CANNES – Is the semantical divide between “television” and “digital video” crumbling? Judging from discussions at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, the answer is yes.

At least it is in the mind of Matt Spiegel, Managing Director of strategic advisory and business development firm MediaLink. Following his role as moderator of the FreeWheel/Beet.TV New TV Ecosystem Forum, Spiegel shared his thoughts on definitional differences and whether data segmentation standards are necessary.

“I love the fact that both buyers and sellers are now getting rid of the TV versus digital divide,” Spiegel says. “That’s not really news in some level, but the fact that it’s now being talked about means we’re evolving.”

The industry “transactionally” has had a TV versus digital divide for awhile, according to Spiegel. “It seems to me more than ever that’s coming together. Which is great news.”

He reflects on a panel discussion between representatives of Fox Networks and ESPN in which Spiegel’s age-old question—what is television—was center stage. “If it’s a full screen experience and the ad is being viewed what do I care about the rest of the environment? I don’t care what device it is. I don’t care what screen it’s on,” Spiegel recounts.

The viewpoint from Fox was regardless of how a consumer accesses programming, “if I’m showing you an ad and the consumption is the same and the viewership is the same, then that means an advertiser should look at it the same,” he adds. “We’re far from there but I think that’s an interesting point.”

Spiegel differs from many in the industry when it comes to the perceived need for standardization of data segmentation, another topic of discussion at Cannes.

“I still sit on the side that says customization of data science and the definitions, certainly for marketers of how they think about who they’re reaching and how they define those audiences, matters a ton,” says Spiegel.

The sell-side will probably lean toward more standards. “But I think you’re still going to be dealing with a buy-side that has customized that in a lot of ways. How that continues to evolve, the value of things like OpenAP, will be interesting to see as that evolves.”

This video is from The New TV Ecosystem Forum at Cannes Lions 2017, presented by FreeWheel. For more from the series, please visit this page.