SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Julian Zilberbrand knows a thing or two about uniting companies’ different interests.

As EVP advanced media at ViacomCBS, he led the development of advanced TV ad strategy in the company combining Viacom and CBS, and previously at Viacom itself.

Now at the rebranded Paramount, Zilberbrand says the advanced TV opportunity is about ensuring everyone benefits.


“We are a multi-layered organisation, so first step is organising the data across all these places, which we have gone through the process of doing,” Zilberbrand says.

“We are distributed by a lot of different environments, it’s a long process and a long partnership discussion. It’s not one player or two players that we have to work with. It’s dozens of players that we have to work with.

“In order to do that, that means we have to have the conversations. We have to partnership discussions. We have to have the contractual scenario set in place.”

Building the audience footprint

Paramount is focusing on growing its Paramount+ subscription video platform, up to 100 million subscribers by 2024, by spending $6 billion per year on new streaming content and making Paramount+ the exclusive distributor of Paramount Pictures movies in the first pay TV window.

But the company also has significant assets in ad-funded TV.

“We have a 50 million-person household footprint in addressable,” Ziberbrand says. “The advertiser needs to have an experience that makes it easy for them to action across all this using data.”

SVOD Will Make Ads More Valuable: ViacomCBS’ Zilberbrand

Connecting to co-ops

Zilberbrand, like others, believes a partnership approach – even with competitive companies – is the best way to ensure the whole ecosystem can benefit and connect with the advanced TV opportunity.

What was ViacomCBS had been an early member of the OpenAP, an alliance bringing harmonized metadata and transactional tools to the fragmented advanced TV landscape.

And, together with Comcast and Charter, it set up Blockgraph, an alliance using blockchain tools to help the sharing of data.

“We do work with all of our kind of frenemies,” Zilberbrand says. “We absolutely work together because, ultimately, it’s a TV ecosystem, and a rising tide lifts all boats, as they say.

“Ultimately, when Group M goes into the market, they want to go into the market across a multitude of partners.

“The more people that join those consortiums, the better off it is for the industry, and the better off it is for the advertisers – because you get to execute across a multitude of partners and not necessarily have to go partner to partner to partner.”

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