As the media landscape continues to evolve, media mavens gathered recently to discuss how the industry can respond to evolving consumer behaviors, decide which metrics are most meaningful in an omni-channel world and where they see the Upfronts going into the future. One thing they agreed upon is that the most important consideration is to make each dollar count by reaching the right consumer at the right time on the right device -- and it isn't easy.
What Is the Strategy on the Programmer Side?
Data from all the possible touch points dictates how companies are deciding to best manage their content for both ad-supported and subscription services, noted Lisa Valentino, Executive Vice President, Client and Brand Solutions, Disney Ad Sales, thus creating multiple revenue streams for the company. "Our subscription businesses are going to fuel product development, the data strategy and the targetability and addressability that we can offer going forward."
Kirk McDonald, Chief Marketing Officer, Xandr, stated that his company has "big investments in our strategy in on-demand." In the ad-supported sector, his company is "collecting signals from all of the touchpoints across our mobility business, as well as the consumption that happens in on-demand services, normalizing those data signals, parsing them in a way that we can add them to decorate the impressions we want to sell in ad-supported and doing that closer and closer to real-time especially as CTV and digital come together." McDonald believes that it is important to make it easier for agencies to buy into these various platforms and invited the industry to participate in a community marketplace "to make it easier to buy those audiences at scale." He concluded by saying, "It's not the units in environments, it is the audiences and where and how they want to consume. You have to make that much easier."
In seeking a go-forward strategy to reach the right audience, Catherine Sullivan, Chief Investment Officer North America, Omnicom Media Group, stated, "With the streaming services, consumers should have the choice to choose whether they want advertising or not. We should let them make the choice instead of someone else." In this way, consumers, who she sees as generally being open to advertising messages, won't be subjected to too much advertising or irrelevant messaging and can, therefore, maximize their enjoyment of the content. "We have to do a better job as an industry to provide better formats for the consumer," she added.
Looking at streaming companies such as Netflix, she sees opportunities to create marketing partnerships and believes that "we will see an ad-supported new world order that will allow the consumer to make the choice for advertising across platforms."
What Is the Strategy in Live?
Live events are important lean-in tent poles and are now encompassing a variety of cross-platform opportunities. For Sullivan, distinguishing marquee events requires not only working with frenemy companies but also with social media companies "to help the consumer have a bigger experience." It is also important, she added, to make sure that in live events, "we help our marketers get more bang for their buck and make those experiences bigger and longer. You have to map it out to get the most leverage."
Authenticity in live events is vital, noted McDonald. "If it's not authentic, and if it is forced, you will get backlash" that will impact the content creator and the advertising brands, he said. "We are looking for those authentic moments." He explained that with any partnership with Xandr, "ads have to be less interruptive" with a good balance that viewers see against the content they came to view. "That is where we think there has to be a lot of innovation, [to] make ads complimentary to the experience," he said.
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