MIAMI — These days, consumers have more choices than ever before about how to consume video and TV content. And that means a new spectrum of opportunities – and challenges – for content owners and distributors.

For companies more used to selling the context of their content to advertisers, the hot new possibility – in the over-the-top TV era – is to instead sell individual viewers, thanks to the myriad data points on offer.

But which are the most viable revenue opportunities, and which choices should distributors leave on the table?

In this panel debate convened at the Beet Retreat, executives from several publishers and distributors weighted up how they tackle the wealth of new options available.

NBCUniversal sales and strategy EVP Mike Rosen:

“I like the word ‘balance’. The culture of our company should be about content-plus-audience. We’re not abandoning content. We don’t want to go to our agencies, our advertisers, and make them choose between the two.

“We sort of see that balance, where, yes, you’re going to sponsor some shows, because your brand belongs there. But, at the same token, there may be other strategies that involve looking across our entire portfolio, and finding the audiences. The two, I think will coexist for a really long time.”

Fox Networks Group Senior Vice President of Advertising Data and Technology Solutions Noah Levine:

“A year ago, I was very digitally focused. I’m very convergence focused right now. My team is probably spending about 70% of its time focused on linear. My team focuses on audience, and programmatic solutions across linear, addressable, set top box VOD, and digital.

“A lot of my time, and my leadership’s time, is spent socializing these concepts internally, getting buy-in, developing excitement around these initiatives, because part of our job is to be disruptors, to say, ‘Hey, we’ve been using age, gender as a way to guarantee for very long time’.”

Acxiom VP, Television Partner Development, Craig Berkley:

“I think most of the organizations in traditional TV are aware that this needs to happen, that we need to move towards addressable, and audience based buying, and incorporate all of these into our platforms. Different organizations are in different stages in accomplishing that internally.”

Oath Business Lead, Advanced TV, Brett Hurwitz:

“I kind of go through work each day, wondering ‘What are the obstacles’? There’s obstacles, I think, on the supply side. I think there’s obstacles on the demand side. I think we have to, as an industry, as leaders in the industry, really start breaking down those issues, and tackling them one by one, because I think the evolution is happening remarkably slowly.

“I think traditional linear television delivery has a certain amount of life ahead of it. It doesn’t make sense to me that money is still being spent the old way.”

A+E ad sales president Mel Berning:

“We have all sorts of balls up in the air right now. We would all prefer to get to a world where we’re talking about (advertising) outcomes.

“Until clients, agencies, and all of us are able to get into a real dialogue about what is the right metric to gage the effectiveness of the medium, I think we’re in a difficult spot.”

The panel was moderated by MediaLink A+E managing director Matt Spiegel.

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.