PALM SPRINGS, Calif – The Internet Advertising Bureau’s focus on brands at the 2018 Annual Leadership Conference marks an inflection point for the organization and all of advertising and media, according to NBCUniversal’s Scott Schiller. That it’s happening now “is a perfect setting for us to really focus on how do we bring brands closer to the seller and technology constituents,” he says.

The IAB announced this week that Schiller is the newly elected Chairman of the IAB Board of Directors. He has served in that position since October 2017 due to board executive changes, according to an IAB news release.

As was the case at last year’s event, when Procter & Gamble’s Marc Pritchard and other brands were outspoken about the shortcomings of the digital ecosystem, this year that role was filled largely Unilever’s Keith Weed. Together they “set the stage at the high level of what the bigger, more established companies are thinking,” Schiller, who is EVP, GM, Marketing, Advertising & Client Partnerships, says in this interview with Beet.TV.

Meanwhile, smaller companies are always emerging on the landscape with their own hopes and needs. “The industry needs to work with this disparate group of companies,” he adds.

As regards the ecosystem, media sellers need to keep finding new ways to make dealing with them as smooth as possible. “We have to be more thoughtful in how we transact and we have to be focused on bringing results whatever they are to our clients,” says Schiller.

Sponsored content and the creation of branded content is becoming increasingly important “as so much of what we do in the media business is algorithmed or commoditized.” How advertisers find their way into content is critical for two reasons: It can enhance the consumer experience and “The money that comes from sponsorships is what ultimately fuels in large part great content,” Schiller says.

Asked about NBCU’s ongoing coverage of the Winter Olympics in South Korea, he mentions its Total Audience Delivery solution and how the event has not only always been a “hotbed of change” but also “a great example of what’s going to happen.” The Olympics were the first place that “digital really came together with television.” Now the natural emphasis is measuring all viewers on all possible devices.

“From a programming and marketing perspective, you’re seeing us try everything with every platform that makes sense.”

Apart from the IAB, more discussion and education are needed to help everyone find their way forward, unlike the pre-digital advertising and media world.

“In the old days it was very clear. The brands did what they did, the agencies did what they did and the consumers ingested it. Today everyone does everything,” says Schiller.

This video is part of a series covering the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting. The series is sponsored by AppNexus. Please visit this page for more coverage.