Q&A: Videology’s Rich Astley on the Future of the Agency, Data and Programmatic TV

Rich Astley
One of the keynotes at New Video Frontiers tomorrow will be delivered by Rich Astley , Managing Director, UK for Videology. Rich recently returned from a seven year stint in the US, where he spent many years working with MEC before joining Videology as General Manager for Product in 2012. Here he discusses the future of the agency model, programmatic TV, the types of data being used in programmatic video campaigns and how publishers can go about making their inventory more attractive to buyers.

The future of the media buying agency has been something that people have been talking about since the earliest days of programmatic. As someone who has worked on both the agency side and the tech side, what do you think the future holds for agencies?

Both technology and programmatic are going to be key to the future of the agency, and will enable them to concentrate more on what they do well – strategic thinking and planning for clients – and less on the manual operational work. This will allow them to get closer to their clients, and provide them with smarter, more analytical recommendations to really add value to campaigns. This is going to lead to a change in the very DNA of media agencies in the way they’re structured and in the way they operate.

What are you seeing in terms of video advertisers using data in their campaigns? What types of data are typically being used?

Demographic data is still the bread and butter in terms of the broadest volume of data, but we’re now seeing growth in areas such as TV viewership data, having access to which allows us to target based on TV behaviours and analyse what an audience is exposed to. We also seeing a shift in budgets to interest-based targeting, where brands are looking to get in front of the audience based on a purchase or based on their viewing a product or service.

What advice would you give to a publisher who wanted to make their video inventory more attractive to buyers?

To enable distribution and delivery across as many screens as possible, we value distribution methods that can better reflect the fact that consumer consumption is fragmented across devices and screen. Delivering within delivery standards – such as VPAID – allows better mechanisms to analyse publisher inventory, and allows much more control around viewability. Publishers can also make themselves more attractive if they can supply any proprietary data as it makes them

How is programmatic TV progressing in Europe? Is there anything that could be done to speed up its progress?

We see it moving quickly in comparison to other regions in the world, with a lot of forward-thinking broadcasters and content owners, many of whom are committing to a programmatic future. While there are differences within the European markets, with some more traditional markets taking longer to move over, and others facing fewer barriers, fundamentally the European region is really going to take off in the next six to nine months.

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