Last week VAN ran our TV Rise event in San Sebastian, which brings together a select group of addressable TV experts from across Europe and the US to discuss the future of addressable TV advertising. Whilst we apply the Chatham House Rule so attendees can feel free to open up, below are some of the key themes that emerged. We’ll also have video footage of interviews and some of the highlights coming soon.
Cooperation Will Deliver a Data-Driven Response to the Duopoly
TV sales houses are nothing new and TV supply has been aggregated, packaged and sold in bulk for decades. However, there has been a healthy rivalry between the various sales houses, and a similar tension between the broadcasters and the pay TV operators/sales houses. Whilst those tensions persist to some degree, the fact that Facebook and Google accounted for 99 percent of digital advertising growth in the US last year was a timely reminder that there’s nothing melodramatic about using the term ‘duopoly’ when it comes to describing what is coming the TV industry’s way.
However, we are seeing a number of interesting initiatives emerge. Audience platform alliances such as OpenAP in the US (current members include Turner, Fox and Viacom) and the integration of the likes of Liberty Global into Sky AdSmart are encouraging examples of how broadcasters and pay TV operators can defend their turf through cooperation, which will help simplify the procurement and targeting of TV advertising even further.
Ad tech and Martech
The keynote at TV Rise was given by IPONWEB’s GM for Emerging Technology, Brian Golbere, who explained how the worlds of adtech and martech are emerging in the context of TV advertising, a conversation that is most commonly discussed by ad tech aficionados on the buy-side in spite of the fact that there are implications for every player across the ecosystem. If the TV industry wants buy-side money, it’s vital they understand how the buy-side is evolving and meet their needs head on with an ‘audience as a platform’ approach. The video of Brian’s presentation which expands on these ideas will be coming soon.
InInertia Still Exists on Both the Buy-Side and the Sell-Side
With an event like TV Rise where you have a small group of addressable TV experts in one place, there’s always a risk you’ll create an echo chamber and leave with a distorted view of how the market is developing. However, attendees from both sides were encountering inertia on both sides of the fence. Pretty much every major player in the TV ecosystem is a huge ship that takes time to turn. The main pain points are traditional TV trading models, technological infrastructure and expertise/culture. However, it is still early days and the major players in TV still have deep pockets so there is hope that the transition process will be accelerated as the market starts to scale as OTT and the cooperative efforts described above start to evolve.
Blockchain in Practice
It isn’t always immediately obvious to understand how blockchain could be used in advertising, but as Adam Helfgott, CEO of MadHive explained, it’s ability to securely record who does what with a given piece of data could be invaluable to deepening trust in TV advertising industry as it moves to addressability and to serving ads across multiple platforms and devices.
At an industry level, Adledger.org has been set up to help introduce blockchain to various parts of the ecosystem to cure a number of industry ills. Their goals are to use blockchain to:
- Validate placements and transactions ensuring brand safety through greater transparency;
- Improve data-portability using multi-signature wallets and cryptographic keys for unduplicated campaign execution and measurement;
- Remove layers of inefficiency in technology stacks to cure the disappearing ad dollar;
- Enhance cross-network identity management and attribution reporting;
- Establish a protocol around a decentralized peer-to-peer data sharing solution.