Are Video and TV Buying Teams Really Merging within Agencies?


The Agency Convergence SeriesThe convergence of video and TV has led many agencies to change the way in which they organise themselves to manage their video and broadcast planning and buying. Over the next few weeks, VAN will be publishing a series of articles looking at how these changes have affected agency teams, both from an operational and a cultural perspective. For this first piece, we asked four agency staffers the following question: are TV and video buying departments actually converging in practice?

Anonymity was granted to all participants on request.

Agency Staffer 1

Buyer 1In practice, ‘video’ departments are a rarity, in many cases the definition of video is a convergence of TV and Digital. It is true that many TV departments are converging by name. ‘Broadcast’ teams are becoming a thing of the past while ‘Screen’ teams and ‘Vision’ teams are popping up everywhere.  But an actual change in behaviour is a much slower transition.  I would argue that some agencies, like many clients are yet to see video as a standalone medium and the value of it, and as such are not yet willing to invest in it.

For many agencies video sits somewhat awkwardly between digital and TV, with teams allocated plans based on the media owner, so TV teams taking TV VoD, and digital teams looking after elements from ‘digital’ media owners.

Agency Staffer 2

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 13.09.15 Yes in theory, as our AV Department for the past couple of years has bought video as well as TV.  In practicality however I feel in some cases this spreads buyers attention quite thinly. So although it is correct to have TV and video bought by the same department there needs to be enough staffing to have both bought sufficiently and with due care and foresight of the market and target audience.

Agency Staffer 3

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 13.09.03They are trying to. The historic nature of some clients doesn’t lend its self as easy to do on some clients as others. Some clients though have one video team and a digital team for al non-video. However a major sticking point for all is the overall reach and frequency measurement is not clear or robust and therefore in some cases not trusted by clients (and rightly so).

Agency Staffer 4

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 13.08.55There are teams but its individuals that are driving it forward in each agency. Some agencies have created AV or screen teams and this is to be future facing to clients but also prepare for the inevitable convergence of TV and video. Realistically there are a few core video stars in each agency driving video forward, and they are leant upon by the agency to educate, implement and sell video to clients and colleagues.

They are also expected to do this around their existing role such as a TV buyer. All agencies want to drive video forward but very few engage with the video market and expect to be educated and told what is happening by the market and media owners. Fundamentally if agencies want to get more from video they need to encourage their personnel to get out there and learn but also support them in doing it.

Also digital teams need to embrace the AV or screen teams, share knowledge and help it grow.


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