MVPDs Join Forces to Educate Media Community On Addressability

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A recent webinar On Addressability, moderated by Jack Myers of MediaVillage, featured several MVPD heavy hitters in the line-up, including Larry Allen, vice president & general manager, addressable enablement, Comcast Advertising; Elizabeth Crotty, executive director, product development & management, Cox Media; and Malia Moran, group vice president, strategic product management, Spectrum Reach. These companies have come together behind the On Addressability initiative, a joint effort around on-going education to buyers, sellers, and programmers on the latest in Addressable TV. The group recently released a downloadable playbook that serves to demystify and provide guidance around the planning, buying, and measurement workflows of Addressable TV.

Addressable TV has been heating up; in part due to a series of industry announcements that have shown real progress being made to tackle technical and measurement barriers. Additionally, the pandemic has forced national advertisers to localize their media and creative strategy to adapt to dynamic conditions; something for which addressable TV is a well-suited tool.

For all the advancement that has occurred there is still a long way to go. Consensus among the panel was, to use a baseball analogy, that we are in the fourth inning. Says Moran, "We've got great scale with technology across a variety of distribution platforms. Now, it's really critical that we connect them for the buy side to remove the friction and enable them to more easily transact as part of their full media mix." Moran later expanded, "We've hugely moved from a technology standpoint and we have meaningful scale across all the different providers. Now we've got to build the business value proposition, the workflow, and the measurement. What can't be measured, can't be sold."

You can view the entire webinar at MediaVillage by clicking here.

Comcast's Larry Allen, whose background includes a stint at programmatic firm Xaxis, clarified a misconception about addressable TV, "People think that addressable equals programmatic and that's not true. TV doesn't really operate in real-time fashion. But we can take a lot of learnings from programmatic. Buying on audience is a core tenet of programmatic. That's exactly what we are doing with addressable. We're saying to the buyers, 'who is the core target that you care about to move the needle for you from a sales perspective or to share shift? How do you think about incremental reach? In addition, the same type of closed loop reporting that we did in programmatic, we can now do in addressable.'"

One of the main perceived challenges by national buyers of addressable has been the limitation on addressable inventory to the two minutes of local avails per hour. That is now changing. National linear addressable has started its roll-out, predominantly with cable networks. As recently announced, AMC is piloting a multi-distributor, linear addressable TV campaigns across Charter and Comcast for SASO (Single Advertiser Spot Optimization) programs that sell commercial units to a single advertiser but allow the advertiser to copy split that unit to various audience-based targets. Allen believes that the mission of On Addressability is to help increase the number of networks and amount of total linear ad inventory that goes to addressable. "I believe that this initiative is all about helping the programmers convert some portion of their 14 minutes an hour of advertising into addressable units. Even if they convert one or two units per hour to addressable that's a lot of inventory to move."

Each of the panelists emphasized that education is of primary importance. In explaining the purpose of the playbook, Cox Media's Crotty explained that the playbook should not be viewed in isolation. "The On Addressability Playbookis not meant to be a static document. It's living. As the ecosystem evolves, as we bring additional thought leaders and partners into this space, we want to create something that lives beyond this moment and really adjust to the environment as we learn and grow."For real-time updates on advances in addressable TV, use the search engine.

You can view the entire webinar at MediaVillage by clicking here.

Download the On Addressability Playbook here.

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