IOVO – Data Power to the People?

The Facebook data scandal with Cambridge Analytica has resulted in an unexpected boost for privacy advocates. Not only is the public more aware of how their data may be used (or misused), there are efforts afoot to empower consumers to better protect their personal data. 

One effort is the recently announced IOVO (Internet of Value Omniledger) which is a DAG (digital acyclic graph- the next generation blockchain) that enables consumers to reclaim their data, secure it and better regulate its use. It is obviously an idea whose time has come, now with special urgency created by the Cambridge Analytical misuse. IOVO is based in Poland but is taking a global approach to data recapture-ment and security.

The panel at the recent IOVO introduction consisted of three very compelling participants; Jeffrey Wernick, an early investor in bitcoin and a self-described crypto currency entrepreneur, Brittany Kaiser, currently Co-Founder of the Digital Asset Trade Association and formerly Business Development Director, Cambridge Analytica and Krzysztof Gagacki, Founder and CEO, IOVO. 

The State of Personal Data
Kaiser noted that today, data companies are flourishing and will continue to do so in the future, despite the recent controversies. “We have given away our information in almost every action in our digital lives,” she noted. “Our data has been harvested, monetized, licensed and sold for advertiser targeting. We did not originally sign up for that. Our data should belong to us as individuals and individuals have been exploited,” she concluded. 

Unfortunately when we agree to terms and conditions on a site, we also agree to allow our data to be collected throughout our digital journey.  This has resulted in the creation of the world’s most powerful companies, such as Google and Facebook, to capture billions of dollars in value off our individual data by creating a new asset class and business model based on big data. However, if an individual does not agree to share their data, it can still be collected and shared through connections who have agreed to share their data.

“Data is not the most vital and valuable asset in the world. Data is the new oil and has even surpassed oil as value,” Kaiser stated. As companies continue to collect data on a massive scale and create algorithms in combination with other datasets, the business of data will continue to flourish in the future.’’

Changing the Business Model
The unfettered Wild West usage of personal data has got the change. The panelists agreed that it is time to create a permission based structure where individuals have control of their personal data and allow companies to use it on a carefully curated and controlled basis with some form of compensation. But where do we start? Is this a self-regulated effort by companies or will it require government regulations?

Wernick described his 4P data manifesto; Data is our Property, only used with Permission. It must be Portable and it represents our Personhood. There are currently “Data rapist platforms,” he exclaimed. Is it individual property or it is everybody's property? If it belongs to everybody then all should have all access to everyone’s data. “But we don't have access to others property. Platforms are curators,” he noted. Data should belong to the individual and require our consent to use. Unfortunately “data is frequently used in unknown ways and in ways that is not good for us. Often it is used against us. It is perverse.”

Power to the People
“I hope that as we expand the potential and possibilities in a blockchain world we can disrupt institution” business models that capture and sell personal data, Wernick noted and added that the concept of universal income may be facilitated in a world where individuals can sell their own data.  “Every human being has value and they are not getting compensated for it,” he concluded.

And the data collected is not just from the digital journey. There is also a plethora of offline data sets and big data aggregators that merge all of these disparate data sets together. Think Info group, Magellan, Equifax and Experian for example. “You can purchase offline ground truth data,” noted Kaiser. Where do you vacation, what are your credit scores, your behavioral patterns, your political data and what media you use. “Data scientists can figure out how you voted even if at ground truth is not available,” she added.

The solution is, according to Gagacki is to “Make data not just a legal right but also a core value of the internet economy.” An omniledger can provide infrastructure for all companies who want to benefit from an individual’s data ownership. Since the data adds value to a company he believes that “We are actual employees of these companies and are not being compensated. It is time to compensate all of the users.” He disagrees with the Facebook economic model. “We need platforms where you can share your value and be compensated for that. Imagine what that means,” he mused, “Everyone could feed themselves off the value of what they create every day.”

“Owning your data is your ultimate freedom,” stated Gagacki. “Large companies have their economic value based on users. We don't have rights in sharing our data and data is the most valuable asset in the digital economy. If we don't stop it now the future generation will have no rights.”

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Podcast: A Conversation with SMI CEO James Fennessy

With the media world reliant on data, strong analytics become the key to actionable insights.  Hear how Standard Media Index (SMI) does that for TV networks to Wall Street fund managers, and what their Global Chief Executive Officer, James Fennessy, projects for TV and Digital advertising this year.  For Episode 16 of Insider InSites, I asked MediaVillage data/research reporter Charlene Weisler to join me in-studio for a conversation with SMI about their process for aggregating spending data from agencies and prognostications for the industry.  The transcript below has been edited for clarity and length.  Listen to the complete interview here .

Subscribe to all of our podcast episodes on Apple podcasts, Stitcher and now on iHeartRadio and PodSearch.

E.B. Moss:  How is SMI unique? 

James Fennessy:  Standard Media Index was founded in Australia nine years ago [by Sue Fennessy, who ran marketing agencies, and Jane Schulze, former media editor for News Corp Australia]  based on a "give to get" model of data consortium.  Agencies were having trouble getting at their own data and thus reporting problems with clients.  So, the idea was for SMI to work with their data to normalize it, standardize it and structure it, so they could report faster and more accurately ... and then get access to that aggregated data.

Charlene Weisler:  How do you get your data?

Fennessy:  We get data every week from the agencies via an AWS environment and take automated extracts from all of their invoices across TV, digital, radio, print and out-of-home.

Moss:  What companies work with SMI?

Fennessy:  Our partners include big holding groups like Omnicom, Publicis, Dentsu Aegis Network, Havas, Horizon … and leading independents like MDC Partners, RPA and others, and organizations in the marketing effectiveness and measurement space, like Accenture and McKinsey & Co.

Weisler:  Does your data also help Wall Street?

Fennessy:  We have about 15 hedge fund clients in the US -- particularly those who invest directly in media stocks -- because they get to see the advertising revenue of major media companies, which could be a Google, a Facebook, a Snap … before those companies report.  They have successfully modeled our data for a competitive edge around how those companies are going to perform in their next earnings period.

Moss:  Let's talk about trust ... 

Fennessy:  We've got very strict privacy protocols.  We never see the agency clients spend.  We take it at the category level.

Weisler:  How do others work with SMI?

Fennessy:  Our big relationships are with the national TV networks ... across pricing/planning/inventory management.  [We] can help them size the entire marketplace and understand their position and the flow of dollars.  We just launched a major ROI research piece with Fox Network Group. There are very good services -- the Kantars, the iSpots -- but unfortunately cost data has been 50 or 60 percent off.  We fixed that problem.

Weisler:  What percentage of the U.S. and the world's advertising spending do you track?

Fennessy:  We have about two-thirds of all U.S. national TV market invoices ... about 50 percent of all premium digital invoices (excluding Google search part) … about a third of the market in print and out-of-home, and about 40% of national radio.  In other markets around the world we have between 50 and 60 percent of ad spend.

Weisler:  What trends are driving the advertising market?

Fennessy:  [See Fennessy's detailed summary here.]  Cable news continues to be on fire.  In the first couple of months 2018 it was up 13 percent. We continue to see real strength in sports; the Super Bowl was up 3.4 percentage points [and] the Winter Olympics were up more than 10 percent over the 2014 Games.  The NFL regular season was down about six percent, but the playoffs were up about 1.5 percent.  We've also seen real strength in tentpole events like the Grammys.

Weisler:  What areas are not really doing that well?

Fennessy:  Late night programming on broadcast is down 15 percent for the year, but late-night comedy on cable is doing much better.

Weisler:  When does the drop in TV ratings impact pricing?

Fennessy:  The ROI studies show national TV in particular is [still] a powerhouse for return on ad expenditure.  The massive problems that digital is having [with brand safety and security] are playing right into the hands of TV networks.  So, we expect a strong Upfront.

Weisler:  SMI reported digital grew double digits last year, but there's been a lot of talk about pulling back data.

Fennessy:  Digital has probably been overbought.  As advertisers have taken more money out of TV and put it into digital, their market share has actually dropped.  Now they're starting to put it back into national TV and there's a direct correlation to an increase in sales.  But I think you do have to have the right mix.  The ARF says an ideal mix is about 82 percent TV and 18 percent digital ... and they work well in tandem, reinforcing each other.

Weisler:  What are the biggest trends in digital and TV for the next couple of years?

Fennessy:  In digital it has to be around privacy and security.  On the TV side we'll continue to see innovation … less ads, but much more expensive ads; advanced targeting; different types of creative like the six second ad; high-quality drama programming, and a real focus on live events.

Photo at top: (Left to right) E.B. Moss, Charlene Weisler, James Fennessy


Exploring Diversity in Audience Segmentation at the 2018 Multicultural TV Summit

In this day and age, it’s vital that the TV industry aim for inclusive representation in age, gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation in media content and advertising in audience segmentation, as well as a more nuanced look at who we are in all our complexities.

This need for diversity was a main takeaway from the 2018 Multicultural TV Summit in New York, where panelists from the TV industry spoke about advancing multicultural content, viewpoints, and talent. Joiava Philpott, vice president of regulatory affairs at Cox Communications, noted that while progress has been made, more effort is needed to “achieve greater diversity on our screens.”

Going Beyond the Current Approach to Audience Segmentation
How does a network achieve greater multicultural representation when its audience segments may not be so diverse? Juan Williams, co-host of The Five on Fox News, said we’re in a “moment of tremendous demo[graphic] change in the U.S. and in our media.” With a primetime lineup that’s right of center, he asked, “How do you tell stories that penetrate all of the market segments?”

Read the full article on the Videa blog.


Content that Makes Meaningful Connections. Interview with Producer Donald Perry

I met producer Donald Perry at the recent Multicultural summit and was fascinated with his impressive background and current project Family Pictures USA. 

I've had a very unusual career path. I started off as a Foreign Exchange Trader with JP Morgan,” he explained, and from there into the intense world of high finance. In his spare time he wrote “lots of sci-fi, thriller, fantasy stuff, even published a series of novellas...oh, yeah, and that book of erotic fiction that every writer has to do at least once!”

His creative side kept calling. “One day, I started giving notes to a friend of mine on a film project he was working on - a personal doc about self-identity and negotiating the various ways of being Black. By the end of the project, I had my first film writing credit and I was hooked.” By 2010, Perry was writing full time for film and now has four feature documentaries as well as many shorter pieces. 

Charlene Weisler: Tell me about Family Pictures USA and how it got started.

Don Perry: For the last 9 years, we've been traveling around the USA, as well as to Canada and a few places in Europe, Brazil and Africa, engaging communities around their shared values and experiences. Family Pictures USA is a TV series and transmedia project that explores neighborhoods and cities through the lens of the family photo album to enlarge our understanding of history, our diversity and our shared values. We like to call it the antidote for the divisiveness that undergirds our national, even international, malaise. 

The program emerged out of the audience development project we created around Through a Lens Darkly. While making the documentary, we found that certain kinds of images were not easily accessible through museums, libraries, various institutional collections so we basically started a crowd-sourced mechanism for activating private archives, which became the Digital Diaspora Family Reunion Roadshow. We've held over 55 live events, some of which lasted over several weeks, in over 40 cities on 3 continents; interviewing over 3000 participants about their family history, photos and connections to place. 18 months ago, one of our funders suggested we might have a TV show in there somewhere and we've been deep into the development process ever since. Last summer, we filmed a pilot episode in Detroit and now, we're looking to take what we've learned into wider distribution.

Weisler: How is it different from other genealogical programs.

Perry: This isn't a genealogical show at all. We focus on the stories within the family photo album... the personal testimony about the who/what/when/where/why behind the image looking for patterns, relationships and connections that unite one person's story to someone else's, perhaps someone they've never met or never imagined they had a connection to. These aren't only through family lineages, which has happened at various events, but more through people having experienced something in common, like being at the same place, at the same time, but from opposite sides of the street and witnessed an event or took part in something that was so impactful that it needed to be captured in a photograph. What we're really looking to uncover is the mystery behind that little spark of the Divine that exists just in the moment the photograph is taken. The spark we all experience every time we take a photo - a compelling desire to commit something to memory in a digital...way.

Weisler: In an era of multiplatform, what is your digital and multiplatform strategy.

Perry: We started this project back in 2009, when there really wasn't social media as we know it today. We have been adapting the project to the new landscape. Our strategy going forward will be pretty agnostic; As long as there is an audience to reach, we'll create content for platforms that will appeal to them where they are. On Facebook and You Tube, we do short modules, from 2-minutes to 15-minutes; on Flickr we have tons of albums depicting our various events; on Instagram we have images and short stories. We generate a lot of content when we go into a location and we can cut it to fit any set of parameters, from short form to longer formats.

Weisler: How can your program encourage diversity, new ways of thinking about race and connection.

Perry: Most of our problems as a society stem from our ignorance about "The Other," people not like us, people who are different, whether by race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, class. If "They" aren't like "Us" then They are treated as outsiders, with all the suspicion that goes with not being part of the tribe.

We physically bring people from a wide range of different corners of a community together in one place, which is a cornerstone of our production process. We create a space where people can feel comfortable sharing some of the most intimate narratives about themselves, their families and their history. We give people a place where their voice is heard, honored, respected...often for the first time outside of the confines of their own close inner circles and families. In that moment of sharing their story in their authentic voice, they reveal their humanity, loves, hopes and dreams for themselves and their children and grandchildren. We learn about moments of tremendous pain which they have suffered, but which they have also overcome and found a certain peace. We create a palpable link from one person's eyes to another's heart. The payoff is, as Antonio Lucio, CMO at HP, Inc., said in an article in AdWeek recently, “It is harder to hate someone you know.” 

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Working Together to Find Solutions … While Remaining Competitive. The Advanced Advertising Summit

At last week’s Advanced Advertising Summit in New York, Dan Aversano shared his version of an “ah ha” moment: the key to success for OpenAP will be building scale, consistency and simplicity. The Senior Vice President of Ad Innovation and Programmatic Solutions for Turner Ignite was just one of the speakers reporting on how data can best be used in advanced television advertising at the B&C/Multichannel News conference.   

Panels focused on a range of data, measurement and industry initiatives that highlighted the frenetic and changing landscape for marketers and media, each with a common theme of making data-driven targeted advertising more effective. 

Cross corporation partnerships is a significant step forward. In addition, the industry can benefit from monitoring data usage, creating industry standards and protocols and using data in an ethical manner. 

OpenAP – An Update
In talking about OpenAP, Aversano was joined by Noah Levine, Senior Vice President, Advertising Data and Technology Solutions, Fox and Gabe Bevilacqua, Senior Vice President, Product Management Advanced Advertising, Viacom. Aversano went on to say that media companies can work independently and reach their own, great solutions but they will all be different and difficult to merge. The ‘ah ha’ realization can take OpenAP from a custom solution to an industry standard.

“OpenAP focuses on linear TV,” added Levine, “and makes it easy to transact on the same ad across optimized linear.” It enables all types of advertisers, from short purchase cycle CPG to longer cycle Automotives, to better achieve their goals beyond adults 25-54. “We are bringing new types of advertisers to the table, which is critical to continued success of TV. Also, it allows us to improve the end user viewer experience. Long term goals include lowering the ad loads and offering different types of ad experiences,” he concluded.

The partnering of frenemy companies is both new and welcome. Bevilacqua noted, “We are extremely competitive and want to deliver the best results for our clients but we won't win by coming up with our own definitions. It doesn't scale this business for any of us. So we can agree and still have our lanes. There is a lot of land out there that is right spot for us to compete.” Currently OpenAp has 30 agencies on-boarded in time for this upfront.

The best industry standard attribution model for media continues to be elusive, but there are many media experts focusing on the issue. Data+Math is a TV metrics company that focuses on TV attribution. John Hoctor, Co-founder and CEO, explained, “We take exposure data from Smart TVs and Set Top Boxes and connect exposure data anonymously to other datasets.” 

Adam Gaynor, Vice President, Advertising and Data Solutions Sales, AMC, found this data output useful, “Now we can help tie what brand is trying to do. And it adds extra elements of insights. TV works and now we are able to prove it.” But for Keith Kazerman, Group Senior Vice President, Client Solutions, Discovery, the question is, “How do we standardize measurement? Eighty percent of questions from clients are about how we can do better than yesterday. How can we measure outcomes?” Attribution is table stakes - not across categories, but by clients. “For example, financial clients demand attribution,” stated Kazerman.

The biggest untapped targets for this next TV Upfront are, according to Gaynor, measurement, technology and collaboration. “We need to work together as an industry to find solutions,” he added. For Kazerman, the target is “Standardization. Make it efficient.”

Optimism in the industry is high ... and focused on data and how it maps the consumer journey. “2018 is the year of audiences. And attribution is another tool that enables us to see what happens. It all gets us further down the funnel,” concluded Gaynor.

The core takeaway for me is that the media industry needs to exert both optimism and vigilance. “Optimism” that this continuous industry evolution is beneficial and creates opportunities to better serve consumers and improve the overall business model. “Vigilance” that the data we use is not only scientifically fact-based but also appropriate for the analysis and ethically obtained.

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TV Legacy Systems Holding Back Advanced Advertising Efforts?

Legacy data may provide a standardized measurement platform, but “data is advancing more quickly than our ability to transact on it,” Mike Rosen, NBCU’s evp, advanced advertising and platform sales, told attendees at NewBay Media’s Advanced Advertising conference in NYC Mon. “In TV, there are so many legacy principles that have been around for decades. Data is happening so quickly that the industry has trouble figuring out how it fits.”

One2one Media pres Mike Bologna, argued that “if advertising has to be advanced, then the data has to be better than the past. We need different forms of data to best calculate.” TV’s legacy infrastructure, however, can impede advanced advertising growth.
“We are dealing with a lot of legacy systems, and they are not going anywhere,” said Doug Hurd, co-founder, evp business development, clypd. “We are trying to reduce friction, but it is hard and the least sexiest part of the business.”

Sarah Foss, chief product officer, advertising management systems at Imagine Communications, said the TV model needs some creative re-adaptation. “The business model has always changed. We are multichannel now,” she said. “We are selling TV to get to audience and devices in different ways. Most of our clients are selling impressions and Macgyvering it back into the system.”
Of course, when it comes to cross-platform measurement, “frenemies” must sometimes work together, and OpenAP is one example of three major media competitors doing just that. Noah Levine, svp, advertising data & technology solutions at Fox Networks Group, explained that OpenAP was designed to offer “consistency in audience definitions and sizing, consistency in sharing across sellers and facilitating a mechanism to provide posts from OpenAP data companies such as Nielsen and comScore.”

VideoAmp chief strategy officer Jay Prasad said predicted standards adoption within the next two years: “Advanced currencies backed by attribution data will replace GRPs and siloed digital measurement.” — Charlene Weisler for Cablefax


Becoming a Media Entrepreneur. Interview with Paxton Baker

Paxton Baker, Managing Partner Liquid Soul, mixes both a creative and a quantitative approach to his work. Previously at BET in programming, his current work at Liquid Soul is much more entrepreneurial. “When you run a TV network you’re working on acquisitions, the daily line-up, new specials, documentaries, awards. Plus you’re watching ratings and you’re ever mindful of the competition. As a consultant, you’re looking for trends and watching out for multiple clients and their various brands, not ratings,” he explained.

Charlene Weisler: Is there a difference in promoting a concert vs. a TV show? What are the considerations for each?

Paxton Baker:  A concert is live event; you have to get someone to go out – to do something. It has to be warm and embracing to evoke a reaction. At a comedy show, similar to a concert, people want to laugh, at an R& B concert they want to sing or, take a Hip Hop concert. It’s in your face and you want to dance. So, you’re driving human emotion. For TV you can sit back and relax. It’s a different type of experience.

From a concert perspective, music hasn’t really transferred to TV. There are some things that you do at a concert that you can’t do when you’re watching it on TV. A concert is live in real time. For TV you’re a bystander, no one sees your reaction. If you’re an artist on stage you can feed off the energy from the audience.  A concert aired on TV isn’t the same experience. TV is one-way communication…someone is communicating something to you. There are certain programs with active communication where you can use Twitter and participate using multiple screens, but for the most part the reaction is kept to you or with a limited amount of people. At a concert you are participating in an experience. You’re laughing along with hundreds, thousands of others. You’re sharing music, comedy with others. TV doesn’t do that yet. 

Charlene Weisler: What is your process in developing a program?

Paxton Baker: It varies. It's a different process for different types of programs. There is a process for developing a documentary and a different one for an award show, for example. For Soul Train, we recognized iconic artists from our history and also introduced modern artists to new audiences. It’s the same way Don Cornelius did it. He introduced Gladys Knight and Chaka Khan to his audience. When I produced the Soul Train Awards, I was mindful of that heritage. We broke new artists like Bruno Mars and Miguel. They got their first ever recognition on TV at the Soul Train Awards. We wanted to bring our great heritage but also offer a modern twist. So it's a different mindset. We produced a documentary on President Obama’s first trip to Africa. There was so much heritage, so much hope and fulfillment. We wanted to evoke those feelings in the audience. You shoot a lot of b-roll with the mindset of capturing the emotions to bring to the television screen. For the concert there is immediate awareness. In TV there are a lot of little pockets and corners where you can tuck away visuals and program subconsciously.  There are things that people aren’t aware of, that they can come back to and discover and rediscover. With DVRs you can play back over and over again. You don’t get to do that at a live event.

Charlene Weisler: What are the most important considerations in trying to attract an audience to a program or an event?

Paxton Baker: Whatever you do you have to be mindful of the end result, what’s important to the audience. For Sneaker Con our sweet spot is 18 -24 year-olds. They’re interested in what’s hip and now and a degree of sustainability.  They’re not interested in what their parents are interested in. They want what’s quick and transactional. It’s the currency of now.

Charlene Weisler: What is the profile of sneakerheads? And how do you market Sneaker Con?

Paxton Baker: Sneakerheads are 18 -24 year-olds for the most part.  There are 25% who are 12-18 and approximately 50% in the 18 -24 range. They are extremely technologically advanced and very mindful of trends and pop culture.  At one point MJ (Michael Jordan) was the most important person in sneakers. He still in a top spot, but sneaker culture has moved to pop culture and Kanye is now the most important person from a trending perspective. He is the most important person in the modern athleisure wear market and he’s a pop figure, not a basketball player. The successful basketball shoe is one that can cross over from the court to pairing with your jeans off the court. The most successful shoes make the transition. So the bulk of the promotion and marketing is done over social media and by word of mouth. There are no TV ads and very little radio. With social media our marketing is extremely targeted and focused and the results are there as well. 

Charlene Weisler: Give me some predictions of the media landscape 5 years from now.

Paxton Baker: Everything is dependent on the platforms. Literally you can watch TV on your watch. Programming will continue to be more interactive.  Everyone wants to see it now, on their terms. Netfllix was the game changer for binge watching and appointment television will continue to change. Live programming like sports will continue to be important and more emphasis will be based on live events. In politics, debates are already much more interesting and will continue to be more interactive. People will be better able to participate and ask questions in real time and interaction with screens will continue to evolve.  Who knows, we may soon be able to watch great programming from space.

Charlene Weisler: What advice can you give today’s graduates who are seeking a career in media?

Paxton Baker: Be open-minded and learn as much as possible. You can program your own channel and if you’re driving a trend, TV will pick it up and will expand your reach to millions. One word of caution, just make sure you’re proud of what you upload as it lives forever and can come back to bite you. Technology is important for the modern programmer, but an open mind is overwhelmingly important.

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