COLOGNE – With the proliferation of video platforms and devices has come a persistent call for a common method of viewer measurement. One simple statistic shows why: NBC hit “This Is Us” is watched evenly on linear networks and digital platforms.

“What we’re seeing in terms of the impact of that on viewership is really quite stunning,” Krishan Bhatia, EVP, Business Operations & Strategy for NBCUniversal, says of the explosion of consumer choices.

“On average for our primetime shows, it’s already at 30%” Bhatia says, referring to digital viewing. “If you play that out over the next few years, you can see how dramatic the shift toward these platforms is already.”

In this interview with Beet.TV at the DMEXCO advertising and trade show, Bhatia also talks about using the flexibility of digital to “move the ball forward” on 30-second TV ads and how NBCU is in the process of broadening its automated platform reach with more demand-side platform partnerships.

Viewing trends allow for incorporating the capabilities that marketers have come to expect in the digital media world to TV content on new platforms. “We can serve ads digitally, we can do creative versioning, we can do third-party tracking,” Bhatia says.

Like many of his sell-side colleagues, Bhatia bemoans the reality that measurement lags viewing trends. He notes that such metrics as Nielsen’s C3 and C7 ratings “fall outside of that measurement approach” needed to thoroughly track cross-platform watching.

In this year’s Upfront negotiations with TV buyers, NBCU saw a 42% increase in demand for its digital video ad inventory, according to Bhatia. To him, this means that seeing “demand basically outstrip supply” creates an opportunity for content that might historically have been considered non-ad-supported, streaming video-on-demand content. One obvious benefit for marketers more digital inventory.

NBCU made lots of headlines earlier this year when it made a landmark deal with Hulu to share the rights to the digital rollout of “This Is Us,” as The Hollywood Reporter notes. Among other things, the arrangement gives advertisers access to people who had not yet been exposed to the hit show.

Bhatia sees a rising trend within audience targeting toward more automation of ad-buying transactions.

“The automation layer is what both marketers and agency partners are asking for,” he says. With all of the company’s inventory now available via three DSP’s, “you’ll see that list continue to expand significantly over the next six to 12 months.”

This video was produced as part of Beet.TV leadership series from DMEXCO, presented by NBCUniversal. For more videos from the series, please visit this page.