10/03/22: Your That Big TV Conference 2022 Executive Summary

Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Monday October 3, 2022

Your That Big TV Conference 2022 Executive Summary

By Charlotte Dulany, Event Content Manager, Cynopsis

Lights lowered, dots connected, new connections made – Cynopsis’ 4th annual Big TV Conference has come to a close. On the final two days of September, thought leaders took to the stage to discuss innovative solutions to engage audiences, navigate industry fluctuations, and stay relevant in the ever-evolving content multiverse. Now, fresh insights can be put into action.

It was the first major in-person event in over two years for a number of attendees, who reconnected, swapping business cards, new job titles and WFH stories during networking breaks. Many grabbed a lunchtime photo op with Radio City Rockettes (thank you, Hallmark Channel), and a lucky few also scored sweepstakes prizes like Away luggage, pickleball equipment, an iPad and more. And the winner of our trivia contest will soon be enjoying a new 65” television.

Sponsored by a4 Advertising, Adjust Media, Beachfront, BlockGraph, DIRECTV Advertising, Future Today, Gamut, Imagine Communications, Innovid, iSpot.tv, Katz Digital Video, MRI Simmons, New York Interconnect, Nexstar Digital, Nielsen, Premion, Revo Video, Simulmedia, Spectrum Reach, TV One, VAB, Vevo, VideoAmp and Wurl, That Big TV Conference not only explored innovation in media, but celebrated our community’s connection.

For those who want a refresher on the NYC event, we’ve compiled a highlight reel. It’ll feel like you were in the front row:


Investing in Minority-Owned Media: Where Are We Now?

Has the time finally come for long-term change?” This is the question moderator Leonard Burnett, Jr., co-founder of Homestead Entertainment & Hero Collective, posed to panelists Royal Jackson of Impact Network, Rori Peters of TV One and Fernando Romero of Fuse Media. With the rise of BLM, companies have made commitments to minority-owned initiatives to better engage consumers and hyper-focus their message. The challenge is how to ensure that these promises are lived up to. “Some people want to define an investment as a media buy but it goes further than that,” said Peters, TV One’s SVP of content distribution and marketing. “One shot isn’t going to do it… [The consumer] will see through that veil.”

How do investments in multicultural media benefit brands? Romero believes that by leveraging audience connections in a meaningful way through representation, entertainment can make a difference. “America is more multicultural than ever before, so our stories shouldn’t be one-dimensional,” said Romero, head of ad sales at Fuse Media. “Everyone should take it upon themselves to reflect that story.”

Laugh-out-loud moments:
Burnett, Jr. opened the panel with the advice to, “Be brief, brother, be brief…”
Jackson, Impact’s chief creative officer, ended the panel with, “You’re hearing it from the horse’s mouth, well… We’re not horses. So, you’re hearing it from us!”

Cross-Platform TV Measurement Has Arrived. Here’s What You Need to Know.

The focus was on measurement versus currency, and how to speak about both in a shared language. Roseann Montenes, VP of precision and performance advertiser partnerships at A+E Networks, said one way to do that is to use a “speed-dating process” to figure out each vendor’s methodology and find their “love language.” Deirdre Thomas, managing director of US audience measurement, business development and sales at Nielsen, agreed. “Creating commonality is vital,” Thomas said.

When companies are plugged into the system and those systems are talking to each other, the result is regularity as a transactable element. The work should be done both internally and with partners, according to Maggie Zhang, SVP, strategy & operations, advertising & partnerships at NBCUniversal. “We’re seeing a tectonic-plate movement of transformation,” said moderator Sean Cunningham, president and CEO of VAB. Vice president of enterprise solutions at Videoamp Bryan Goski observed, “This time it feels different.”

On that point, Montenes raised the point that such an idea is “awesome if you have deep, deep, deep pockets to be able to afford it.” Testing with various vendors is expensive – “astronomical,” in Montenes’ terms – and, she said, “There has to be a conversation around what that looks like for the industry to learn together.”

“When digital came along, you were able to target a consumer,” said Charlie Holmes, NY Interconnect SVP of sales. “TV has caught up, and the whole industry has caught up, to linear and digital as a bundle.”

What’s Old is New Again – Nostalgia is in Full Force

Although Bethany Atchison, Vevo’s senior director of distribution partner management, isn’t looking to bring back her y2k-style low-rise jeans anytime soon, she believes that the nostalgia trend is here to stay as a “safe space.” Across generations, this type of content can be used to enhance campaigns. “The eighties and nineties were an explosion for the media space,” said programming director at Pluto TV Nikki Grenoble, and it’s the visibility and availability of content that keep the trend afloat and viewers engaged.

So, why now? When lockdowns began in spring 2020, people at home took to entertainment as an escape. They started watching content more often with housemates or family members to share the experience, and channels are both being aligned and newly-created to resurface content of older generations. “It’s something that brings people together,” Atchison added.

The nostalgic content attendees want to watch next: “The Brady Bunch,” “The Partridge Family” and “Love Boat.”

The Role of Identity in Addressable TV

Brands are asking for ways to avoid oversaturation and reach new viewers; one way to do this is through attribution and outcomes, according to Seema Patel, SVP of data partnerships at TelevisaUnivision. “In this marketplace, I think you need to be nimble and facilitate as many partnerships as possible,” she said.

Studies have found a correlation between the use of first-party data and identity in the TV ecosystem. Increasingly, consumers think in a privacy-first way, and, in a quest for quality, advertisers are working to leverage data to support a connected ecosystem and map out endpoints.

Without oversaturating, execs like Patel and David Porter, SVP and GM of addressable advertising at Canoe Ventures, want to unlock new ways to reach new viewers. The way to do this? Planning (defining the audience), activating (defining the inventory) and measurement (holistic duplication), said Porter. Beyond that, it’s up to simplification and unification to create a persistent identity and shared view.

Blockgraph Chief Revenue Officer Aleck Schneider said that to better unify the connected household, technology companies need to utilize the “pure asset” of datasets in both traditional and advanced, digital ways, noting, “The unification of that household, the purity of that data, is the true asset that Blockgraph [is] allowing and supporting in the ecosystem.”

Looking into the crystal ball for 2023:
“Lots more collaboration… Tighter and continued collaboration.” – Patel

It’s Time to Unlock the Potential of TikTok

Since its release – and sharp rise in popularity in the pandemic – TikTok has been a catalyst for conversation.

“It’s sort of sad to say this, but sometimes content can be too good,” said Scott Dunn, head of business development and talent management at Doing Things Media, the company responsible for “the corn kid” – a young boy named Tariq who became an Internet sensation last month after professing his adoration for corn in a short video.

What Dunn meant was that going viral is unpredictable and consumers are less attracted to polished content, preferring rawness on the platform. When brands hand over an exact playbook to creators, videos don’t do as well; handing the reins to the creator and letting them do what they do best has proven to be a more effective strategy.

If your parents are sending you a video or meme that you saw weeks ago, that’s virality, according to Dunn. The words “TikTok” and “viral” have become synonymous in today’s landscape – so is content driving virality forward, or vice versa? Biz Hennigan, SVP of client lead at Superdigital, credits audios as the backbone of the social platform. “Virality is there for sure,” she said. But as Hulu’s VP of Social Media Brittany Mehciz said, “You can’t make it happen.” Moderator Peter Kennedy, president and founder of Tagger Media, agreed, “You cannot create a business strategy around going viral.”

TikTok is an app that is “blurring the line between friend and follower,” said Kennedy. And as it does, more people are rejecting social comparison and embracing social connection.

It’s Not About the Technology, It’s About the Outcome (a4 Advertising Q&A)

With fragmentation permeating the market, the question becomes: Where is the concept of identity? One way to figure that out is through CTV, which can generate results in dynamic measurement while directly reaching audiences. Kevin O’Reilly, SVP and COO of news and advertising at a4 Advertising said that this must be done “from a TV perspective, not digital.”

Rather than focusing on who an ad has been delivered to and which consumers have been addressed, O’Reilly recommended figuring out who hasn’t been reached – and said this will generate “true success” in TV. According to O’Reilly, this is a classic media strategy: utilize the most cost-efficient form of reach, build on this, control losses and reach efficiencies.

Natalie Irmin, director of data strategy and partnerships at a4 Advertising, posed the question: Where does the strategy start? O’Reilly called this “the million-dollar question.” He said, “The role of marketing is to try and drive activity through a funnel to a revenue opportunity.” By combining all available resources, companies are able to minimize cost and maximize value.

Media and the Metaverse

It’s a mistake to jump too quickly into Web3, advised Kristi VandenBosch, president of Oliver. “What you’re asking people to do is invest in things with currency that they don’t control, for assets that they don’t understand where they are, for experiences that may or may not represent what the brand’s business even is anymore,” she said. Instead, companies should evolve into the space to learn how to move forward together.

VandenBosch and Albert Thompson, managing director of digital innovation at Walton Isaacson, agreed that the next evolution of digital technology will allow companies to interact with consumers in a more effective way and will build on traditional business principles. Consumers will be able to take control of their own data and let brands know exactly what they want them to know – which, while it may be the “opposite” of what brands want, is good for consumers.

What’s New with Advertiser Spending and Priorities in CTV

In a perpetual state of change, panelists found one constant: advertisers continue to increase spending on streaming TV advertising. And as investment for CTV advertising continues to rise, local is key for advertisers to meet consumer needs. Ed Ziskind, regional sales director at Premion, gave a few pieces of advice to marketers on how to better evaluate streaming: explore all available options, seek out partners that value transparency, trust your team and partnerships, ask a lot of questions, and take a lot of meetings.

One thing to avoid? “Underestimating the importance of delivering fraud-free impressions,” said Ziskind.

TV can be a “giant, confusing environment for consumers,” according to Ziskind, making it especially important for everyone in the industry to consult with their clients. Ziskind presented data from the new Advertiser Perception Study – “A reflection of where the industry is at today” – that examines the current state of ad-supported CTV, from measurement, to brand safety to ad fraud.

Making an Impression: Targeted TV

Noah Levine, head of advanced advertising at Warner Bros. Discovery, called addressable “synonymous with audience targeting.”

Jamie Power, SVP of addressable sales at Disney, observed, “Addressable is the most efficient thing on the planet. It’s about reach.” The panelists were in agreement on the power of addressability in media. Said Adam Gaynor, CRO at Gamut, “It used to be all about linear addressable… It’s about reaching the audiences you want. In CTV, we may not call it addressable but everything is about audiences, and that, by nature, is addressable.”

As for addressability capabilities, Simulmedia’s VP of Account Management Erica Meyer said, “Sight, sound and motion. People are leaning into content.” Added Levine, “It’s important to recognize that we’re already doing this today, marrying addressable with attributions and sales outcomes. There are a lot of opportunities to do it easier.”

The AVOD Equation

“Nothing is better than free,” said Crackle Plus President Philippe Guelton.

The number of US ad-supported video-on-demand viewers is set to surpass digital viewership this year, according to eMarketer. And while people grow more detached from their screens with claims that the “pandemic is over,” they begin to question how many subscriptions to keep.

One role of AVOD is to recapture lost audiences and lost dollars for cheaper content investments. “The fascinating thing about this space is the data that comes with it,” said Erin Mcllvain, chief officer of distribution and content strategy at Great American Media.

Panelists were in agreement that there are barriers to entry in the AVOD space, such as working with “multi-million-dollar companies focused on revenue streams,” taking away opportunities for the smaller and mid-sized players. Erick Opeka, president and chief strategy officer at Cinedigm Networks, called this the “gladiator pit:” As FAST becomes the dominant mode of consumption, it’s up to these smaller companies to figure out how to survive. Opeka had some suggestions: strength in numbers, high quality branding, and other revenue streams. “Companies are going to have to get much larger to compete,” he said.

Getting Personal: The New Consumer Connection

Whether it’s through vernacular content or AI-driven applications, connecting to the consumer is key – but it has to be done right.

Moderator Kyle Acquistapace, CMO at Team One, and panelists Gil Almeida, global director of marketing at Spotify, David Bates, CEO and creative director for Bokeh, and Josh Shadid, founder and executive producer of Lord Danger, agreed that personalization doesn’t always work. According to them, advertisers have to be very careful about how they use data to personalize something. When it’s overly personal, there is the risk of coming across with a “creep-value,” they said.

They also agreed on the importance of keeping up with the culture. Almeida mentioned the attention-span of younger generations, referencing how marketers now have micro-moments (approximately 8 seconds) before someone tunes out. She said, “[We’re] feeding into a world where you have to be relevant but don’t have much time, so you have to personalize.”

When fed advertisements that rely solely on data for personalization, users can feel that they are “not providing value, just an open window into someone’s home without being invited,” said Almeida. And in “a world inundated by data and information,” said Shadid, it shouldn’t be about telling everyone who you are but telling them why you should love you. “Make people go, ‘Oh, I should pay attention to this.’”

Notable line: “Just because it’s personalized doesn’t mean it’s personal.” – Bates

The “Story Experience”

With one panelist from a social platform, another from a streaming service and a third from media company that houses both cable and streaming services, attendees heard from different perspectives on the transmedia storytelling space.

Erica Cullum, senior entertainment partner manager at Twitter, Jennifer Corbett, VP of audience development and brand at Crunchyroll, and Kim Granito, executive VP of the Content Room at AMC Networks, agreed on one thing: an established brand can mobilize talent to create content that will inspire consumers. Consistency across platforms allows companies to approach viewers with a curated collection and allow them to interact with their community.

On the social side, Cullum brought up Twitter Spaces, a new feature on the platform that enables live audio conversations. This is just one way the brand is aligning with fandom engagement. Moderator Court Stroud, writer and founder of The Cledor Group, told a story about his niece saying Twitter Spaces is “like podcasts but live!”. “It’s like radio but digital!” he quipped.

Audience Targeting & Measurement: Smarter, more efficient campaigns

In the final panel of the first day, the question was raised about measurement versus currency. Tara Gotch, senior VP of commercial at Comscore, defined measurement as “audience, viewer dynamics, shifting behaviors” and currency as “the value of the transaction and what the buy-and-sell side agrees to transact on.” As for whether Gotch and Beth Plummer, CRO at Spectrum Reach, believe that TV is currently at peak currency, Gotch believes it’s going to be expensive to maintain multiple currencies across platforms with one true definition.

Plummer said, “The debate in the national space is the same in the local space. Consumers are consuming content across multiple screens and platforms.”

The panelists were in agreement on the importance of content – on how it boosts viewership, thus driving ad spending, and establishes brand association by getting the “right message across at the right time.” Gotch called premium video content “the gold standard” for companies trying to reach new audiences, and said that “understanding the total reach across all platforms is just as important as understanding campaigns.”


Keynote Session with Jon Steinlauf

Discovery’s merger with WarnerMedia was one of the industry’s biggest stories this year, and the crowd on Friday morning was eager to hear keynote speaker Jon Steinlauf, chief US advertising sales officer at Warner. Bros Discovery, offered his take on the deal, and the industry as a whole. For starters, Steinlauf noted, there wasn’t a lot of strategy shared before the deal was completed because, “We’re competitors until we’re partners.”

The conversation turned to sports and its future as live television. “We’ve got to get the value right,” Steinlauf said, adding, “It’s about passion, connection, engagement, loyalty, live viewing, emotion… Watching live is gold to an advertiser.”

On the news front, Warner Bros. Discovery is overseeing the rebranding of CNN under Chris Licht, who became the network’s chairman and CEO in May. “The brand has been elevated in the past couple months,” noted Steinlauf, crediting coverage of the war in Ukraine, the passing of Queen Elizabeth II and on-site reporting of Hurricane Ian with CNN’s rise. “I think as advertisers it’s important to support the mission at CNN, which is journalism-first – objectivity and incredible coverage.”

Laugh-out-loud moment: “One of the hidden gems at our company is called AEW, All Elite Wrestling,” said Steinlauf. “The only show ahead of it right now is ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.’ I guess that tells you about today’s viewer: wrestling and housewives.”

Gaming Is Serious Business

The favorite interactive media and entertainment activity for Gen Z: Gaming.

According to panelists, most people who play games don’t consider themselves “gamers” – Sean Kiely, head of gaming and esports sales at Fandom, calls them “entertainment fans,” and said there is the opportunity to further diversify the audience.

Moderator Andrew Robinson, Jr., group director of gaming at The Marketing Arm, called gaming “central” to our culture, adding it continues to “seep into other forms of entertainment.” When asked about where the industry is headed, Cesar Martinez, president of Open World, said, “It is going to be creator driven, centered around young people who decided to invest in themselves and create communities.” Rooted around creators, advertisers have the ability to track and follow audiences.

“People don’t hate ads, they hate bad ads,” said Itamar Benedy, Anzu’s co-founder and CEO. When done right, advertising can make a game more realistic and even offer a better experience for better engagement, according to Benedy. “Let gamers play.”

Modernizing TV Currency for the Cross-Screen Era

Currency isn’t just about counting.

Alternative measurement isn’t new, but optimizing it on a modern scale can create capabilities that go deep. “It’s understanding the media weight that will allow media impact,” said Andrea Zapata, EVP and head of ad sales research, measurement and insights at Warner Bros. Discovery. “Frequency absolutely has to happen.”

Sean Muller, CEO and founder of iSpot.tv, called measurement, “The core of what we [at iSpot] do.” Everything from currency – integrations, accreditation, delivering data, managing the stability of datasets, and at-home measurement – to CTV measurement – cross-screen measurement platforms and CTV-verification – can ensure that an app on a streaming service makes its way to a television set.

Based on business results, reach across advanced audiences and non-currency data, “networks can better optimize and deploy,” said Muller. “[There is] a lot of value in counting things correctly… Advertisers benefit from alignment.”

Key Measurement Takeaways:
1. Standardization
2. Identity resolution
3. Transaction capabilities
4. Personalization

AI-Powered Audience Solutions

With impression-based models, “tokenization is the next leap,” said Nexstar Digital’s senior VP of national sales Wil Danielson. “We’re swimming in an ocean of data now, more than we’ve ever had access to, to generate more precision audiences and precision outcomes,” said moderator Anthony Katsur, CEO of Iab Tech Lab.

Howard Shimmel, head of strategy at datafuelX, said that the belief that TV’s only responsibility is delivering audience and demographic exposure at a certain time is short-sighted. His advice? Build optimization-based plans, protect yourself and guarantee what you control, decompose why the measurement happened: “Why does response happen and how can we plan for it?”

Single best practices:
“Be there. Have the assets to try new things as things evolve. Test and learn.” – Nicol
“Recognize that linear at the household level is an impression.” – Shimmel
“Build the marketing funnel, fail fast, take on risks, and try things.” – Danielson

Measurement Innovation: Delivering Value in Today’s Converged Marketplace

At what Dan Callahan, senior VP of data strategy and sales innovation at Fox Ad Sales, called “a crossroads of decisions,” it’s up to marketers to change the way they define things and either disagree or agree and move forward together. “There is so much that’s being measured and so much information that we continue to put ourselves at a disadvantage with more confusion.” His suggestion? Break down the silos and make more people feel like they are included. Jo Kinsella, president of InnovidXP, agreed: “We love noise in this industry.”

Measurement plays an important role in the success of TV, according to Friday’s panelists, and as media companies adapt to shifts in viewership and the multi-screen, innovative measurement approaches are taking on new standards. Kinsella said, “Measurement and outcomes are table stakes.” Callahan agreed but added that outcomes are in the eye of the beholder, and are dependent on the market, brand, reach and target.

Kinsella and Callahan talked about how to use digital strategies on linear platforms. “The future is digital,” Kinsella said. “The future is impressions.”

More ways to maximize buys and meaningfully engage with viewers:
Share goals and objectives, and establish trust and understanding. – Callahan

Laugh-out-loud moment:
“It’s not that hard. How long does this industry test and bloody learn for? Stop testing and learning, just get on with it,” said Kinsella.

The Next Wave in Streaming: Helping Users Find Something to Watch

To improve discoverability, panelists Tim Cutting, GM of commercial at Reelgood and Anthony Layser, VP, partnerships and programming at XUMO, agreed elegantly personalized content and partnerships are key. Consumers seek out platforms that deliver what they want to watch with optimal curation.

As for streaming fragmentation solutions, Beth Anderson, GM of FAST channels at BBC Studios, doesn’t believe there is an endgame in sight. “Fragmentation is incredibly healthy,” she said. Gen Z and younger users often choose by mood, and such navigation by mood is an extension of being on-demand. “Services are friends… Everybody wins.”

Delivering Better CTV Ad Experiences for Viewers & Media Buyers Alike

With CTV ad spending projected to reach nearly $35 billion by 2025, panelists explored ways to make linear ads not only smarter but shoppable.

“There is a reach conversation,” said Nicole Whitesel, EVP of advanced TV and client success at Publicis Media. “We’re not talking about being reach-equivalent, that’s the big difference… CTV experiences for consumers deliver incrementality.” This presents a host of both opportunities and challenges, such as ways to bring premium content to consumers through devices. “We want to protect the consumer position and we’re in a position to optimize that;” said Beachfront CEO Chris Maccaro.

On the subject of FAST versus live linear, Akhil Parekh, SVP of product at Mediaocean, said, “Data needs to come together for a holistic view of what is being consumed and from where. Fundamentally, there has to be an environment that allows marketers to plan, buy and measure in CTV. [There are] silos in workflow, silos in buying teams, silos in budgets, and silos in measurement and supply… Unless the key players come together, we will continue to live in this complexity and wait for destruction.”

On a positive note, Whitesel described the ad-supported TV service as “living beyond the moment and sharing the experience.”

Cultural Equity in Media Planning

“Gone are the days of cultural marketing. We are now marketing to a multicultural nation,” declared Detavio Samuels, CEO of Revolt. Leading with multicultural insights, Samuels’ team at Revolt is addressing what data can be used and where the growth is coming from.

The question then becomes: is influence measurable?

Coming from a place of equity and representation, LaToya Christian, managing partner of multicultural marketing strategy and analytics at GROUPM, differentiated inclusive marketing from pre- and post-2020. Pre-2020, the approach was, “You need to do this, and this is what you will get,” whereas post-2020, the approach is, “This is what will happen if you don’t do it.”

Karina Dobarro, EVP and managing director of multicultural business solutions at Horizon Media, said that consumers today are “diverse, growing and the future of America.” She added, “They demand communication from brands.” Taking a stand on racial equality is no longer an option, but a requirement.

Advice for bold changes:
Dobarro: “Don’t cut multicultural… We need to continue the momentum.”
Samuels: “Culture never starts from the middle… Start from the edges.”
Christian: “Ask hard questions and begin to get answers to go into conversations a lot more informed… Let go of being scared to do that.”

CTV advertising delivers. How does it get the credit?

The discussion began with a “state of the state.”

Gijsbert Pols, PhD, director of connected TV and new channels at Adjust, said a high-level approach is the digitalization of the TV device. In the past, the emergence of new technologies such as the desktop computer, mobile phone and smartphone were entirely new devices. CTV, on the other hand, has decades of history behind it. “What’s missing is a common language that will allow us to get the rules right,” said Pols. Dylan Moorhead, Roku’s director and head of ad platform, said that CTV is “quite literally both” legacy TV and digital assets. The best option, according to Moorhead, is “appropriately valuing CTV impressions.”

How can advertisers capture CTV’s power in data? The risk: Under-crediting the technology.

Pols said it’s the data that falls short. “You need the right concept to understand the data and give credit where credit’s due.” At Adjust, Pols worked to develop the concept of assisting value – how and where users convert data and where to attribute that. “This allows down-funnel channels to boost performance… Only CTV is capable of boosting the performance of digital channels.”

It’s about “connecting exposures of impressions at different levels and giving credit to what assisted that conversion,” said Moorhead. Pols ended with, “Now is the time to explore connected TV – where do we go from there? We need all sides to collaborate to make it happen.”

In the Streaming World, Kids’ Content is Key

As brands tap into the household influence, there is the potential to attract a high-value, high-fidelity consumer base, according to Vikrant Mathur, co-founder of Future Today. With a digital-first lens, “People now have the ability to connect to any passion, and what we are privileged with is to panel and do audience research in real-time, upload episodes and measure what audiences are engaging with and what they are not,” said Dan’l Hewitt, head of global partnerships at Moonbug Entertainment.

“The goal is to drive kid-centric content… for the kid in everyone,” said Amy Hyland, GM at Nickelodeon. “[There are] jokes for everyone to laugh at, winks to adults, family movies, and it is all, by design, for the family to watch.”

Storytelling at Scale with FAST

Moderator Bill Daddi, president of Daddi Brand Communications, and Barry Loudis, VP of business development at Wurl, spoke about how to drive the engagement. “As channels continue to grow, we unlock value where it was lost,” said Loudis. “It comes down to user behavior… There are now streaming services being created that are pulling together content that we haven’t seen before.”

Looking into the crystal ball, Loudis imagines the future of FAST to include more channels, targeted content, customized channels and genre offerings, and a larger pool of content. Driving these changes are complementary experiences for direct and indirect revenue and keeping stock of what is available.

From a consumer perspective, Loudis acknowledged FAST can be “sometimes overwhelming,” adding, “It’s on us to be sure that our products are direct, with a clear message and have a discoverability factor.” Loudis said the FAST space is “democratic” and promised “there is space for you.” Asked how people could approach participating in FAST programming, Loudis said, “We are learning together. Just getting the conversation started is a huge step in the right direction.”

What’s In Store for Shoppable TV

From QR codes to AR stores, strategists are looking to help drive viewers from TV to commerce. To Cynthia Nelson, chief strategy officer at Revo Video, “shoppable” means marrying a purchase to a storyline. With these capabilities, she believes the new frontier is remote- and voice-control commerce.

What’s working best? Lifestyle, fashion, beauty, jewelry, health and wellness, pets, home and garden, exercise and gaming. And there’s ample room for innovation through interactivity to initiate a seamless transaction for the consumer. “When we do it right, the content experience is incredible,” said Collette Winn, VP of strategy and operations, creative partnerships at NBCUniversal.

Nelson said it’s the consumers who are directing traffic. It’s about “catching consumers at a moment when they’re going to be ready to buy something. Everything is in their hands.”

Privacy, Personalization & Permission

Privacy-conscious consumers prefer that brands only use explicitly-shared data – so how can companies balance the privacy demand with expected personalization?

Ted Flanagan, chief customer officer at Habu, acknowledged the legal complexity of the issue, saying, “There’s a huge appetite for companies to understand how their partners are interpreting these laws.”

But what does “privacy compliant” really mean?

For Charel MacIntosh, global head of business development and strategic partnerships at Clinch, it’s about readiness, compliance, documentation and signal loss. As marketers turn to personalization, there needs to be a balance between curated content for consumers and respect for their privacy.

“There is so much trust built into the privacy ecosystem,” said Lauri Baker, SVP of strategic partnerships at Infillion. “It’s when the consumer opts out that we have to be trusting that every partner is deleting that data. There’s a lot of trust to build.”

We hope to see you all again in 2023!

Cynopsis Team

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