It took streaming video options and ad-free platforms to tip the scale, but the advertising industry has finally caught on to the importance of the viewer experience. “The big picture is that programmers are thinking today more about the user experience than they ever have before,” says OMD’s Ben Winkler, who will join a host of advertising and media executives at Beet Retreat in the City, scheduled for June 6 in Manhattan.

Titled Television Advances as Consumers Choose: The Beet.TV Town Hall, the event will bring together leaders in the advertising and media industry for a full day of conversation and interaction presented by LiveRamp, TiVo, true[X] and 605. Topics will include the rise of distribution platforms competing with linear TV, advanced audience targeting and how creative units are evolving to complement shifting consumer viewing preferences.

“Rewind only a couple of years and the Upfronts were about here’s our shows with almost no discussion about the things that make up fifteen, twenty percent of that hour, which is advertising,” Winkler says in this interview with Beet.TV. “I think we got to the point where even people in advertising realize and recognize the ad experience is not a great one, and that’s bad for the entire industry.”

When everyone starts to see “the entire experience, not just the shows, through the eyes of consumers, that’s when you start to get creative,” Winkler adds. “That’s when you start to deliver better experiences.”

The bottom line: help advertisers grow their businesses, regardless of whether their ads run six seconds or six minutes. “As long as it’s a good experience and not just the same thirty seconds one after another after another after another in a pod of eight or nine spots. That’s a good thing.”

OMD embraces the search for the most optimal ad experiences, according to Winkler. “We’re testing the hell out of it. No one has ever gone wrong by considering the consumer. And more and more, we’re seeing that shift happening.”

Beet Retreat in the City will be held at Meredith Corporation’s Luce Auditorium, 225 Liberty Street. Joining Winkler on the dais will be, among others:

Phil Cowdell, Global President, Client Services, GroupM

Laura Desmond, CEO, Eagle Vista Partners

Kristin Dolan, CEO, 605

Christopher Geraci, President, National Video Investment at Omnicom Media Group

Walt Horstman, SVP Advanced TV, TiVo

David Kline, President, Spectrum Reach, Executive Vice President, Charter

Allison Metcalfe, GM LiveTV, LiveRamp

Pooja Midha, President, true[X]

Rob Norman, Advisor

Babs Rangaiah, Executive Partner, Global Marketing iX at IBM

Nancy Reyes, Managing Director, TBWA/Chiat Day/NY

Lyle Schwartz, Managing Director, TBWA/Chiat Day/NY

Doug Ray, Chairman, Dentsu Aegis Media

Mike Rosen, EVP, Advanced Advertising and Platform Sales at NBCUniversal

Ashley J. Swartz, CEO, Furious Corp.

Vikram Somaya, SVP, Global Data Officer & Ad Platforms, ESPN

Ben Tatta, President, 605

Jamie West, Deputy MD, Sky Media UK & Group Director of Advanced Advertising Sky PLC

Note: To request an invitation to the June 6 event, put your request in here.