Go Addressable Conference Puts Spotlight on the Future of Addressable Advertising

By Comcast Advertising InSites Archives
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Next year may be pivotal for resolving the technological and operational issues that are holding addressable TV advertising campaigns back. And if all goes as envisioned, addressable will enter the mainstream of TV sales around 2023-24. Those were some of the topline assessments of executives at some leading advertising, multichannel distribution and technology companies who took part in a virtual event last week that drew more than 1,600 people.

The forum served as a coming-out occasion for Go Addressable, a consortium of cable operators, satellite service provider DISH Network and smart TV set manufacturer Vizio. They united to educate advertisers about addressable campaigns and stimulate new opportunities.

In addition to a two-hour video presentation, the consortium unveiled a website that will provide updates on advances in addressable, campaign reports and technology demonstrations.

"If we want to ensure an addressable advertising [environment], it's going to take the commitment and involvement of the entire industry," declared Marcien Jenckes, President of Comcast Advertising.

The consortium's presentation referenced a recent eMarketer study projecting that addressable campaign spending will be up 33% this year on linear broadcast and cable availabilities as well as video on demand (VOD).

Moreover, according to stats offered by Jenckes and DISH Media Senior Vice President Kevin Arrix, 88% of agencies and marketers believe addressable campaign spending will be key to TV's future, while 25% of advertisers not involved with addressable campaigns now plan to start next year.

"We're at a true tipping point," Arrix said. "We know what the challenges are and what's needed to meet them."

The universe of households that can receive addressable campaigns has expanded, as has the inventory available for addressable ads. "We're leaning into addressable because we believe in it," remarked ViacomCBS Executive Vice President Julian Zilberbrand, who oversees advanced media development. "I don't think there's a lack of inventory. It's a matter of how we make it easier to buy, and how that buy serves its purpose."

"At the end of the day, [addressability] is premium content on a massive scale, a better experience for the viewer and better results for the marketers," added Hassan Ramin, Altice's Advanced TV Vice President.

For agency executives, getting from here to there involves developing solutions that are applicable to all TV distribution platforms, whether linear broadcast and cable channels, multicast services, VOD or smart TV sets and mobile devices. The range of issues where solutions are necessary include timely data retrieval and reporting, message personalization and standards to evaluate campaign effectiveness.

"Let's go for one [process] covering all platforms," added dentsu Executive Vice President and Head of Investment Cara Lewis. "That will be extremely helpful to have something across the ecosystem, with all dayparts included."

Another hurdle involves getting the technology and methodology to work for national as well as local/regional avail pods, said Dave Campanelli, Horizon Media's Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer. "That's the next big area to unlock, and it's a tricky proposition that raises creative questions. How do you work [this] among advertisers going for specific audiences?"

There were differing opinions among the participants regarding the state of addressable technology. "There are no tech challenges," said Cadent Chief Operating Officer Jamie Power. "There are business challenges. We can solve this if we're all willing to work together. We have to put the pipes together."

"Tying [these] ecosystems together is a technology challenge," rebutted David Porter, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Addressable Advertising at Canoe Ventures. "Interoperability is a technology challenge. It has to become more unified and systematic for all platforms. We don't want workflows to be different. We want them to be seamless."

When it comes to workflows, throw in consistency, urged Sara Wallace, FreeWheel's Executive Director of Product Management. "Look at [making] standards that can speak to each other. The building blocks are definitely there."

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