NYC TV Week and NAB: A Sorenson Media Perspective

B&C’s NYC TV Week and NAB Show New York drew hundreds of TV industry influencers to the Big Apple this week, including panelists from Sorenson Media.

Advanced Advertising

The advanced advertising portion of NYC TV Week took place at the Sheraton Times Square Hotel October 18. Comcast’s Marcien Jenckes kicked off the day discussing the TV industry at a glance. Jenckes claimed that the world praised the TV industry as the most effective form of advertising for years and, consequently, became complacent. Digital, meanwhile came along and introduced deep, data-laced advertising, and the TV industry has to catch up now.

“The only way this industry is going to survive, is to make the unsophisticated, traditional TV…sophisticated” Jenckes said.

A panel followed Jenckes’ piece including Sorenson Media’s James Shears, VP of advertising. The panel collectively agreed that addressable TV has grown in capability and scale in recent years. The complex system has become simpler, one panelist observed. An obstacle keeping addressable from growing faster, the panel claimed, is content owner buy-in.

Advanced advertising with Sorenson Media panel
(Left to right) Dina Weisberger of Google, James Shears of Sorenson Media, Jamie Power of One2One Media, and Howard Fiderer of Invidi

“There is a great reason, incentive, to move to addressable,” Shears said. “But the change management will be a huge undertaking, and that intimidates content owners.”

Asked how TV’s CPMs would change with the arrival of addressable TV, Shears pointed out that “the more targeted you make something, the harder it is to reach and the higher your CPM.” The CPM will be higher, he agreed, but the total cost for advertisers will be much less than using traditional spot advertising.

Quotable Moments from Advanced Advertising

Google’s head of broadcast partnerships, Julie Sterling, listed four elements that make TV advertising so valuable: scale, reach, premium content, and seamless ad insertion.

Tony Yi of Videology spoke about the need for a common currency so that cross-device advertising could have a clear ROI. “The key is for the industry to accelerate in their adoption of open standards,” Yi said.

Stephanie Mitchko-Beale, CTO and COO of Cross MediaWorks warned the group of complacency in the industry. “Anybody who is sitting around waiting for the TV industry to stay the same in the next three years is going to be lost,” Mitchko-Beale said.

Asked about his thoughts on the Thor project headed up by VAB, Viacom’s Bryson Gordon responded, “Anything that brings more advanced reporting…to television…it’s good.” He quickly added, “But marketing is complicated.”

He went on to explain his opinions on advertising attribution. “I’m one to believe there’s a lot of BS in attribution,” he said. They can show you data that has high correlations between ad and purchase, but they can’t prove that an ad individually drove a purchase, he added.

In a panel about TV data a panelist asked rhetorically, “When was the last time you saw someone tear up at a social ad, a Facebook ad?” The panelist wanted to point out that TV ads have a higher impact than any other ad form.

NAB New York

While NYC TV Week events proceeded, NAB New York hosted hundreds of other broadcast enthusiasts mere blocks away.

Pat Ivers, chief revenue officer for Sorenson Media, sat on a panel discussing addressable TV and TV measurement. The panelists debated how soon companies might offer addressable TV scale. Ultimately they agreed that the industry has the technology, supply, and demand. It still lacks the convergence of these three.

Nab new york and NYC Tv week
Pat Ivers (far right), Sorenson Media’s CRO speaks on a panel at NAB New York

At another point in the panel, Ivers pointed out that no one can fairly compare TV and digital. “We’re locked in traditional measurements today and being compared to digital,” he said.

TV Data Summit

The inaugural TV Data Summit held October 19 as part of B&C’s NYC TV Week kicked off with a session featuring Kern Schireson, Chief Data Officer and Executive Vice President of Viacom. Schireson discussed how data has shaped the TV industry and will continue to do so. He claimed that the future of the TV industry rests on a foundation of accurate, granular data that truly moves the needle for brands.

A panel followed including Sorenson Media’s James Shears, Denise Colella of NBCUniversal, Julie DeTraglia of Hulu, and Alison Levin of Roku. The discussion explored how TV data has helped advertisers reach audiences with personalized ads.

TV Week TV Data Summit Panel
NYC TV Week TV Data Summit panel discusses personalization in TV data. From left to right, Jon Lafayette of B&C, Denise Colella of NBCUniversal, Julie DeTraglia of Hulu, Alison Levin of Roku, and James Shears of Sorenson Media.

Shears emphasized that all the data in the world can’t give marketers the results they want. “If you don’t know what you’re measuring on the back end, you can’t put a successful campaign together,” Shears said.

“Failure is okay,” he added. “The beauty about using data to target is that you get learning across the spectrum. If the campaign fell flat, that can be a good learning opportunity.”

When asked about privacy around personalized TV data, Shears pointed to the laws that protect viewers. He also reiterated the importance of opting in to data collection technologies in devices. “When people realize that opting in will give them a better viewing experience, they’ll see personalized TV data differently,” Shears offered.

A separate session with panelists from Inscape, Alphonso, Google, Nielsen, and AdMore/REVShare debated the value of big data. The discussion heatedly revolved around whether panel data or census-type data best address the industry’s needs. The panelists finally agreed that a perfect data solution doesn’t exist. The industry will always face data challenges, but we are progressing, they insisted.

Sam Petersen
Sam Petersen
Content Marketing Manager
Sam is a conflicted marketer. He loves being creative, but also thrives on numbers and analytics. Sam has worked in several messaging-focused roles during his career, including journalism, PR, product marketing, and now, content marketing. When he's not stewing over his conflictual identity, he heads to the mountains to hike, ski, run, etc.