• 93% of TV execs call for new ad measurement
  • Industry wide data assets are critical for advertisers
  • BBC: “Broadcasters need to look harder at collaboration”

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Execs at the BBC, Canal+ and RTE have called for greater cross-broadcaster collaboration and the sharing of data in a bid to better understand audiences and boost advertising opportunities.

According to a report published during Ad Week Europe by a Consortium made up of Adobe, Alphonso, Sky and TV Beat, online video publishers have capitalised on traditional advertising revenues for OTT channels, creating a fragmented landscape for broadcasters to navigate.

“Broadcasters need to look harder at collaboration around data and digital platforms,” BBC director of audiences Nick North said.

“There is value in sharing data from digital products among broadcasters, linking different datasets together and making this data available to the market.

“Each broadcaster could benefit from knowing what their viewers watch on other broadcaster services, helping us improve our services for audiences.”

The report found 72% of European TV executives believe the industry needs to create new definitions and common principles for ad viewability.

Head of convergence media group at Luxembourg broadcaster RTL Robert Schäffner explained there is an arms race going on in the digital video business between publishers outbidding each other.

He said: “There is a clear need for pan-industry collaboration on the strategic level.”

Some 64% of the 300 TV executives consulted in the report believe standard definitions for TV and video impressions must be developed across traditional and new online channels.

The report outlined: “It is clear that the TV industry is in the throes of a period of dramatic change.

“Across Europe, the proliferation of high-speed broadband networks and connected media devices has allowed viewers to engage with TV content across a variety of platforms and devices.”

Broadcast TV is moving to multi-platform TV and broadcasters are having to diversify into digital multi-platform channels.

Canal+ director of digital marketing Virginie Dremeaux added: “It is very important to avoid fragmentation and confusion with addressable TV.

“We want to ensure that we share the same way of measuring and reporting addressable advertising across the different TV sales houses and distribution platforms.”

Despite viewership remaining “relatively robust”, linear viewing is declining across Europe particularly in younger audiences.

Common data platforms
Some participants suggested that the ultimate goal for the TV industry should be to build common data platforms that underpin all broadcaster offerings in any given market, similar in some respects to the European Broadcaster Exchange (EBX) initiative that is currently rolling out across some European markets.

The EBX brings together four partner broadcasters in the five leading European television markets: Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1, TF1 of France, Mediaset covering both Italy and Spain and Channel 4 from the UK.

The EBX venture aims to collaborate broadcasters across European territories to deliver meaningful commercial opportunities and not cannibalise sales.

EBX Chief Executive Chris Le May told IBC365 it has an important role in the future, enabling its members to take advantage of moves towards an increasingly connected TV world.

The report highlighted that the majority of TV viewing still remains on TV platforms be that terrestrial, satellite, cable or IPTV in favour of OTT platforms, however vertical integration is key and great collaboration to support advanced advertising offerings.

The report identified five key priorities:

  • Ensure that TV Audience Measurement (TAM) solutions remain the gold standard in media measurement
  • Support the development of scalable, consistent pan-industry standards, definitions and solutions
  • Develop the industry-wide data assets and capabilities required to cater to new advertiser needs
  • Maintain TV’s status as a brand-safe, fully viewable, and effective advertising medium, committing to clear principles
  • Invest in training the next generation of data scientists to meet TV’s needs

TF1 head of digital marketing, data, research, addressable TV and innovation Philippe Boscher added: “Applications of new datasets are already having a number of positive impacts on the TV ecosystem. For example, advertisers can already leverage new audience segments that go beyond traditional demographics.

“Seven of the top 15 advertisers on TF1 are already planning and executing optimised linear TV campaigns using these new data segments.”

The report stated the US TV industry is currently ahead of Europe, with growing collaboration between the buying and selling teams, which is less common in most European markets.

Sky Media deputy managing director Jamie West said: “The European TV industry is well positioned to thrive in a more competitive multiplatform TV and video market,” however he added, “TV developing a common view is going to be fraught with commercial challenges.”

“It’s encouraging to see a growing consensus to leverage audience data at scale to deliver a broader portfolio of customer focused solutions. We have a unique opportunity to bring new advertisers to TV and to harness new technologies like addressability and advanced planning and analytics to become indispensable to brands - the priority now is for collaboration and consistency.”

West said the industry is well-positioned to deliver more impactful and verified campaigns through addressable TV advertising.