Connected TV is a medium that promises personalized and interactive ads – but, in 2021, new privacy laws, viewer identification challenges and connecting the ecosystem will provide challenges.

That is the view of Adam Gilbert, head of partnerships at media agency Initiative.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Gilbert, whose team has accounts including Salesforce, Citrix, Arby’s and Boeing, explains what the industry can expect.

Fragmented viewing

Gilbert says the big connected TV development of 2020 – increasing consumption driven by stay-at-home consumers plus the growth in new service offerings – has created the condition for mass personalized TV advertising.

But manging frequency capping across all those inventory sources is tricky, he says/

“Therefore, I think the future for CTV certainly is going to be in kind of a consolidated effort in a programmatic or addressable activation, that allows us to see consumers in one consistent, cohesive way,” Gilbert says.

“Ideally this will happen and kind of a collective or portfolio way of approaching video buying. Unfortunately right now we’re seeing that the video marketplace is heavily fragmented.”

‘Transformative year’

But Gilbert, who oversees media investment in excess of $500 million, says progress ie being made on that front.

“I do think that 2021 will be a transformative year for the likes of video planning and buying, to really allow us to achieve more omni-channel approaches in order to engage audiences in a connected ecosystem,” he says.

“I would love to see kind of an all-ecosystem, all-touch point enabled mapping of the customer journey. That will fundamentally require a full reworking of the attribution system across – not just CTV or TV itself, but the full advertising ecosystem.

“I do think that 2021 will be a pivotal year for this, given the preparation and things in the year ahead for the inevitable crumbling of the cookie in 2022.”

Legislative action

But, whilst ecosystem kinks get ironed out, the industry should also expect some legislation action this year.

“2021 is going to be a pivotal year for consumer privacy,” Gilbert adds. “I anticipate that, with the new Biden administration, we’re likely to see that policies as well as more comprehensive legislation will be brought forward from a privacy perspective to the likes of CCPA and GDPR.

“While certainly anything that might be enacted likely won’t be to as far an extreme or conservative of an approach as we’ve seen with GDPR, maybe even CCPA, we do anticipate that there will be an introduction that will help standardise some of the ways that we engage consumers across this category from a privacy perspective.

“That will therefore also have ripple-down effects from a measurement and attribution perspective as well.

“That will inherently then challenge brands, as well as advertisers and agencies today, throughout the course of 2021 to be thinking ahead and preparing for that inevitable change as that will impact front-end metrics as well as back-end ROAS.”

You are watching “Addressable Advertising: A New Reality for Linear TV,” a Beet.TV leadership series presented by SpotX. For more videos, please visit this page.