The ability to target individual consumers with ads across digital devices and specific households via television is progressing well on parallel tracks. Just when those two paths will converge from a data standpoint is anyone’s guess.

“Right now, that data doesn’t exist in a co-mingled way or in a way that would allow us to truly target at a one-to-one individual level on an OTT or television device,” Doug Ray, the CEO of media agency Carat USA, says in an interview with Beet.TV at the annual IAB MIXX conference in Manhattan.

“Can we get there? Perhaps at some point. But we’re still going to then to crack the code around household versus individual or addressable data,” Ray says.

In the meantime, Carat is “engaging with the ability to target at the individual level and we’re leaning in and doing a lot of work with clients at the household addressability level,” Ray says.

This is not to say that cross-platform attribution at the household level isn’t relevant. It’s “absolutely critical,” adds Ray. “We’re able to look at that exposure not only through linear or addressable TV but also across other platforms. That’s been proving very well for us,” he says.

Although not many clients are active in that space, “those clients that are leaning into it are seeing real value and by testing it they’re able to substantiate that as a viable measure for them.”

Within the TV realm, the biggest issue to Ray is the lack of a common currency for measurement purposes among the biggest program owners. “They’re investing in their own datasets, ad tech, to enable addressability within their own ecosystem. But that starts to create some issues around cross platform or across suppliers,” Ray explains.

Citing companies like Samba and Simulmedia, which have amassed huge amounts of TV viewing data, Ray believes their efforts could lead to an industry wide solution. “My hope is that we get one of those as a potential solution for the industry to actually embrace,” Ray says.

The next step then would be getting that data down to an individual level. “I’m not sure that we will ultimately be able to get to that individual level without fusing or matching data,” he says.

This video is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of the IAB MIXX Conference, 2016, presented by The TradeDesk. Please find additional videos from the Conference here.

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