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As It Scales Addressable TV, Charter Tests a Self-Serve Ad Platform

Armed with more precise viewer insights, cable television providers are well positioned to help not only their advertisers but their network affiliates as well by raising the value of their inventory. “So the days of us confronting each other I think from an advertising standpoint are over and I think we really are going to start working much more closely together,” says David Kline, President of Spectrum Reach and EVP of Charter Communications.

In this interview at last week’s Beet Retreat in the City: Television Advances as Consumers Choose, Kline talks about bringing scale to addressable linear television and testing a self-serve platform for small advertisers to complement direct-sales efforts at the local level.

Charter this month launched household addressable TV in the Los Angeles market, to be followed by New York “and then rolling out throughout the rest of the country in our footprint over the next, I would say, twelve to eighteen months,” Kline says.

He thinks cable companies are “really, really well positioned to help not only their customers, but I think that same infrastructure that we’re building we’re going to be able to help some of our network affiliates as well.”

Noting that that the traditional linear business “is still several billion dollars for us and we’ve got to make sure that we bring that in and secure that,” Kline discusses the quest for scalable addressability and automated reporting.

“Ultimately, what we want have happen for our customers is they go on a secured website and they can see television, they can see online, they can see on demand, they can see on our IP streaming services how many impressions they got on each platform.

“That sounds lovely and it sounds easy, but it takes an awful lot of the organization’s attention and time to start to start to build those systems,” Kline says in response to interviewer Ashley J. Swartz, who is a Beet.TV contributor and CEO of Furious Corp.

Asked by Swartz to look out a few years, Kline says “we’re going to be selling impressions, we’re going to be selling them highly targeted, highly data infused. I think you’ll see not only us but other MVPD’s doing similar things to make advertising much more front and center than it is today as a revenue stream for their companies.”

While agencies are big users of cable interconnects for their clients, many local businesses have direct client relationships with Charter, “which is still for many of us billions of dollars worth of revenue.”

He mentions a test being done in Raleigh, NC, involving a self-provisioning platform “for very small customers that can go on, pick the schedule they want, pick the creative that they want and put in their credit card and be right on our air.

“Five years ago I would have said never. But with Facebook and Google and all these other self-provisioning platforms, small advertisers are used to this. And we think we can quadruple the number of customers we have at any given time.”

This video was produced at the Beet Retreat in City & Town Hall on June 6, 2018 in New York City. The event and video series are presented by LiveRamp, TiVo, true[X] and 605. For more videos from the series, please visit this page.