TV ads targeted through addressable linear platforms made up just 0.1% of total us TV ad spend in 2014, according to eMarketer.

And industry executives seem at loggerheads over the extent to which the prospect is really making in-roads.

Asked what impact sellers of TV properties on addressable platforms had made during the recent US TV upfront ad sales season, Mike Bologna, president of Group M’s MODI Media advanced TV division, replied: “Not at all.”

But that’s largely because addressability isn’t much of an option at the national TV level.

“The majority of the addressable business are scatter dollars. … conducted with MVPDs (for) local two minutes per hour, none of which is traded in the upfront,” Bologna told a panel debate convened by Beet.TV. “When Group M is talking with national TV networks … addressability is not on the table.”

The few from another agency is pretty different.

“We’re painting the picture way too small,” Publicis Groupe Media advanced TV EVP Tracey Scheppach argued back. “Precision video is a way bigger opportunity than that. Everybody’s talking about data and precision now – that’s the talk of the town.

“I have a whole list of clients that really do get this now. Some clients are starting to be able to get past the test-and-learn phase, think about all-year-long and then maybe get to an upfront.”

But both execs acknowledge current shortcomings in a technology that is still slowly evolving:

Bologna wants addressable to scale up from its current deployment of around 45mn US homes to more like 100mn.

Meanwhile, Scheppach concedes: “We lack enough granular data … If we had that, we would be allocating money to addressable off of the total video buy that’s going in to the upfront.” Her agency is currently debating, interally, whether addressability is still in test phase or is ready to scale.

While some debate the readiness of addressable TV for big-brand national advertisers, however, it is important to remember that the prospect is bringing in many companies that were not previously advertising on TV at all, growing the overall advertising pie.

“Digital clients that have never been in TV – this provides an opportunity for them (because) the waste is not there,” said Amy DeHaen, the advanced TV VP of IPG’s Cadreon unit.


They were interviewed by Matt Spiegel, SVP of MediaLink.

This video was produced at the Beet.TV leadership summit in New York on cross-platform addressability on July 26.  The event and the series is presented by DISH Media Sales and Experian Marketing Services.  Please visit this page to find addition videos from the summit.