VIEQUES, PR — One of the world’s largest international TV operators is three years in to an addressable advertising roll-out that has to happen differently across 14 markets but has to be innovative nonetheless.

But Liberty Global’s advanced advertising MD thinks he has found a way to keep things simple whilst also being disruptive and going about things in a way US operators could never conceive.

“We’re doing the opposite of what the US did,” John Paul tells Beet.TV in this video interview. “We’re going in to the free-to-air broadcasters first, not our own inventory, and trying to convince them that this is a good thing to do.”

Liberty Global’s footprint numbers 14 countries, many of which are rolling out addressable advertising opportunities for buyers. They are 12 in Europe and two in Latin America, including Belgian’s Telenet, Germany’s Unitymedia, eastern Europe’s UPC, Netherland’s Ziggo and, since 2014, UK cable operator Virgin Media.

Paul says the program called Liberty AdPlus is innovative but not to the point of complexity.

“It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of data science,” he says. “When we first started this, we thought we were going to have to hire a gymnasium full of Cambridge data scientists to do predictive analysis. But 90% of the value that is being generated is thought he application of very basic data sets.

“By doing just a little and staying focused on the business outcomes, that’s how we manage innovation.”

Paul has previously told Beet.TV how cable operator Virgin Media, one of the largest in Liberty Global’s portfolio, is now going to market with an addressable offering, but, like most of the stars in Liberty’s constellation, the company lets networks sell their own ads in to the inventory – Liberty Global rarely sells on their behalf.

He may not want to disintermediate broadcasters – but Paul’s company is changing the nature of the relationship with ad buyers, that is for sure.

“We’re having many more discussions directly with the advertisers, the budget owners,” he adds.

“I wouldn’t describe it as ‘disintermediation’, but you’ve got smarter advertisers with their own data sets and ideas about what they want to achieve, and now they’re having a dialogue with us and they’re not part of that old sales model.”

This interview was conducted by Ashley J. Swartz, CEO of Furious Corp.

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.

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