Digital media companies, advertisers and ad-tech companies have fretted that the loss of tracking cookies and device identifiers is making audience targeting more difficult. Providers of ad-supported streaming video already work in a cookieless environment that’s mindful of the consumer experience.
“The lessons in a way that smart TV or CTV advertising is creating a standard that all digital advertising has to live up to,” Colin Petrie-Norris, chief executive of streaming video service Xumo, said in this conversation presented by Beet.TV. “The fact that is operating in a cookieless environment has very much direct bearing on how display and mobile and others work.”
Xumo has a responsibility to a variety of constituencies, including viewers, advertisers, electronics manufacturers and content providers, Petrie-Norris said to Mike Fisher, vice president of advanced TV and audio at Essence, a unit of WPP’s GroupM. Xumo’s platform offers viewers with 220 live channels that have been vetted to ensure they are legitimate providers of video content.
“We have to treat their brand as if it was our own. We have an obligation to them to make sure they get the scale, get the reach which advertisers enjoy; to use data to appropriately target users; and also to manage ad experience,” Petrie-Norris said. “We do a lot of work optimizing the ad experience, and making sure that we’re not overdoing the ads. It does work better when you can serve fewer ads which are more relevant. You can more engagement, more return users.”
Trusted Media Partners
Advertisers have grown more concerned about ad fraud amid discoveries of illegitimate CTV providers that spoof valid household internet addresses and generate fake viewership numbers. Petrie-Norris recommends that advertiser work with trusted partners and third-party verification providers to avoid this activity.
“The solution is: know who you’re buying from. Having a good guide who can take you through that is incredibly important for that,” he said. “The issues that the industry is faced with are on the decline relative to the scale emerging from the robust, reputable players.”
Comcast last year acquired Xumo as part of a broader expansion into streaming video, which has become a popular way to see programming without a cable or satellite TV subscription. With Comcast’s backing, Xumo has plans to offer a broader range of programming.
“We are very encouraged by the future in front of us in terms of as we start to bring all of that muscle to bear in the space, we’re going to see very exciting things to come,” Petrie-Norris said. “We’ve earned a place in people’s living room during the pandemic, but now we have to show that we can continue to provide them and earn their time.”
Making advertising work better for people is at the heart of an effort by GroupM to promote a media-buying framework it calls “Responsible Investment.” The idea is to create a healthier advertising ecosystem that advances brand safety, data ethics, responsible journalism, sustainability and diversity, equity and inclusion.