VIEQUES, PR — Consumers are flocking to watch TV over new, over-the-top connected devices – but some advertisers are struggling to keep up, according to one exec watching the space.

US connected TV viewers grew 20.6% in 2016 to reach 181.8mn, and will hit 60.4% of the population by 2020, according to eMarketer.

The great migration brings new challenges and opportunities to marketers, who are seeing the way content is delivered change dramatically. But not all are keeping apace.

“Couple of years ago, it was this cool, forward-looking thing,” according to Andre Swanston, the CEO of OTT ad-tech firm Tru Optik. “Over the last six months, we’ve seen a real sense of urgency – for some marketers, almost desperation – to figure out OTT, as their consumers shift dramatically in to that new world.”

But, despite the push, Swanston says marketers face challenges to unlocking the OTT future.

“(There is a) lack of actionable data across OTT,” he says. “TV networks know nothing about their audience across OTT. They aren’t getting registration or login data shared with them from the MVPDs.

“The publishers, their data management platforms work great across desktop and mobile, they don’t have the ability to give them the first-party data and third-party data they need to emulate those capabilities across connected TV.”

Tru Optik’s technology helps marketers with targeting OTT viewers, measuring consumption and tracking attribution using first- and third-party data.

The Stamford, CT-based outfit claims its technology has sight of what 500 million consumers in 150 countries are viewing or listening to, out of a library of 20 million titles.

Videology recently tapped Tru Optik which sees clients of the former use the latter’s data about OTT viewing to better segment and target viewers.

This video is part of a series produced at the Beet.TV Executive Retreat in Vieques. The event and series is presented by Videology and 605. For more videos from the series, please visit this page.