Advanced Ad 2017: Keep It Simple

New York -- Content providers should continue to strive to keep the ad buying experience simple, especially as advanced technologies and targeting emerge, a panel of experts said at the Multichannel News/B&C Advanced Advertising event here Wednesday (Oct. 18), part of NYC Television Week.

Read More: Complete Coverage of #NYCTVWK

Comcast Spotlight vice president of data strategy Justin Evans said during the "Video Everywhere" session that many ad buyers are under enough pressure with small markets, smaller staffs and heavy competition to have to deal with an onerous buying process.

“They don’t have the bandwidth to make five or six types of premium buys,” Evans said, adding that the onus is on providers to bring buyers scale through a combination of linear networks, OTT and mobile.

Premion president Jim Wilson said that confusion is one of the reasons why his company, a unit of broadcast station group Tegna, was formed.

“It’s undeniable that consumer trends are changing, the way we watch premium video is really changing,” Wilson said. “At Tegna we saw this opportunity and, realizing that's the way video is being watched, set out specifically focusing on OTT. There is certainly a lot of confusion in the market, and for our advertisers, we’ve been focusing on building a one-stop shop.”

Read More: Complete Coverage of the Advanced Advertising Event

For SpotX vice president of programmatic TV Randy Cooke, the emphasis should be on making the process less complicated for clients.

“Simplification is what this industry needs most of all,” Cooke said. “Are you buying content based on the composition of the audience, or are you buying audience across different devices?”

Cooke added that those two concepts are entirely different models – one gets the most value from 30-second ad spots, the other from impressions.

“You have to have to understand the enterprise value of audience as much as the enterprise value of content,” Cooke said. “The best opportunity for us to come out on the other side is, we have to be comfortable in the mathematical relationship between the ad marketplace and the content marketplace.

Google head of broadcast partnerships Julie Sterling said providers have to be careful not to lose sight of brands and the audience role in the process.

“Brands are always going to want to buy content, because they want their brand associated with that content,” Sterling said. “The other piece is that audience is going to have a bigger play. At Google, we’re an open platform. We want to make sure that the CFO and the advertiser get what they want and measure effectiveness.”

4C Insights CEO Lance Neuhauser said that providers need to remember the past as they're looking to the future.

“There is a need to start from the future and work our way back,” Neuhauser said. “The recognition that consumers no longer need to watch ads is very real. They can fast-forward, change channels, unsubscribe. If you’re not creating multiscreen experiences that are leveraging all the interaction from consumers and only looking at TV as TV, you will miss the mark.”