LONDON– Over the past decade, TV had a tough time finding its footing within the changing market. While a look ahead doesn’t provide much immediate clarity, according to Jon Watts, managing partner of London-based MTM, this isn’t necessarily a cause for concern.

“In session after session, I think we’ve seen a TV industry coming to terms with the fact that the 2020s are going to be both exciting and profoundly challenging,” says Watts in an interview with Beet.TV.

What makes it exciting is that the industry is going through a transition towards a market that’s more addressable, connected and more competitive than ever before. What makes it challenging is that TV is no longer operating in a purely TV industry. Rather, there’s a convergence of TV and online. While linear TV is still a major part of the current industry, according to Watts, nobody believes that linear will be as big a part of the market in 2030 as it is today.

“There’s work to be done on things like measurement, pricing, continuing to demonstrate the relative effectiveness of linear vs non-linear,” says Wtts. “All of these things are coming together slowly, but I think most people in the industry would argue not fast enough.”

The biggest roadblock is the current state of addressability. Whereas addressability used to mean delivering a unique ad into an individual household that will look different than in any other household, now, the growth of data-driven linear allows advertisers to target against a wider range of attributes. The industry has also experienced a boom in individual addressability and household-level addressability.

“A lot of what will happen over the next five years will be about knitting these things together much more seamlessly,” says Watts.

He adds that this is further complicated in the European market, which has been defined by fragmentation as of recent. Different streaming services lead the way in different European countries, and as a result, stitching together an addressable campaign across Europe remains very challenging.

“There’s not much evidence that pan-European addressability is a problem that’s being solved for the present,” says Watts. “But I think we’ve heard a lot over the past couple of days encouraging how it’s a problem that we will get to, my guess is around the middle of the next decade once we’ve sorted out the situation in individual markets.”

This video was produced in London at the Future of TV Ads Global forum in December 2019.   This series is sponsored by Finecast, the global addressable TV company that is part of WPP.   For more videos from the series, please visit this page.

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