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The Future Of TV, On The Rooftop Of The Empire Hotel

The highlight of Advertising Week New York was, of course, the cocktail party on the roof of the Empire Hotel that TVREV put on with our friends at dataxu. And while the party itself was a lot of fun—what’s not to like about an outdoor roof deck with stellar views on a clear 65º night and free food and drinks—it was a highlight because the companies in attendance represented an excellent overview of where the television industry is heading.

First off, there was our co-hosts, who recently rolled out a product called TotalTV for Advertisers that lets advertisers plan across linear, connected and addressable TV. That’s exactly the sort of functionality we keep hearing brands say they’ve been wanting. It’s a reaction to the fact that planning for OTT  is nowhere near as straightforward as planning linear once was, and more and more, the most desirable viewers can’t be reached by sticking solely to linear TV.

Much of the rest of the “TV Tech” ecosystem, the people fueling the boom in ad-supported OTT were in attendance too.

There were the actual platforms themselves, in the form of Hulu, which is pretty much ground zero for ad-supported OTT (you’ve probably been seeing ad chief Peter Naylor in the “Better Ruins Everything” campaign along with Sofia Vergara, Sara Silverman and Samira Wiley.)  Roku, where all of the “CTV” you keep hearing about lives, was in the house too. (Pro Tip: CTV is just OTT that’s watched on an actual TV set.)

Representing the sell side—the people who are using data to help advertisers better target OTT inventory, was Beachfront Media. 

iSpot was there to represent the changes in measurement and attribution around TV, as more and better data becomes available.

IRIS TV was the face of curated personalized playlists that can get viewers away from social media and back on to publisher sites, while MAD Network was there to represent blockchain technology, which is getting ready to disrupt the entire OTT ad sales ecosystem, removing all those unnecessary middlemen.

And to help all these companies in their quest to make ad-supported OTT happen, we even had bankers in the form of Garros Group.

(NB: That’s just who I ran into, so apologies to friends and partners who were there who I missed. That, and my memory isn’t what it used to be, so if we had an entire conversation and I still forgot to mention you, mea culpa, the oversight was not intentional.)

Look For The TVREV Special Report On Ad-Supported OTT

The explosive growth of ad-supported OTT, the emergence of a whole new set of key players in the sector, and the general confusion in the industry about how it all works, is why ad-supported OTT the subject of our next TVREV Special Report, due out next month.

We’ll be looking at why ad-supported OTT is so hot right now, what the advantages and disadvantages are, how it works, how it’s bought, sold and measured, how the expanded use of data is changing everything, who the key players are, and, finally, what we think the future might look like.

We’ll be talking to key industry players (off the record and on) to get a sense of what’s really going on and what the pain points are for advertisers, agencies and networks. We’ll take that and boil it all down into plain English (e.g. limited use of acronyms) so that everyone from first-timers to old-timers can get something out of it.

It’s an exciting topic, one that’s evolving more or less daily and changing the industry as it goes, so stay tuned for the release.