GroupM: Agencies must re-evaluate planning of addressable advertising

Josh McDonnell
By Josh McDonnell | 9 August 2018

Chief product officer of GroupM's new addressable TV business says agencies in Australia need to re-evaluate the way they include addressable advertising into their planning.

Rich Astley heads up the group's 'Finecast' agency, which launched in September last year and describes the agency as enabling advertisers to precision-target viewers across multiple on-demand, linear and live streaming TV environments.

Speaking to AdNews, Astley says the changing nature of TV consumption both locally and globally will put further pressure on agencies to adopt more developed addressable strategies for their clients.

"That's something that we have to look at within the planning process of the agency - how do you build addressable into the planning process so that it becomes part and parcel of what we do versus it becoming a very tactical conversation about testing and rollout," he says.

"That goes back to the core of how agencies plan, what their processes are and what their unique differentiation is around how they connect with consumers and audiences."

London-based Astley says the importance of addressability cannot be ignored, particularly in Australia, where there is a clear push by consumers for more streaming and broadcast video on demand (BVOD) options, from both international players and local broadcast networks.

Pointing to the recent increase of digital content offerings, suchs a catch-up and BVOD, from networks including Nine and SBS, he says viewing is going in two clear directions, the traditional laptop and smartphone route and, more importantly, through connected TV.

He says the growth of connected TV is fueled by the lack of subscription TV businesses in Australia, which, when compared international, is significantly less than similar markets such as the US, Canada and the UK.

"What happens is that the percentage of inventory here that is technically addressable on the big screen skews more heavily towards connected TV viewing, where you've got the ability to serve an ad effectively during on-demand content of the broadcaster’s channel stream." Astley says.

"Proportionally, this is higher versus other big markets that have a higher amount of viewing from the set top box where you are calling out inventory from your box directly versus streaming."

Astley says despite the increase in streaming competition, Foxtel is not in a bad position as it looks to shift its strategy to align with competitors.

This week it was revealed, Foxtel's streaming platform, Foxtel Now, is expected to be phased out as the cable TV provider prepares to unveil new sports and entertainment streaming services to compete with the likes of Netflix, Stan and Optus.

"You'll see viewing increase in on-demand streaming through set top boxes and that will be Foxtel," he says.

"It remains one big provider here and typically, as boxes get better and more powerful, storage is improved, streaming capabilities over cable improved and this will benefit the pay TV market here."

A larger global trend that Astley sees as having an inevitable impact on Australia is the re-evaluation of broadcast standards.

He says hardware manufacturers will start to release TVs and phones and tablets with chips in them can receive different broadcast signals from a new broadcasting standard that will become much more like the internet.

"It will have a two-way dial up with a broadcast tower versus a one to many signal, and broadcast as we know it will look completely different in the next few years," he says.

"This will obviously change the way that we deliver advertising and we will see new innovations coming out from the hardware manufacturers themselves, such as Samsung and other technology companies enhancing the way addressable is delivered through connected TVs, smartphones and tablets."

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