Charting the Course of Advanced TV

For many years advanced TV has been firmly on the radars of both advertising and broadcasting executives. The medium allows advertisers the opportunity to combine the powerful reach of TV with the one-to-one addressability of digital. But until recently, it hasn’t scaled.

Today, advanced TV has hit a tipping point and is now considered by many advertisers in major campaigns as a viable channel. In fact, many think that advanced TV could be the digital generation’s greatest opportunity for brands and publishers alike.

But, as the channel begins to take shape and grow, there are questions about how advanced TV will be planned, managed and executed. How can agencies ensure they are planning, buying and measuring advanced TV in the best way possible to drive the results their clients are looking for?  

One path to take would be to build new teams, or even new agencies, that specifically oversee advanced TV. The upside of this allows for a small, dedicated group of experts to oversee the growth of this new channel.  While the average media planner may not have the time to truly delve into the advanced TV landscape – which is filled with complexities such as the fragmentation of multi-channel video programming distributor (MVPDS’s) and the lack of any type of standardization – a specialized team or “task force” has the time and onus to truly understand and advance this new channel.  

As advanced TV evolves, this approach also answers another fundamental questions: will ownership lie in the hands of TV buyers or digital buyers? Creating new agencies specifically for advanced TV (similar to what GroupM has done for Modi) helps eliminate the battle between TV vs. digital, which could accelerate its adoption.  Historically, this is the typical path that we have seen with other emerging media, from social and search, to digital media overall, which were often set up within specialty agencies.

Of course, the flip side of this specialty approach is that it separates advanced TV from the other channels at a time when holistic planning and buying is becoming the norm. There is great value in planning and buying audiences across screens, with brands solely focusing on bottom line ROI, rather than on performance on a given screen. So just like the emerging channels that have come before, advanced TV must eventually figure out its unique role within the media plan, and how to be part of the optimally allocated mix of screens. 

Despite the lingering questions on how exactly advanced TV will roll out, one thing is clear - we shouldn’t wait until we have all the answers to move forward. For now, I hope both agencies and distributors see the larger opportunity to drive better results for advertisers in a truly innovative medium.

Brandon Shainfeld

Head of Advanced TV and Partnerships

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