Among the more noteworthy aspects of the ongoing evolution of advanced television is the pace at which the use of syndicated data sets for targeting viewers has spurred the use of advertisers’ first-party data, according to NBCUniversal’s Mike Rosen.

And even while advanced audience targeting will be the subject of many conversations at this year’s Upfront season, it will be as a “complement” to the traditional powers of television advertising, Rosen says in this interview with Beet.TV. at the Advanced Advertising Summit.

“When our world of premium video and television first started getting into the world of advanced targeting, it was very much reliant on a lot of third-party segments,” says Rosen, who is EVP, Advanced Advertising and Platform Sales.

Using syndicated data segments “was a great place to start.”

What surprised Rosen was the speed at which advertisers began to bring their own first-party data to the targeting process. “What was so pleasing is that as soon as advertisers and their agencies started to understand the power of this, it started to unlock what they’ve been doing in other worlds, like digital and social, which is using first-party data.”

He describes first-party data as an “incredible competitive advantage because they understand their consumer,” be it e-commerce or brick-and-mortar locations. That same data can “deeply inform linear television, addressable television campaigns, our full episode player, streaming online, our over the top, Hulu.”

Combined with brand-safe content, first-party defined audiences provide “that complete link from client all the way to media buy. That’s incredibly exciting,” Rosen says.

“I think what surprised us in a good way was how quickly we went from third-party data, sort of testing the pipes, to jumping right into let’s really light this up with first party data and get this engine to really run and see the ultimate promise of it.”

During the Upfronts, advanced targeting will be a factor, but advertisers will still concentrate on priorities like tent-pole sponsorships and major sporting events, plus “content and context-first decision making. That’s part of what has made television so powerful and so effective over the years. We see this as a perfect complement.”

This video was produced at the Advance Advertising Summit in New York.   Please find more videos on this page from the Beet.TV series presented by 4C.