CANNES – What constitutes “premium content” is in the eye of the beholder. So rather than trying to ascertain a common definition, one’s time is better spent understanding the drivers of ROI while taking into account things like environment, ad formats and targeting.

“That’s really more what we’re focused on versus worrying too much about getting to a fixed definition of what’s premium and what’s not,” said Tim Castree, Global CEO of MEC, during a panel discussion at Beet.TV’s Advanced TV Summit hosted by MEC at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.

Castree was responding to a question by moderator Matt Spiegel, Managing Director of MediaLink, who offered that premium content “is one of those words that doesn’t really have a definition.”

From premium content the discussion turned to the consumer video ad experience, the preponderance of tech solutions and the challenges to content sellers and buyers posed by the mixed trading model most publishers are having to deal with.

Asked by Spiegel whether Videology is seeing video stream providers paying more attention to the quality of the consumer experience then just doling out lots of ad impressions, the company’s Chief Commercial Officer, Ryan Jamboretz, said things have definitely improved.

Five or six years ago, Jamboretz noted, when broadcasters “put their over-the-top television out they were over-monetizing, I would argue. They were putting way too many ads in the streams at the beginning.”

He acknowledged “some really great work being done by people like Fox around what is the appropriate ad load” while stating that “I don’t think we’re there yet.”

Spiegel asked whether there are too many technology stacks and not enough standards and commonality.

“It’s highly ambitious if a bit naïve to think that any one company is going to be the full stack,” said Jamboretz. “For us it’s all about interoperability.”

He cited as one company that is “doing it right” Sky in Europe, which is a sell-side client of Videology. “We’re their monetization solution on the supply side but we also work for Tim’s company and many others in that market as a demand-side platform,” said Jamboretz. “So we play both of those functions. And that works better than having to be the top-to-bottom stack for every cable company in Europe or in the U.S.”

According to Castree, one advancement that would greatly benefit the industry is better publisher yield management. Publishers are “dealing with a very complicated environment,” given their remnant interaction with supply side platforms, premium deals in the UpFronts, direct programmatic transactions—some of it on demographics, others on audiences.

He said this mixed trading model is one reason “we’re struggling technologically with all these home-grown solutions.”

This video is from The Advanced TV Summit at Cannes Lions 2017, presented by Alphonso. For more from the series, please visit this page.