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Beet Retreat In The City: TiVo’s Horstman Distills Roles Of Advanced TV Players

There’s so much enthusiasm expressed for the convergence of digital media and traditional television, it’s easy to wonder why targeting and measurement aren’t light years ahead. But given individual business demands, “everybody’s trying to get an edge,” says TiVo’s Walt Horstman.

Meanwhile, because linear television hasn’t given up the Upfront negotiating mainstay, it’s still going to have a longer purchase cycle than other media, Horstman explains in this one-on-one interview with Furious Corp. CEO Ashley J. Swartz at the recent Beet Retreat in the City.

Swartz senses that the buy-side and sell-side are comfortable blaming each other for a lack of progress.

“People are using data as a mechanism or an edge to try to get a competitive advantage whether you’re a buyer or a seller,” replies Horstman, who is SVP GM, Advanced Media & Advertising at TiVo.

When the sell-side embraces advanced TV, “they want to use data to find inventory that surfaces for a targeted audience to actually make it more valuable.” On the buy-side, it’s akin to arbitrage in the search for “opportunities of inventory that that sell-side doesn’t understand is as valuable as it is. But I’ve got some insider proprietary data that I’m using to find those opportunities.”

With this dynamic as a backdrop, Horstman sees more flexibility on the buy-side.

“For the sellers, there may be a little bit of risk aversion to say what inventory are we going to promote as data-driven because we want to sort of control how much gets used and control the messaging and control what data gets put against it,” he says. “But if you’re a buyer, you can apply it to everything.”

One of the brightest spots that Horstman sees in the agency world is within the digital ranks. “Because for the first time, they don’t view TV as this mysterious media vehicle which has only been posted or measured or targeted using just your traditional Nielsen panel. Now they can get incredible insights around the matching of data from TV to their digital campaigns, social, mobile, connected TV, all the linages they can now have converged measurement and targeting.”

Digital practitioners “are taking a leadership role in this world” because they’ve not only lived with data and analytics but are used to doing things like attribution and media mix modeling very quickly, according to Horstman.

“Now for the first time, they’ve got access to what’s been going on over in the TV world and can understand the influence of what’s happening in TV on their digital campaigns and start to influence it.”

Asked by Swartz where the industry is on the overall timeline for advanced TV, Horstman says it depends on the speed at which different types of media can be transacted.

“We still have the Upfronts we still have a longer purchase cycle within linear television compared to digital, connected TV, what have you.”

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.