CANNES – Building the infrastructure required to deliver addressable TV ad campaigns at scale is a “10-year sprint” for the man charged with doing that for the world’s biggest media agency holding group.

But Jakob Nielsen is having the time of his life.

In 2017, WPP’s GroupM launched Finecast, aiming to “help advertisers address hard-to-reach TV viewers through a single access point with standardised measurement”, beginning in the UK and since launching in Australia.

Now Finecast CEO Jakob Nielsen says the outfit will launch in another country this coming September.

Having launched in the UK, the unit is up to 51 people and has also set up in Australia.

“We are starting to really scale,” says Nielsen – of both Finecast and the addressable ecosystem in general. “Now it feels like there’s a shift this year.”

Finecast offers advertisers access to 180 different targeting segments, from socio-economic to life stage, purchase and financial data.

It is integrated with GroupM’s [m]Platform along with such major industry data platforms as Acxiom, Experian, MasterCard and Kantar to power audience discovery and targeting.

What are the right ingredients for the addressable TV facilities recipe? “You need to have a lot of data people, a lot of technology people, lots of TV people,” Nielsen says, speaking with MTM co-founder Jon Watts for this interview.

“They find better solutions for our clients and that’s what we think our job is.”

Not just people, but also technology. Finecast has built some of its own, but is happy to use software from the likes of FreeWheel, AT&T, Amobee and others, what Nielsen calls the “plumbing” for TV 2.0.

But getting there isn’t easy. Though advanced TV advertising may be hitting a kind of scale, it is relative to the dominance of the overall linear market – and it is a slog.

“(It is) enormously complicated, very fragmented, no measurements, many, many systems to connect to,” Nielsen acknowledges. “And that will slow down the adoption of addressable TV. That’s why we are where we are now and we won’t grow as much as most people want to grow because it’s complex. It’s difficult to understand.”

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