In a confusing sea of a hundred “point solutions”, you could forgive a client for ending up asking “what’s the point?”

Case in point – the emerging world of connected TV offers huge potential for precision targeting, even marrying up that process with traditional linear TV buying.

One of the leading technology suppliers helping deliver that future acknowledges that there are too many vendors all trying to do the same – and that reaching the kind of scale to which traditional TV is accustomed will remain a challenge as long as self-interest stands in the way. She is urging them to start teaming up, so that advertisers can realize the kind of results they are looking for.

Come together

After more than 25 years in enterprise software and management consulting, Joy Baer, GM for FreeWheel Advertisers at Comcast-owned FreeWheel, says the new-wave TV ecosystem needs to come together.

“We’re not always playing on the same team or paddling in the same direction,” she says.

“What happens is an agency, or advertiser, or a broadcast company comes up with solutions that they initially want to determine … it’s their secret sauce. They want to think about how to best position that so it’s in their best interest first, and then the industry second.

“We have to find a way to meet in the middle on behalf of all of us.”

The scale challenge

What’s the problem created by this fragmented approach? More fragmentation.

“I think that the single largest challenge is scale,” says Baer, in this video interview with Beet.TV, referring to the potential advanced TV audience that could be reached if the separate islands of platforms were wired up to support straightforward converged TV ad buying, buying across a range of TV platforms.

“We need the broadcasters, for example, and cable operators and MVPDs to step in and make sure that their data and their inventory is consistent, and measurable, and we have a currency, and that they have systems that allow us to transact across screens, and that they’re investing in those things as well as the buy side so that the two can meet in the middle.

“It’s (about) making it possible to do it at scale, which television is the king of. That’s what we want to return to, and we’re bumping up against what I see as scale challenges. The reality is we’re not there yet.”

The push for unity

FreeWheel Advertisers is the product formerly badged “Strata“, a media-buying platform through which customers can see automated optimized TV schedules based on their audience goals, machine learning-driven ratings estimates and two-way price negotiation communication.

Prior to joining Strata, Baer was CEO of SpotBuySpot, purchased by Strata in 2007.

Baer is the latest to urge more interconnectedness for connected TV. Janus Strategy & Insights president Howard Shimmel recently urged the industry to be more collaborative. Forrester analyst Joanna O’Connell expressed concern over whether Roku’s acquisition of dataxu would lead to “higher walls” limiting converged buying. SpotX’s Sean Buckley and MTM’s Jon Watts have said that the US TV ecosystem, in particular, is too fragmented.

This video was produced at the Beet Retreat leadership event hosted Publicis Media in New York. The event and video series is sponsored by FreeWheel and LiveRamp. For more videos from the event, please visit this page