeting that is available in digital that's been so successful to the television landscape. That is really what advertisers want and, frankly, increasingly that's what the television stations and television networks need in order to be successful as they compete with Facebook and Google," says Wiener.
"This is not something that's going to happen and be complete in two years. This is a five to ten year process. We see it incrementally in how people are spending, how they're targeting, how they're organizing their companies, what partners they work with. But it's absolutely converging," says McGrory.