Looking Ahead at the On Screen Summit

We often hear from media industry executives that not only is change occurring in across the industry, the rate of change is accelerating. This year’s On Screen Media Summit which took place last week in New York parsed the areas of change across the on screen landscape both in and out of home. 

There are no sacred cows; all points of media are being impacted from retransmission, digital distribution, measurement, metrics, content recognition, addressable advertising, bundling and even a shifting of target consumer valuation. Where will it all lead? Here are a few opinions from the conference:

Increased Importance of Revised Measurement
Does the current C3 television measurement need to evolve? According to CBS’ Les Moonves, "The world is changing rapidly and this year is the tipping point.  The viewer can now get content in all sorts of different ways. …We need to expand measurement and need to get paid for all of it... We also need measurement beyond three days. We want to get paid properly.” But as cross platform distribution expands, the lack of a standardized platform agnostic measurement capability hampers the full valuation of content. John Pascarelli of Mediacom sees potential in creating applications on the set top box that can help in measurement.

Updating the Target Demo … Or Not?
Les Moonves questioned the continued use of 18-49 as a sales delivery target. “One of the greatest bullsh*t numbers is 18-49. Writers say ‘it is the only demo that advertisers care about’ but it is a lazy way to look at the world and it is giving advertisers adults 50 plus for free.” His opinion is that it is time that 50 year olds get recognized because they have more buying power than 18-49 year olds. His suggestion is to shift the target demo slightly upward to 25-54 and, citing the continued success of 60 Minutes, target different age groups for different shows. Taking a different view was GroupM’s Irwin Gotlieb who supports the 18-49 status quo. He spoke of the psychology of demographic targeting which he referred to an “aspirational age group” where a 12 year old aspires to be like a 17 year old and a 65 year old aspires to be a 40 year old. In this way, 18-49 captures the psychological essence of the viewer, no matter how old they chronologically are. 

Technology Rules
Tom Rogers of TIVO gave an update on the advancements of the TIVO box including an Over The Top integrated solution from any device in the home including iPads.  TIVO has also developed a program audience research data business compiling STB data that measures not only what they are watching for programs but also for commercials.  Jeremy Helfand from Adobe noted that the days of forgoing content delivery because it couldn't be monetized are over.  He credits dynamic ad insertion as one of the most significant technology developments today.

Content Continues to be King
Breaking Bad Executive Producer Mark Johnson spoke about the importance of scripted series in network brand development. Breaking Bad helped classic movie network, AMC, achieve greater recognition and industry cache. And great long form content such as feature films can be packaged in  ways that offer viewers greater choice. Susan Cartsonis of Storefront Pictures spoke of the flexibility of content delivery explaining how a film company can release their films in two ways  - by dividing the film into segments so commuters can view in shorter, smaller installments and also releasing it to theaters in its original, complete long form. Compelling quality content continues to be a pivotal component of success. Some things never change. But the way it is delivered to the consumer is evolving.

Consumers Are Driving Advancements and Creativity
As viewers can consumer video on many different platforms and both in and out of home, it is clear that, as Jeremy Helfand said, “The living-room-on-the-go is the new reality.” So how can we monetize these new platforms and add value to the viewing experience? Peter Low of EnSequence suggests that there are three ways to add value 1. Overlay content and create opportunities for advanced advertising, 2. Increase time spent viewing and 3. Create ratings with greater measurability and ROI.

Advanced Advertising is Coming into its Own
As the industry focuses more on advanced advertising, Frank Foster of Comcast Spotlight noted that there are four data sets used in advance advertising – identifiers,  transactional data, optimization components and the reporting capabilities. Comcast, he says, is rolling out advanced advertising in five cities based on their new audience-based technology. Irwin Gotlieb concludes that “TV will be far more effective once it is addressable…. It will reduce waste and increase effectiveness... And the potential revenue form addressable is astounding.”

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