While at the NFL and as former head of emerging media, data services and mobile at ESPN, Jha was responsible for pushing traditional TV programming into digital domains. For instance, he led ESPN’s efforts to launch ESPN Today, an on-demand audio and video channel, and content development for NFL mobile live streaming.
Mobile video is one of the more compelling opportunities for brand advertisers. The format is much more likely to clinch brand ad dollars than static formats or standard mobile banners. But TV advertisers will not shift linear budget to programmatic video and mobile unless “immersive” and “in-stream” placements are accessible, Tremor’s CEO said on a recent earnings call.
WPP’s GroupM recently predicted that TV advertising spend overall will increase 3.5% in 2014 to $78.8 billion out of total US media spend of $161.1 billion. Broadcast network TV ratings were expected to flatten while cable networks experience a 4% drop in upfront dollars.
If these predictions come true, broadcasters will benefit from diversified access to content. A big network focus is figuring out how to monetize audiences through cable authentication or TV Anywhere apps and connected devices, distinct from traditional TV audiences consuming full-screen programming.
“I’m not the guy who wants to or can speculate on how [connected and mobile devices] manifests in the cannibalization of traditional TV, but I can tell you with respect to live sports, television audiences are not shrinking,” Jha said. “The numbers of people who are consuming digital video content particularly are increasing dramatically, which is terrific news for marketers because they now have the ability to reach consumers in the context where they’re more difficult to reach with brand-building.”