The Media Industry Needs A New Task Force For Ad Transformation
The broadcast media industry (broadly defined as the supply chain for the buying and selling of content, distributed to consumers as video messages) has experienced radical transformation over the past 15 years. Examples of this transformation range from means of distribution (via OTT, streaming and other Internet-delivered approaches to multiple devices), to scheduling of content in a nonlinear, on-demand format, to the introduction of greatly expanded audience measurement and segmentation capabilities.
One area not similarly impacted has been the technology available to both buyers and sellers of broadcast advertising, which could allow them to conduct business in a more frictionless and automated manner, informed by currently available audience data and decisioning tools.
It is the Media Ad Sales Council’s (MASC’s) position not only that this need exists, but that it is incumbent upon all major buyers and sellers of broadcast advertising to align on a set of foundational “table stakes” to encourage and support the rapid advancement and deployment of a new generation of technology solutions that will enable the following industry goals:
- Elimination of manual processes, to not require human intervention (e.g., acceptance of makegood offers prior to schedule run that meet each party’s requirements upfront).
- Support for various cross-platform deal models.
- Application of shared audience data to inform decisioning and to accommodate measurements agreed to by the deal participants.
- Adoption across both local and national broadcast marketplaces.
- Establishment of economic models that result in the support of a robust technology supplier community, while not imposing an “ad tax” to advertising buyers and sellers.
- Identifying and standardizing an individual unit of delivery/measurement for all linear and non-linear advertising: GRPs, CPP, CPMs, etc.
- Promulgation of minimal supplier standards that would act to minimize the need for exhaustive provider review and selection processes, including:
- Minimal technology platform requirements, along with encouragement of emerging technologies (e.g., machine learning, AI, help bots, etc.).
- Support for common feature sets with the ability to enhance with proprietary extensions.
- Backward compatibility requirements.
- Equalized level of security (plug-and-play ready).
- Access to open source/industry shared toolkits.
- Support for current industry promoted APIs (e.g., TIP, Project OAR, etc.)
- Regular submission of marketing materials for validation of claims regarding active clients, integration partners, etc.
- Requirements for periodic technical architecture reviews to “future proof” marketed platforms.
To jump start the above delineated goals, while avoiding the inertia that has plagued past efforts, MASC recommends the establishment of a new industry task force, chaired by a neutral yet interested party, and comprised of no more than six representatives each from the buy and the sell side. This task force should meet on at least a bi-monthly basis and publish its findings and recommendations publicly for comment. We believe the integrity of this task force would be enhanced by the exclusion of all technology providers from membership.
Over the next several months, MASC intends to expand upon the position enumerated above via specific documentation of our point of view on the following topics:
- Specific transactional needs of divergent content suppliers of television and online video.
- Technology stack requirements, specific to the buy and to the sell side.
- Specific examples of workflows that can benefit from the automation of supply and demand side processes.
By bringing together collective industry leadership, expertise and real-world scenarios across the varied media market verticals, MASC will be able to expose industry-wide challenges more quickly, while utilizing a “group think” approach to accelerate where advancements can be made to help reduce the friction between the buy and sell sides in the media advertising marketplace.
Joe Lampert is a member of Media Ad Sales Council (MASC) and senior program manager for CNOmniMedia Solutions Group.