The emerging future in which software can measure all TV viewing and link viewers’ consequential outcomes back to ad exposures is coming in to view.

And some agencies are stepping up to demand that proof as a baseline.

Case in point: Horizon Media, the large independent agency. In this video interview with Beet.TV, David Campanelli, Horizon Media EVP, says attribution technology is vital to demonstrating to brands the effectiveness of TV ad spend.

“TV (and) video needs to prove that they’re effective and … which elements of most of these networks’ portfolios are most effective to drive our business,” Campanelli says.

“So all the work being done on the attribution side is really exciting. It’s still very early stages and even the best out there still have a long way to go, but it’s certainly headed in the right direction.”

Attribution happens when systems which track audiences’ online interactions or even eventual purchases can draw a line back to the same people’s exposure to an advertisement.

It promises to answer John Wanamaker’s historic quandary: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

Agencies like Horizon are now weighing up different technology providers’ strengths and weaknesses when it comes to attribution.

“Some of the TV and/or internet providers that have the either set-top box and/or IP-based information, and/or both, really can drive a lot of attribution,” Campanelli says.

“We can understand what people are watching through either smart TV or set-top box data and then understand their web behavior through an IP versus cookies, to show that someone saw a spot and they later took an action, and the action we wanted them to take.”

This video is from a series leading up to, and covering, the Xandr Relevance Conference in Santa Barbara. This Beet.TV series is sponsored by Xandr. Please visit this page to find more videos from the series.