The promise of using data to bring precision to TV ad planning, coupled with the ability to laser-target ads at specific households, hang like shining incentives around addressable television.

But new research undertaken by a team of sell-side TV companies and intermediary tech suppliers channels’ ad buyers concern and confusion.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Nick Troiano, the CEO of a company which funded the research, explains what is wrong – and how to fix it.

Work needed

Era Of Addressable was carried out by Forrester for DISH Media, Cadent, Canoe, Comscore, INVIDI Technologies, LiveRamp, Verizon Media, ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia.

It has found the buy side calling for change:

  • Simplify buying and managing campaigns across suppliers (66%)
  • Increase scale (65%) and national footprint (64%)
  • Interoperability among MVPDs (74%); technology partners (93%)
  • Single measurement standard from media companies (92%)

“Executing adjustable TV is very complex. Less than four out of 10 respondents believe that their organisation is equipped to handle addressable TV at scale,” Troiano adds. “That is not a good metric for the industry, it’s something we need to work on.”

Too complex

Troiano’s Cadent provides brands and agencies with solutions to find incremental reach in the expanding addressable TV ecosystem, which holds shining promise but which is also rendered complex by a proliferating series of new viewing services and different means to access their audiences.

When it works, Troiano says addressable TV is powerful.

“Addressable television as a platform for solving some of the CMO challenges of today – reaching an audience, delivering an outcome at the right price – is a proven solution,” he asserts. “The research highlights the actual effectiveness of addressable TV. Respondents from the research identified that addressable TV is a valuable component.

“But it’s complex, and they question their organization’s ability to deliver against it. That’s a call to action for us as a community, that’s a call to action for us as a group.”

TV trouble

The Forrester report says this complexity and lack of education is holding back advertiser demand for addressable TV. According to the research:

“They often encounter challenges with understanding and mastering the landscape of platforms, distributors, tools, and measurement standards that operate within the addressable landscape.

“In turn, this can complicate their abilities to advocate internally for these addressable programs in the first place.”

Forrester surveyed 522 decision makers at brands and agencies, supplemented with six further buyer interviews.

Automate the system

Forrester’s report recommends buyers:

  • Apply a consumer-first mindset to ad buying.
  • Evaluate tech and data needs.
  • Broaden their definition of “TV”.
  • Test addressable TV to build learnings.

For Troiano, the solution is in adding more technology – to make technology less complex.

“The lessons learned I think are really rooted around automation,” he says. “How do we reduce complexity for the media, for the buy side and the supply side, to deliver a scalable solution to the marketplace for addressable TV, whether addressable is used as a reach extension, or a specific addressable solution to deliver a KPI, it’s a viable medium and a viable solution in a fragmented marketplace?

“It’s certainly a time for everyone to recognise that, if we don’t do it now, I think the opportunity for adjustable television will pass.”