It’s an oft-cited trope in adland that media fragmentation is still on the rise, but GroupM’s Rob Norman believes there’s an end in sight because of the rise of apps.  This is the crux of his DMEXCO keynote address he will present this week in Cologne.

Norman points out that more than 80 percent of people’s time spent using smartphones and tablets is with apps, not the mobile web, and people with smart TVs are increasingly engaging with apps in that environment. The app landscape is much less diffuse than the web, since there are relatively few apps that have become everyday destinations for people.

“The assertion that I am making is that apps actually signal the end of fragmentation and a return to scale,” says Norman, GroupM’s chief digital officer, in an interview with Beet.TV prior to giving a keynote on the topic at DMEXCO.

Norman observes that the rise of apps is going to give advertisers the opportunity to take “franchise positions” the way that some brands did when the TV and magazine markets were gaining maturity. They bought prominent media space and “projected those franchises by negotiating them year after year after year and doing so at a point or two below inflation and over time building the delta of competitive advantage in media value versus their peers,” he says.

In the dawn of the internet age, staking out a franchise position wasn’t considered possible, since there was a seemingly limitless supply of web inventory. But now, especially in the app ecosystem, there will be supply constraints.

“Advertisers that go fast, go hard and go big will rebuild the platform of durable competitive advantage,” Norman says.

This interview is part of a series of videos leading up to the DMEXCO conference in Cologne. The series is presented by 4C Insights + Teletrax.