When GroupM launched Finecast, after a year of development, this fall, it may have seemed like yet another industry attempt to crack the addressable TV advertising opportunity.

But, in the smaller UK market, Finecast has quickly gained real traction – and now its boss wants to give it to the world, too.

The agency’s business unit aims to “help advertisers address hard-to-reach TV viewers through a single access point with standardised measurement”.

That is long-hand for saying Finecast has aggregated video ad inventory in programming from some of the UK’s main commercial broadcasters…

  • Channel 4
  • Channel 5
  • STV
  • Discovery
  • Disney

…in most of its main set-top and over-the-top devices…

  • Sky
  • Virgin Media
  • Samsung
  • YouView (the TV platform formed by BT, TalkTalk, Arqiva, BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and  Channel 5, and made available to BT and TalkTalk customers
  • Amazon Fire
  • Roku
  • Gaming consoles such as Xbox
  • TVPlayer

In this video interview with Beet.TV, CEO Jakob Nielsen says Finecast is a different kind of entity for a different kind of market.

Finecast is a product company,” Nielsen says. “It’s not really an agency. It develops audience products that take inventory, mix that with data, and it gives that to our clients, and we make it a very easy for all our agencies to do this with our clients.

“We have the 26 million households in the UK. We have a reach of about 15 million, we think.

“We don’t have the two-minute principle you have here,” Nielsen says, referring to the limited two minutes per hour of ad time which US pay-TV providers sell in local programming. “There are certain things that are more and more easy in the UK market.”

If the roll-out has been “easy”, the future may be more of a challenge. Because Nielsen has big ambitions for Finecast, which is part-powered by Videology.

The outfit has already said it will roll out to “top markets” over the next few months. So, will smashing those two minutes in the US be difficult?

“You need to make benefits for everyone else, and participate in that ecosystem,” Nielsen adds. “If you develop an ecosystem where it’s a marketplace where people have opportunities to fit within that business models, all of a sudden, you can create something pretty unique.

“We’ll take one thing at a time. It’s not a two-year project. It’s a 10-year project.

So much consensus will Finecast need to achieve in order to meet its ambitions, Nielsen even suggests it could share equity with other players in future.

“Today, Finecast is 100% owned by WPP and GroupM. We don’t think that we’ll have it look like that in the future.”

This interview was conducted by Matter More Media CEO Tracey Scheppach.

This video was produced at the Beet Retreat Miami, 2017 presented by Videology along with Alphonso and 605. For more videos from the event, please visit this page.