TORONTO – Advertisers can target specific audiences on 24 of Corus Entertainment’s adult specialty stations via a self-serve advertising platform designed to ease buyer “pain points.” But while the technology would facilitate household addressability, Canadian regulations and other hurdles stand in the way, according to the company’s head of Advanced Advertising Sales, Barry Marcus.
Powered by consumer segmentation data, set-top box data and TV-specific data, the self-serve platform for live avails is in the beta stage, Marcus says in this interview with Beet.TV contributor Ashley J. Swartz at the recent Future of TV Advertising Forum.
“There were a couple of pain points from a TV buying perspective that we wanted to address. There’s a lag in posting that media buyers just aren’t used to in the digital world. There’s an ease of use with other products and so we wanted to address some of those things,” Marcus says.
Among other changes, transactions are in net dollars as opposed to traditional gross dollars. “We think that lines us up nicely for a multi-platform use in the future.”
Early feedback has been positive. “The market has basically come down on what we thought they would. It’s clean, it’s simple, it’s a little bit more powerful than they’ve had in the past and they like the timely, useful information.”
Looking forward, Marcus hopes the rest of the industry embraces such platforms and common audience segmentations. “The days of heavy competition between broadcasters has diminished and we need to think of ourselves as a platform to compete against other platforms,” he says.
Marcus cites three hurdles to scaling addressable TV advertising, the first being regulations requiring such ads on specialty stations must be for national advertisers and national campaigns. “Very hard to break up a spot in addressable,” he explains.
The second hurdle is that cable companies in Canada are investing heavily in the next generation of set-top boxes, something that will make addressable easier, but “no one’s investing a lot of money in the current set-top boxes and so we sort of have to wait until that scales until we start making addressable easy.”
Lastly, growth of addressable TV in the U.S. market has been driven by the two minutes per hour of local time that cable providers have been able to use to monetize their investments in technology like new set-top boxes. This is not the case in Canada, so there’s “no direct way to monetize addressable inventory.”