Addressable TV advertising success boils down to standards

From left to right: Kevin Arrix, Dish Media Sales; Gerrit Niemeijer, NCC Media; Zeev Neumeier, Inscape; Chris Pizzurro, Canoe; Jason Bolles, Nielsen; Andy Barnet, Xandr; and James Moore, Simpli.fi.

SAN FRANCISCO – Addressable TV marketing has progressed a lot over the past few years, but the industry could still benefit from standards to help compete with digital.

That was the topic up for discussion during a Wednesday panel at the TV of Tomorrow Show. Zeev Neumeier, founder of Inscape, said that the industry reached an inflection point this past year where people got comfortable matching data sets and driving addressable TV. But wanting to own a segment of the market is still a big driving force for companies, and Gerrit Niemeijer, CTO at NCC Media, said that if television stays fragmented and in siloes that the television industry will continue to lose out to digital

“We need to work together,” Niemeijer said.

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Neumeier pointed toward Project OAR, an inventory expansion for addressable that has attracted partners including CBS, Comcast, Disney, NBCUniversal and Xandr. He said that Vizio, which owns Inscape, knew Project OAR wouldn’t work as a closed standard. He said the project needed to open up its stack and help other people adopt the standard so it can get to scale.

But Jason Bolles, senior vice president of advanced advertising at Nielsen, said that it’s easy to market that you’re open. Just because a standard or platform is open doesn’t mean that it’s neutral because in the industry there are always people trying to control things, Bolles said.

RELATED: CBS, Comcast, Disney and others form addressable advertising standards group

Andy Barnet, vice president of western advertising sales at Xandr, admitted that everyone in the industry is trying to be open but also trying to own a certain segment. He said that Xandr is willing to work with everyone but runs into problems when it uses AT&T’s first-party data due to restrictions around privacy compliance.

Niemeijer said that everyone can potentially run their own marketplaces as long as the products are similar enough. But if the industry makes it too fragmented it won’t work out for anyone

Neumeier said that there’s never going to be a universal standard for everything and that when there are companies that try to control the stack from beginning to end, it can’t work because no one can invent everything. “I’m going to be a cog in the machine. I’m not going to try to grade my own homework,” Neumeier said.

Kevin Arrix, senior vice president of Dish Media Sales, said that while everyone in the addressable TV industry is forming their own camps and siloes, Dish is trying to enable its business from an API point of view. He said that ultimately the marketer should be the decision maker about what technology platform it wants to flow through, then Dish and other companies should plug their solutions into that technology.

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