BOSTON – In the media business, being in the television is like being in the kitchen—to the 100th power. Which is one of the reasons Dan Ackerman joined Samba.tv from a long stint at AOL
Like many others, he was frustrated about trying to make sense out of all the disparate data sources that might somehow shed light on how people consume content and advertising. “Trying to string those all together was a huge problem for me in my previous role,” Ackerman says in an interview with Beet.TV. “It’s something that just hasn’t been cracked.”
This is where the kitchen analogy comes in. Samba.tv, of which Ackerman is CRO, has its technology integrated into TV chips at the factory of nine leading smart TV manufacturers. When owners first power up those TV’s they can opt in to Samba’s data collection.
“What that opens the door to is data that understands all video coming through the glass” regardless of how the content gets there, says Ackerman.
That same technology is a gateway to cross-screen targeting and measurement, because the company also is able to map individual cell phones and tablets within a given household via the IP-connected TV.
“You have that view into the household and what’s being consumed and use that as a trigger to then advertise in a more personalized and targeted, addressable basis to those devices,” Ackerman adds.
He cites as examples marketers that might wish to one-up a competitor that has category exclusivity in a Super Bowl game with a conquest message, or TV networks informed by what and how viewers of competing programming are seeing.
The other side of Samba’s business is using its data, along with that of third parties, to correlate consumer exposure to ads and subsequent business results for the advertisers. Pairing digital and television data together provides “a real deterministic view of how consumers have been exposed on a one-to-one basis,” says Ackerman.
More than 90% of people with TV’s containing Samba’s technology opt in to being tracked, according to Ackerman, who pegs penetration at more than 10 million homes.
Noting that “advertising follows content,” Ackerman believes that the more content providers personalize their offerings, the more advertisers can benefit. “The more choice the consumer has in personalizing the way they get the content, then you have more data and a more personalized environment to send them targeted, addressable ads,” Ackerman says.