MIAMI – When the subject is unified audience measurement across viewing platforms, expect metaphors to abound. “Putting lipstick on a pig,” “Chicken and the egg” and “Push the envelope” are among them. And so it was during a panel discussion at the recent Beet.TV. Retreat 2016 as a panel of experts from across the video spectrum grappled with the issue.

Panel moderator Ashley J. Swartz, CEO and Founder of Furious Corp., cites the lipstick and pig idiom as she asks Adobe Primetime’s Sr. Business Development Manager, Art Mimnaugh, about his customer’s cross-platform pain points.

“It’s hard,” says Mimnaugh. “You’re not going to have some of the standardized metrics across there” but programmers and operators are gaining more insights into their actual audiences.

“We keep getting into this chicken and the egg,” Mimnaugh adds. “As much as we want to transact on audiences in certain ways, if we don’t have the back end measurement in certain parts of it then people will say, ‘no I’m not really interested.’”

What it comes down to is the proper value exchange. “That value exchange looks different depending on the lens you’re coming from,” says Mimnaugh.

“I think you’ve got to take risk,” says Kevin Patrick Smith, SVP of Comcast Media 360. “Risk comes with key advertisers and their agencies going out of the box working with us on new media, new measurement, new integrating and realizing that it’s not perfect. But we’ve got to push the envelope and go out of traditional measurement and try new things.”

Asked by Swartz to describe the role of Google in the future of television, the digital giant’s Jennifer Koester says it’s an open platform devoted to data activation for advertisers via seamless direct and programmatic buys.

“Everybody is looking for this unified system that pulls in legacy and over the top and digital and lets you plan against that and optimize against that,” says Koester, Google’s Director of Telco & Video Distribution. “People just have to open their minds to new platforms and new platform partners to think about solving this.”

Rob Klippel says Charter Communications is focused on being able to consistently pull audience measurement data across its footprint and have a “common, consistent view” of its customers.

“I know that might seem mundane, but for us we’ve got three different versions of that all on separate physical networks right now,” says Klippel, who is SVP of Advanced Advertising Products & Strategy. “So trying to pull that all together right now is a pretty big task.”

This interview was conducted at Beet Retreat 2016: The Transformation of Television Advertising, an executive retreat presented by Videology with AT&T AdWorks and the 605. Please find more videos from the event here.