LONDON, UK — The TV industry will in a hybrid world for many years to come, where the worlds of traditional linear TV and streaming converge, and the opportunity lies in reaching audiences instead of demographics.

That is the vie according to James Rooke, President, Comcast Advertising. But, to get there, Rooke thinks the TV business needs to embrace change and compete effectively with tech companies.

He spoke with me for Beet.TV after delivering a speech to The Future Of Television Advertising Global conference.

Embracing the Hybrid World

While this convergence is expected to take many years, Rooke believes it will pave the way towards a world where instead of transacting on rating points, the industry is transacting on the marketer metric at each stage of the purchase funnel.

He acknowledges the complexities in automating the buying and selling process and executing everything on impressions. “It’s easy to say, but really hard to do,” admits Rooke.

Simplifying Operational Complexity

That said, Rooke is optimistic about the industry’s efforts to simplify these challenges. “There’s a lot of work going on both within Comcast Advertising, but also how the industry is coming together to work on behalf of the marketer,” he says.

Rooke shares the philosophy that Comcast Advertising has always embraced: “We’re stronger if we work together.” He sees this cooperation evident in the U.S. with initiatives like the Go Addressable trade association, programmers’ work with OpenAP, or the new JIC for measurement.

Leveling the Playing Field

However, Rooke also sees a lack of a level playing field when comparing the traditional TV ecosystem with big tech platforms.

“The traditional TV ecosystem provides full transparency into where every single impression adds. Those impressions are third-party validated. That’s not the case with other companies that are coming into the ecosystem,” he explains.

He believes this lack of transparency can lead to problems such as marketers’ dollars delivering onto inventory they didn’t think they were buying or into non-brand safe environments. “I think there should be common standards so that marketers can have apples to apples comparisons,” Rooke insists.

Achieving Executional Excellence

Despite this challenging landscape, Rooke urges traditional media companies to control their destiny by executing with excellence as the worlds of streaming and linear TV converge. He sees the need to make linear inventory more intelligent and behave more like digital – more addressable, more targetable.

He believes that with this “executional excellence” and common standards around transparency, the traditional media ecosystem can enter a new world where it continues to demonstrate its effectiveness to marketers.

“I think what you’ll see is a shift of dollars from bottom of funnel to other places, and the word performance itself I think will get redefined,” Rooke predicts.

You’re watching Beet.TV coverage of The Future of TV Advertising Global 2023, presented by Index Exchange. For more videos from this series, please visit this page.