SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico—When disruptors like Google and Uber want to reach consumers one on one, “they buy an ad on broadcast television,” says local-TV sales veteran and VP of Sales at Videa Archie Gianunzio. Now what local broadcasters need to do is make it as easy for their advertiser customers to deal with them as the disruptors have.

“We’re still the best way to get in front of an audience, but it’s changing how advertisers and agencies want to get in front of that audience,” Gianunzio says of broadcast TV in this interview at the recent Beet Retreat 2018 in which he envisions a future where other local media can be sold alongside broadcast.

Videa partners with TV stations to deliver a live, supply-side marketplace for full-schedule, forward-reserve broadcast inventory that can be ordered weeks or quarters in advance. It’s a way of automating the buying process, with pricing approved by the individual stations and second-by-second campaign reporting.

It’s a process designed to “sand off the rough edges of how we buy and sell,” says Gianunzio. The fact that someone in a local broadcast buying department handles thousands of spots is “insane.”

He recalls his time as a sales rep for Cox as the digital age dawned and local broadcast revenues were declining. “And the revenue leaves not because there’s not a good return on investment by running your spots in broadcast. And it’s not because it’s not where advertisers want to be,” says Gianunzio, citing Google and Uber as examples. “The reason advertisers and agencies pull their money out of it is because it is so cumbersome.”

Videa has been building a “foundation” to unify station sales. “Within each station broadcast group we’ve got different ways of doing things. I’m just talking about getting everyone to think the same way” and hopefully agree on activities that should be automated. “Automation scares people because if I’ve been doing it manually, that’s what I’m getting paid for.”

He talks about the complexities brands face when entering a new market and wanting to surround prospective customers with ads across all the various media available and do it quickly. “You’d be discouraged from doing it,” says of the current environment of going seller to seller.

“And that’s when you can see real power in advertising, when you’re surrounding a consumer with each of the forms of media that you’re using so that it’s not a different message coming from each one.”

Videa’s future vision is to be able to unite more media sellers. “The idea is not for a platform like this just to exist for broadcast. It’s to exist for broadcast and everything that comes with it, OTT, VOD, then network and radio,” says Gianunzio.

“If we could build sort of a superhighway where media can exchange with data and exchange with revenue, we’re in a position where you can make a smart decision about opening up in a specific market, you can surround a market and have it all in one place.”

This video was produced in San Juan, Puerto Rico at the Beet.TV executive retreat. Please find more videos from the series on this page. The Beet Retreat was presented by NCC along with Amobee, Dish Media, Oath and Google.

Beet Retreat, San Juan, November 2018Tagged , , , , , , ,