With his multi-decade background at NBC, CNBC and TiVo, Tom Rogers knows a bit about television audiences. Given continued viewing declines, he believes the only way for broadcast and cable networks to maintain decent pricing is personalized ads with measurable business outcomes for advertisers.
“I really don’t see any other answer given this confluence of trends,” Rogers told the audience at the recent Beet.TV Leadership Summit titled Outcomes, presented by video marketing technology provider Eyeview. In a one-on-one interview conducted by Joanna O’Connell, Chief Marketing Officer at MediaMath, Rogers referred more than once to a “true crisis in traditional linear TV viewing.”
While the viewing decline has been happening for about 25 years, Rogers thinks it’s coming to an inflection point. A major contributing factor is the continued rise and popularity of non-ad-supported programming. Hours of YouTube viewing “is just about to hit a level that exceeds all global traditional linear TV viewing,” said Rogers, who is Executive Chairman of WinView Games and Chairman & CEO of TRget Media.
However, the plethora of data and technology providers that cater to one segment or other of the audience targeting and measurement business doesn’t make things easier for advertisers and agencies, according to Rogers. Which leads some advertisers to throw up their hands in frustration and cede that ground to their agencies.
“To be frank about it, the agencies are for the most part not the people with the greatest incentives in the world to kind of drive a more cohesive integrated simple approach to this,” Rogers said. “They kind of thrive on that complexity because it makes it more necessary for advertisers and brands to rely on them.”
On the TV sales side, as better targeting and addressability drive more efficiency and ROI, waste is removed but most likely less money will change hands. “And with less spending, those particular players in the equation have a harder time seeing how they win,” he added.
Rogers likened consumers chasing skinny bundles and other alternatives to watch their favorite programs to the dynamic between a wealthy husband and a younger wife. Asked if she would still love him if he lost all his money, her response was: “Of course honey I would still love you, but I would miss you very dearly.”