Multiplatform TV: Multiscreen Presents Ad Challenges, Opportunities

Measurement Is There, But Better Convergence Tools Needed

NEW YORK –Advertising sellers and buyers all believe there are good reasons to align advertising across linear TV, on-demand and digital, but tools that can enable that kind of seamless convergence are still being developed, panelists said here Wednesday at the one-day Business of Multichannel TV Summit put on by Multichannel News and Broadcasting & Cable.  

“They [ad buyers] are all about aligning certain content. Most clients don’t care how the individual is viewing or consuming that content,” said Catherine Warburton, chief investment officer of media buying firm Assembly.

She said some historic barriers, namely measurement across those platforms, are being overcome, but said what’s still lacking are the underlying systems to bring them all together.

“We are definitely on the road to look across different video and where it’s viewed.  We are trying to fast-track it,” Warburton said.

Also at issue is the fact that video advertising linear TV and digital video are typically bought, sold and managed by different teams. “Until those things truly converge, it’s a work in progress,” said James Ackerman, executive chairman of Broadway Systems.

And progress is being made, panelists insisted. In addition to Broadway Systems, companies such as  and Matrix Solutions are offering ways to logically aggregate and combine that data and those systems, allowing for the breaking down of silos and eliminating typical “chaos” that can result from trying to buy and sell across platforms, noted DJ Cavanaugh, CEO of Matrix.

Panelists also discussed how the notion of more automated, “programmatic” systems can help all camps become more efficient at selling cross-platform ad inventory.

Some forms of advertising, such as direct response, would lend themselves well to programmatic systems, said Pete Moran, chief revenue officer of eMediaTRADE.

Ackerman said startups that hope it helps to bring national advertisers onto their platform are among the types of clients that are most interested in the programmatic model. But, he acknowledged, most of his company’s largest clients that clear half of their inventory at the Upfronts aren’t concentrating on programmatic models.

Even if programmatic isn’t the perfect solution for everyone, perhaps more attractive to local buyers and sellers over those on the national stage, some advanced ad vendors are also waiting for progress to be made on that front, as it will enable “a more fluid buying and selling of inventory,” said John Boland, vice president of advertising market development at Arris, a supplier of cross-screen ad insertion technologies.