DISH Media's Tim Myers on Bringing Scale to the Addressable TV Market

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Cover image for  article: DISH Media's Tim Myers on Bringing Scale to the Addressable TV Market

Over the past decade, DISH Media has been the pioneer and leader in Advanced TV advertising. Never afraid to experiment (as they did with interactive TV in the mid-2000s), addressable TV may not have made it past the first inning without the efforts of DISH. As the addressable marketplace accelerates, DISH Media is again in a leadership role by bringing their 'National Minute Enablement' addressable technology to programmers and third parties, increasing inventory to meet growing demand.

Tim Myers, general manager of strategic partnerships and products for DISH Media is encouraged by the growth of addressable advertising but still places the business in the third inning of the evolution. He'd like to see more cable operators jump on the bandwagon to drive scale, even if just in the local linear inventory. "We really need to focus on how to take addressability from what has essentially been an advanced product that is still trapped in research or advanced 'test and learn' budgets. We're at a point where we can attract more mainstream national TV budgets. Enabling networks to have addressable capabilities in their national inventory is key to making that happen."

Some of the challenges in getting to that next step are the lack of standardized measurement and an inability to establish a common currency to buy against in the national addressable marketplace. The standard panel methodology, such as the one Nielsen has been measuring TV ratings against, hasn't yet been capable of delivering the data nuance needed. When you begin to break apart TV spots and deliver different creatives in those spots for multiple advertisers across audience segments (segments that get far more detailed than just age/gender), the addressable impression needs to be excluded from the linear rating. Then marketers can easily know that their spots were delivered through traditional currency or by seeing how many impressions hit their target along with the reach/frequency of each creative version.

To address the demand, Nielsen recently announced that they plan to incorporate DISH Media, DirecTV and Vizio's Inscape addressable data in their traditional currency to help streamline the addressable marketplace. Myers is understandably encouraged by this development, stating "One of the most significant parts of this announcement is that they'll be modifying the currency to back out those addressable impressions from the traditional linear measurement. That's something that's been done in Europe for quite a while and is one of the keys to unlocking the scale we need to go mainstream," he said. "By removing a great deal of the risk, it encourages programmers to either begin offering or adding addressable inventory."

In addition to providing data to Nielsen to drive 'national minute enablement', DISH Media is working with several agencies and third parties to solve challenges around the pacing and delivery of addressable impressions. "We are fully supportive of these agency platforms and are working to deliver data for campaign planning and performance through APIs that can provide counts as well as monitor and manage frequency, reach, and pacing variables," said Myers. "If you go through a third party, like Adcuratio, (a recent partner of DISH Media) one of the benefits is they can monitor campaigns across national ad-inventory and channels/networks. They take on a role similar to what you see from a DSP today."

Recent announcements have focused on cable networks that have opened up linear addressable inventory, and Myers explains that broadcast networks also have the capability. "We can now bring broadcasters on board. Previously, they were not able to participate with us because satellite and cable operators don't have the same access to the local broadcast station inventory as we do on cable networks. But now we have an opportunity to make the inventory that the broadcasters sell, addressable," Myers shared. "I think you'll see some exciting developments on that very, very soon."

Invidi, another DISH Media partner, utilizes capabilities that can quickly decide and deliver the correct creative to the appropriate household, including Smart TVs. Myers explains, "The difference between the two approaches is how you determine the audience being reached. The advantage of working with a distributor like DISH is that we have the subscriber relationship, which gives us deterministic first-party data. We can make an actual match to your target subscriber in a privacy safe manner, unlike the Smart TV methodology that often uses a graph approach with predictive components, which makes it more of a projection than an actual match."

Myers is a clear believer in the power of Addressable TV and points to the positive ROI impact and reach extension delivered for marketers over the past decade as the drivers of its success. "DISH brought world-class addressable platforms and systems to the market," said Myers. "Our role going forward is to build out that technology using our internal inventory and our expertise with a clear purpose: bringing scale to the industry."

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