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The State of TV Data Measurement: Interview with Videa’s Brad Smith at TV Week 2017

December 6th, 2017   ||    by Charlene Weisler   ||    No Comments

The current and future state of TV data measurement continues to be a hotly debated question. Brad Smith, senior vice president of revenue and operations at Videa, discussed his views regarding programmatic television, current challenges, the need for open standards, and the successful path forward to growing the television business, in an exclusive interview at the 2017 Television Week conference.

What would you say is currently the biggest challenge for programmatic in the marketplace?

Brad Smith: It’s partially education and the need to push for open standards, allowing systems to talk to each other. I also think a large part is change management. You have to be able to show people how this is going to positively affect them.

You have sales folks who are subject matter experts, and if you’re unable to give them the tools to empower them to do more, they’ll be afraid of it and slow down the process.

How do you think we can realistically get to an open standard, seeing as it’s still such a competitive environment?

Smith: I think we’re getting there. I’m really excited about what Sinclair and Nexstar are doing in the broadcast space, as well as Tribune and TEGNA. I know Pearl has been working on this as well.

Just the idea that the two biggest broadcasters—who already have scale—are saying, “No, no, no, we want to make sure we’re working together and effectively in the ecosystem,” is exciting. Once you start to do that, it’s much easier to carry those open standards into OTT [over-the-top] nonlinear video and the like.

We’ve had probably no less than 10 companies come to us recently to incorporate OTT into different inventory sets, and that becomes much more seamless process because of all of the work we’ve done up front to build the pipes and build that standard.

And then, the TIP (TV Interface Practices) Initiative – launched by Sinclair, Nexstar, Tribune and TEGNA – is something we strongly support. This effort is designed to translate the current best practices for automated spot buying and open standards APIs into a universal method by which partners can easily buy local TV spots.

Where do you see Videa in this ecosystem in five years?

Smith: Thriving! We’re at this exciting crossroad where we’re bringing to bear this incredibly valuable source of inventory in local TV. All the while, the broadcasters are innovating and trying to reach new viewers differently, whether it be in OTT or in VOD [video-on-demand], working with their network partners to reinvent television and the viewing experience.

We see ourselves as the engine powering that monetization and that drive to ensure marketers can reach the audiences they want when they want.

What most surprises you about where we are now as an industry and the current state of TV data measurement?

Smith: That’s a hard question. The most surprising thing for me is that a lot of these companies continue to build walled gardens and systems. Some of the biggest media companies are building solutions for themselves and no one else.

Hey, I get it. That’s how the business grew up. But I believe that to really be competitive and really grow the marketplace for everyone, we all need to embrace software and solutions that talk openly to each other.

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