Nevermind the naysayers – addressable TV device capability is here, it’s real and it is rolled out at scale. Now vendors just want more TV shows to open up to run advanced ads.

That is according to an executive who thinks critics of the emerging opportunity are wrong.

Addressable TV, which gives brands the ability to buy ads targeted at the household level, has made particular in-roads in certain local cable operators and in particular OTT services or TV devices.

Mike Bologna, the former president of GroupM’s MODI Media advanced TV unit who later co-founded Cadent’s one2oneMedia addressable TV arm, says there are two ways of assessing addressable TV’s deployment:

  • Households able to receive dynamically-inserted ads: he puts this at 75 million out of 120 million US TV households currently.
  • TV ad inventory actually enabled for addressable ad insertion: Bologna says this part needs improvement.

“Getting the national inventory into play addresses the scale issue as it comes to impressions available,” he says. “That’s the part that we need to focus on so this can really start to take a chunk out of that $70 billion (total US TV ad spend) that everybody’s chasing.

“How do we get all of the national TV networks? How do we get their inventory, which is the bulk of the television inventory, enabled so they can start offering up an addressable option to advertisers?”

Doing so won’t necessarily be straightforward. Whilst many new OTT entrants are offering dynamic addressable ads out of the gate, incumbent national TV networks still have their traditional direct-sold ads business to manage, often going through cable operators.

“(National broadcasters) don’t have the ability to light up the inventory,” Bologna explains. “It’s not within their control. No national network can light up the inventory by themselves.

“They have to create a relationship, make a deal with either a cable system, a set-top box maker or a smart TV because, for the foreseeable future, dynamically-inserted commercials over live linear programming is going to happen either through the set-top box or through the smart TV.

“Then they need to go through the calculations and figure, out of their programming, which is best suited for an addressable insertion and where are they going to generate the most yield?”

He was interviewed by Janus Strategy & Insights president Howard Shimmel.

This video is part of a series from the Beet Retreat in the City, “We’re Going Local!” hosted by GroupM Worldwide and sponsored by Amobee, Comcast Spotlight, TVSquared and WideOrbit. Please visit this page for additional segments.