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A TV Ad Executive’s Perspective on the Year Ahead

As agencies consider where to invest their clients’ dollars in the year to come, it’s worth knowing how one of the world’s leading media publishers is thinking about its own inventory. AdExchanger’s recent Industry Preview 2017 event in New York featured a panel discussion with Linda Yaccarino, Chairman of Advertising Sales and Partnerships for NBCUniversal. How are publishers thinking about advertising deals this year? Here’s what she had to say about NBCU’s plans for 2017:

More opportunity to break down the TV and digital “divide”
One frequent complaint among agencies and advertisers is that even as consumers shift their viewing habits between video and TV, ad inventory and performance measurement haven’t always kept pace. This year, says Yaccarino, the goal is to eliminate those discrepancies, minimizing some of the inconsistencies in measuring audiences and the performance of ad units. She says NBC plans to do this by encouraging the industry to focus on “business outcomes” as their main “key performance indicator” (KPI).

Addressable TV offers lots of opportunity
2017 may well be the year that connected TVs reach critical mass. By some estimates, 60% of US households already own a connected TV device like a smart TV, Roku or Apple TV. This, of course, means that there is a growing opportunity for advertisers in connected and interactive TV. NBCUniversal is hoping to deliver on that opportunity by focusing more on “addressable” TV ad units, which offer a more precise method to reach target consumers using a mix of VOD and live TV.

Getting “screen agnostic but platform specific”

Yaccarino highlights the fact that in today’s viewing environment, consumers aren’t always concerned with how (and on which screen) they watch their favorite content so long as it’s available on their preferred devices. The suggestion here is that advertisers would do well to focus more on buying a specific show, personality or sports event, and less on buying a specific ad. For example, rather than just buying :30 TV spots for the Tonight Show, advertisers will do best when buying “Jimmy Fallon content” across multiple events and screens, including his hosting role at the Golden Globes, his content on Hulu’s Connected TV and mobile apps, his video content, and beyond.

Both the publishing world and the advertising industry has gone through tremendous changes in recent years. As agencies and their clients make plans for the year to come, these thoughts from one of the media and publishing world’s senior leaders offer some great hints about where the opportunities lie in 2017.