Every television advertiser is trying to identify what their specific audience means outside of broad age and sex demographic targets. While the latter represent a “fairly blunt instrument that we use as a currency,” more media owners are executing in ways that line up better with how buyers want to execute their plans.

An audience target for a client “that is actually going to move their business is a very different animal anyway,” says Jon Stimmel, EVP, Chief Investment Officer, UM.

Progress on the targeting front has been slowed in part by inventory constraints, Stimmel explains in this interview with Beet.TV, in which he refers to the OpenAP consortium of Fox, Turner and Viacom as “the Hulu of data.”

“It’s been a really small portion against each one of those media owners that have undertaken this endeavor and I don’t see that changing in the near future,” Stimmel says of advanced audience targeting. “But I do see more and more of them being able to execute in a way that matches up with how we build our plans.”

Asked for his assessment of OpenAP, Stimmel says it’s a step in the right direction but too early to judge completely as some details have yet to surface.

“I was surprised, not that I’m not an optimist. It’s just you don’t see a lot of media owner collaboration all the time,” he says.

Stimmel likens this cooperation to the advent of Hulu just over a decade ago. “Hulu was a big endeavor when Fox and NBC came together to sell their digital inventory. This is like the Hulu of data,” he adds.

UM research experts will be going under the hood of OpenAP to determine things like how the networks are defining the audience segments they’re offering for advanced targeting and whether they’re in sync with the way advertisers define them.

“That collection of the data is probably the most important in our desire to move from this respondent level data to more behavioral. It’s really the path we’ve been trying to instill,” he says.

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best, Stimmel rates the current state of cross-screen measurement at “a patchwork five.”

This segment is part of a series leading up to the 2017 TV Upfront. It is presented by FreeWheel. To find more videos from the series, please visit this page.