David Kline, the EVP of Charter Communications and President of Spectrum Reach, knows that his company is playing catch up to ad tech. But he’s confident that now, his company has “the best data in the business.”
“I’ll tell you why,” Kline told Sean Cunningham, CEO of VAB, in conversation with Beet.TV at the Beet Retreat in New York City hosted by Horizon Media in November. “We have census data, it’s pristine. We know it’s attached to a household. Everything we do is aggregated, anonymized and privacy compliant. It’s the best tool for an advertiser to use.”
Spectrum Reach’s data, aggregated with partners including Ampersand Media and Canoe, enables the company to make network inventory addressable. That means a cable company can go to a potential ad client, like BMW, and help them target specific audiences based on the data that Spectrum Reach sets the company up with. According to Kline, roughly $65-70 billion is spent in network advertising annually, so the goal isn’t to necessarily win over more ad dollars – even as performance marketing brands like DTC companies are exploring the arena to diversify from Facebook and Google. Kline wants to attract more dollars, but also make the existing dollars spent smarter.
“I wouldn’t say we’re breaking new ground with this, I’d say we’re catching up because the ad tech players have been able to do this,” says Kline. “But we are now in the position to compete heavily with them, with the best data and highest quality content.”
While Kline acknowledges Spectrum isn’t reinventing the industry, he says that it’s most critical asset is being able to make TV addressable at scale. As the definition of TV has changed, Kline says, marketers just want to be able to decipher who their audience is and how to reach them. Now, Spectrum can offer that – it’s no longer just talking about offering it.
“It’s a work in progress,” says Kline. “We didn’t do ourselves any good by talking about it too early, but now we’re there and we need to just shut up and make it happen.”