The tsunami of data surging into TV introduces a massive amount of complexity and fragmentation into what used to be a simple media buy.
“It’s really complex to buy, and that’s spooking a lot of buyers off,” said Tracey Scheppach, who buys addressable connected TV (CTV) with her agency Matter More Media.
CTV, which is content viewed on a TV and delivered over the internet, is the frontier for this data-driven transformation because it is theoretically (though not often in practice) addressable. Companies are swooping in to use that data to provide new capabilities in targeting, audience marketplaces and measurement.
But only some types of companies within the CTV ecosystem can collect viewing data or identity data about their viewers.
Ironically, those with the least TV inventory (or none at all) have the most data: digital MVPDs, direct-to-consumer apps, smart TVs, ad servers and companies with SDKs installed.
Programmers, who have the bulk of the TV inventory, need to own the distribution channel in order to get consumer data.
Their content frequently lives across combinations of devices and apps, all of which share different amounts of data or require different technical setups. And consumers also watch content across multiple services, making it difficult for one company to understand identity or a viewing footprint.
So although precise data exists, it’s heavily siloed on different platforms, which is why addressability with the scale of linear remains a pipe dream.
The industry is bringing this data together in three ways: through technologies designed to stitch together capabilities like targeting, measurement, frequency management and optimization; through partnerships between distributors and programmers; and through the formation of industry standards.
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