Television is ready to step in to the future to embrace the new audience targeting opportunities in front of it.

But, to do so, TV is going to need to learn some new tricks – chiefly, how to identify viewers in order to stop serving them repetitive ads.

That is according to one executive whose company aims to do just that.

“Identity is a really big deal,” says Ashwin Navin, Samba TV Co-founder, in this video interview with Beet.TV. “Television is a mass media platform. It’s also one where people are generally in a leaned back, relaxed environment. They’re not logging in. They’re definitely not trying to search. They just want to be engaged through entertainment after a long day at work.

“So what we think is really important is to be able to create identity resolution in and around the television in a privacy compliant way. This allows our data to make the experience better for consumers. It also allows the media to become much more relevant and measurable.”

San Francisco-based Samba was set up to help advertisers and broadcasters know, with certainty, which TV shows viewers were watching, for how long and how attentive they were.

Launched in 2008 and backed by investors including Mark Cuban, the outfit works by having software embedded on some 180m viewing devices via app makers which bundle Samba’s recommendation features.

In December, Samba acquired Screen6, a firm offering real-time cross-device identity resolution.

The aim was to help ad buyers avoid serving up repeated ads to viewers who may already have seen them – something that can make for waste and inefficiency.