How the Time is Right for TV and Advertising
There are many lessons and takeaways that can be gleaned from recent announcements by big tech platforms around the tracking of individuals on the web. You might be surprised how many can be applied to the television industry. Here are just a few:
- Companies that have first-party data are in a much better position than those that don’t
- Reconciling consumer identity across various channels was already hard, and it promises to get even harder
- The TV ad business actually has a chance to get this right - and be in a better spot than the digital ad economy
It’s that last point that may really surprise you - the analogue guys, who have historically been behind the digital folks, are now going to top them when it comes to targeting? Oh, and do it in a safe way that builds security and implements each company’s privacy commitments across the ecosystem?
I understand your skepticism. But if you think about where things are headed from a macro perspective, in digital media the walled gardens’ walls are getting higher, and identity hoarding has just become the way of the future.
Meanwhile, television, even with all of its moving parts across the video spectrum (and what that means from a legacy infrastructure perspective), has a chance to uniquely meet the moment.
As the tech titans battle to keep their advantages, leaving advertisers to have to optimize platform by platform - TV has the chance to nail cross-platform, and set itself up as the medium of choice for data-driven, financially responsible brands.
Let me unpack where I’m coming from.
It’s true that the still-nascent ‘advanced TV’ sector has its challenges, particularly when it comes to fragmentation. Most broadcast companies have their own data-driven linear TV product that licenses ACR or STB data. Each MVPD/MSO has different addressable offerings for targeting people using set-top data either in linear or VOD.
And in the booming CTV space, device makers like Roku and TV manufacturers like Samsung appear to be seeking to create their own challenger walled gardens in terms of targeting and data. So if you want to do cross-platform ad targeting in an intelligent and efficient way - that’s a lot of patching together to do. You’re dealing with different tech and databases and policies that all inadvertently converge to make things challenging for brands, agencies, and ad-supported content owners.
Which may sound a lot like the digital ad world of walled gardens.
However, things are starting to change in TV.
For example, Blockgraph’s recent deal with TransUnion could be a game-changer that propels addressable and contextual advertising across all TV platforms - from data driven linear to addressable to streaming video. This partnership is a perfect illustration of company’s coming together to accelerate establishing TV’s identity infrastructure on behalf of brands, sellers, and most importantly audiences. Between our privacy focused infrastructure, TransUnion’s ID resolution capabilities, as well as TransUnion-subsidiary Tru Optik’s data marketplace, advertisers should finally be able to plan ad campaigns backed by consumer insights and data, reconcile identity across platforms, and optimize these campaigns midstream. They’ll be able to see across walls, so to speak, without setting off any alarms.
In the short term, this could make addressable TV more attractive to more brands. But this and other partnerships like it should set TV up for an even brighter future, one that is suited to where marketing and privacy is headed.
Think about it - as an industry, we’re not trying to put together profiles of specific users’ personal browsing information and shop those around the industry. We’re simply trying to make TV advertising smarter, more actionable, and more precise by allowing brands to reach their target audiences and measure media across all TV distribution platforms in a simple, accurate, and safe manner. At the moment, we have the opportunity to build things right from the beginning - with privacy commitments and first party data control at the center - as opposed to offering retroactive fixes that create unforeseen consequences for the health of the open web.
And TV may finally be able to show the digital platforms why collaboration isn’t such a bad thing after all.