There might not be anything revolutionary per se about the 2017 TV Upfront, but that’s not to suggest there aren’t a variety of evolutionary forces reshaping the competitive landscape. They range from competitive pressure to build out dynamic ad insertion capabilities to offering more precise audience targeting and ensuring brand-safe digital ad environments.

These are some of the trends that Tim Hill sees when he views the TV Upfront with the perspective of nearly 17 years at UM. Now EVP, Managing Partner, Integrated Investment, he shares his thoughts on a range of issues affecting buyers and sellers in this interview with Beet.TV.

It’s no secret that more advertisers would like to achieve more one-to-one messaging by being able to serve the most appropriate ads at a given moment via dynamic ad insertion. “The technology exists to do that. The problem has always been the scale of how you get there,” Hill says.

He finds it promising that video-on-demand providers from Hulu to DIRECTV NOW and others are providing more inventory for dynamic ad insertion, pressuring affiliates and MSO’s to get on board as well. “I think what we’re going to have to see is the traditional players in the space having to set up that dynamic ad insertion environment because they’re being challenged by people who are building that from the ground up,” says Hill.

While the desire for dynamic ad insertion varies client to client, it’s “powerful on the seller end” because it can make their inventory much more efficient, according to Hill.

In every TV Upfront, certain topics rise to the top of industry conversations, pushed there by competitive forces. This year those topics include the new audience targeting consortium by Fox, Turner and Viacom called OpenAP, along with brand-safe digital ad placements.

TV networks will use brand safety issues to tout their inventory control while downplaying the disadvantages of audience migration to a host of competitive platforms. “So while they control their inventory sourcing, they’re losing audience just in general to the marketplace,” Hill says.

He believes the talk about safe environments is a good thing for the industry because “people are going to have to come out stronger and put more accountability against this.”

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.