New York – Despite gains in advanced advertising technologies and the continued integration of big data into campaigns, the industry will be hard pressed to gain scale without a concerted effort between programmers and media buyers, a panel of experts said at today’s Advanced Advertising spring event.
TiVo SVP and general manager analytics and advertising Walt Horstman said while advanced advertising technology is being deployed over a variety of platforms – OTT, video on demand and national linear, the challenge is being able to stitch all these different delivery mechanisms together.
“If we can have the same data set applied against different types, that’s the Holy Grail,” Horstman said.
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That isn’t as easy as it seems, said Freewheel general manager, platform sales James Rooke.
“It’s worth remembering how complex the problem is,” Rooke said, adding that Freewheel, which deals primarily with digital video advanced advertising, has to manage 220 different endpoints.
“We’re somewhere because programmers can manage set-top-box VOD in a seamless way,” he said. “We’re nowhere in that we have different technical stats and different players in the middle. …. We’re only at step 0.5 out of 20.”
Canoe Ventures vice president Ed Knudson said targeting ads in obvious programming – for example advertising golf clubs on The Golf Channel -- isn’t enough. He said the ultimate goal is to be able to use data to target ads toward household members that may be outside of a target demographic but are likely watching a show anyway.
Knudson brought up the golf analogy, adding that while he watches The Golf Channel, an ad for Taylor Made golf clubs would work for him in other venues.
“I watch things like The Voice, how weird would it be to see an ad for Taylor Made?” he said, adding that in targeted VOD ads, the consumer set-top raises its hand to be noticed. The goal is to get that kind of accurate measurement applied to linear TV.
But that can’t happen without full industry participation, Modi Media president Michael Bologna said.
“If the others don’t [come on board] it doesn’t do any good for one group to go one way and another go another,” Bologna said, adding that some responsibility falls on the side of the media buyers as well.
Bologna pointed to recent efforts by Viacom, Time Warner’s Turner Networks and 21st Century Fox to create an advanced ad consortium called OpenAP, which is geared toward standardizing the reporting of audience sizes connected to targeted ads.
“Advanced advertising is here now, it’s real,” Bologna said. “We have to balance our own selfish interests versus evangelizing the ecosystem for the greater good.”