Advertising needs 'complementary' approach to linear, streaming

The advanced advertising market is heating up, with companies frequently releasing products to better reach audiences on streaming platforms. At a New York Advertising Week panel, executives from Warner Bros. Discovery and Horizon Media delved into how to simplify the advertising process.

Steve Silvestri, SVP of advanced advertising at WBD, stressed the importance of addressable endpoints for ad monetization. Companies need to enhance their advanced advertising products to reach more audiences, while taking a complementary approach to selling inventory across linear and streaming.

“At some point we want to blur the lines between reaching a linear audience in broadcast or if we’re reaching them in a streaming environment,” Silvestri said. “We’re creating endpoints of addressability, but at the same we’re trying to deliver to where our audiences are consuming in this new age of digitally led content distribution.”

Samantha Rose, EVP and strategic investment lead at Horizon Media, noted advertisers still have ample opportunity to target linear TV and the “mass reach it represents.”

“We still want to drive brand awareness and also drive those lower funnel metrics. So from the buy side perspective, it’s definitely a complementary tactic to what we’ve been doing in linear,” she said.

Horizon Media in June tapped Comscore to provide local TV viewership data for ad buying and planning.

To balance linear and digital advertising, unified audience measurement is key, Silvestri pointed out.

“We need to unify our data architecture in order to [speed up data sharing],” he said, so that advertisers can see audiences on broadcast and streaming in the same way.

“For us it’s systems unification, it’s digitizing how we’re delivering audiences in a linear ecosystem,” Silvestri continued. “From OpenAP to alternative currencies to thinking about the future in which we may share data.”

WBD, along with Paramount, NBCUniversal and Fox, run OpenAP, an advanced advertising business touting unified, cross platform measurement in a privacy-safe environment. OpenAP this week scored funds from Snowflake Ventures to bolster its advertising clean room product.

Along with standardized measurement, Rose touched upon the importance of collaboration between buyers and sellers in the advertising space.

“It’s about publishers and agencies coming together, we just want what’s best for our clients,” she said. “I personally think we’ve seen a lot more collaboration, people trying to work together for the greater good as opposed to [saying], ‘I have the best product, I have the best content.’”

Similarly, executives from Vizio, FilmRise and Tastemade recently discussed how platforms and content providers have a symbiotic relationship, as they want to maximize each other’s value.

Collaboration is helpful especially as advertising options get more complex, panelists noted.

“Cross campaign, reach and frequency, business outcome and attribution measurement, all of that,” Rose said. “I think we have a lot to do there.”

She added advertisers shouldn’t rush into establishing an alternative measurement currency.

“Measurement is really complex…you need investment people involved, you need research people…analytics people to come together and have that discussion,” Rose said. “It’s going to be a little bit of a roadmap to figure that out.”

Part of that roadmap, Silvestri noted, is advertisers staying up to date with emerging technologies.

“We’re all learning every day,” he said. “I think that’s the beauty of advanced advertising, you can’t know it all because it’s evolving right in front of your face.”