The Linear TV Model Will Change. Interview with Greg DePalma

Greg DePalma, newly named Head of Revenue, IPSOS Affluent and Influencer Database, has a career steeped in research, data and analytics. “I started in New York with my first seven years at Nielsen working in the National NTI TV ratings group supporting network, agency, and advertiser clients,” he shared. 

He also worked at TiVo planning and measuring consumer response to advertising with time shifting and device shifting and on the media agency side with “nearly every media consumption and purchase behavior data company to inform campaign planning/targeting, activation and measurement.” This primes him for the current media ecosystem which increasingly relies on an ever increasing number of datasets and questions about how to best leverage them. 

As the world of research and data evolves, DePalma has some interesting thoughts on data, the future of television and measurement: 

Charlene Weisler: What do you see as the biggest challenges to TV measurement currently?

Greg DePalma: The proliferation via time shifting, device shifting and platform shifting create a spider web of measurement problems.   The technology on the back end to serve and measure program audiences and commercial ad views is not unified – clients say they want advanced data targeting and measurement, but agencies are paid on demo CPMs.  How do you measure a new data driven brand campaign that is 10% of a particular network buy, which is 10% of your overall spend?    There is no way you can parse out and report on 1% of a brand campaign.   

Charlene Weisler: Do you think the linear TV sales model will be here five years from now? Why or why not?

Greg DePalma: The networks will try to hold on to upfront premium inventory trading as long as they can. But consumer behavior will move faster than the networks can hold on to the current linear TV sales model.  Anecdotally I see it with my tweens at home.   Try asking kids, “if you could have one TV option would you chose Netflix, Disney, or HBO?” the answer is Netflix 90% of the time.    Now ask millennials a similar question.   It is especially discouraging to see only pharma ads on Network TV evening news.   Local stations historically made a huge percentage of their profits from news.  Who is watching local news now?   The ad dollars follow the eyeballs and sooner than later, the linear TV sales model will change to mirror digital trading.  

Charlene Weisler: How has the role of data in media changed since you first started?  

Greg DePalma: Data has transformed the media marketplace in terms of transactions, talent and strategy.    We see programs replacing people and data replacing insights. You really need to dive under the hood.  The black box research and attribution models have to be completely examined.  I’ve seen media companies report on their “ROI” and attribute sales with a model that applied a 25:1 weight for their own ad exposure impact.  I was fortunate to work on a team that challenged the media company to open up their attribution formula and provide the correct recommendation to our client.  

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