FOTV 2016 Discussed the imminent arrival of addressable and the move beyond debate into progress.

I had the pleasure of speaking at Future of Advertising forum this week, an event which Justin and his team have grown and grown over the last few years. Despite only being able to make it down for the late afternoon session on the first day, I had the chance to speak to several people afterwards and there was a strong consensus that at a time of significant and rapid change in the TV marketplace, bringing together broadcasters, video providers, tech companies, researchers, advertisers and agencies from all over Europe and indeed the world, to discuss some of the main challenges facing the industry is more important than ever.

As always, there was much conversation around the application of programmatic and addressable technologies in TV. In the UK, Sky has certainly led the charge to date, but there was a far greater sense of urgency around the arrival of alternative technologies as well. Within this fragmented TV and video landscape, measurement was a topic that really came to the fore at this year’s conference. With the panel I sat on being chaired by GroupM's own Global Director of Audiences Research, Simon Thomas, there was much to discuss around the creative, technological and commercial barriers to multi-platform video and universal measurement. Eric Williams, Senior Brand Manager at PepsiCo, spoke about his frustration as an advertiser when he referenced the speed at which companies such as Uber and Airbnb have revolutionised their respective industries; whilst the digital adverting world has done a lot of talking but without seeing much actual change with regards to unified reporting.

There are however reasons to remain optimistic. Facebook's recent announcement to allow increased third party verification is something that should be welcomed and GroupM's own launch of [m]Platform, which uses a universal [m]ID to link cross-platform data and provide more valuable insight and analytics, will deliver a much more cohesive solution for advertisers. Magro Swadley, MD of UK TV and Video Measurement at Kantar Media, who also joined me on the panel, voiced her concerns around the cost of advanced measurement systems in the current economic climate and clients' willingness to pay for them. But the TV and video arena has (and will continue to be) extremely competitive and there is a big prize for the winners in this space. Whilst commercial sensitivities may mean that limitless sharing of data is unlikely to become a reality, we have moved beyond merely debate and steps are certainly being taken in the right direction to create much more valuable tools for marketers. On the point of addressable TV, GroupM Global Chairman, Irwin Gotlieb, made it clear in his interview earlier on in the day that broadcasters also "need to put inter-ecosystem bickering to one side" and start taking steps as well. Here's to a year of real progress in 2017...

Stefan Jansen 

Business Director – Mindshare Exchange AV