In many ways, DRTV media agencies conduct their campaigns the same today as they did in the year 2000. However, things are about to change rapidly. The fu- ture of TV will arrive — in a big way — in 2019, when
the new ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard will bring addressable
TV to the market on a wide scale. This sea change will catch
many agencies off guard.
The process began in 2017, with the approval of ATSC
3.0. TV broadcasters launched an acquisition frenzy, buying
local broadcast stations across the country to piece together
regional and national addressable audience targeting platforms to compete with the national TV networks.
ATSC 3.0 works as a hybrid television delivery system.
The station broadcasts audio
and video content over the
air, while also sending targeted ads to the viewer’s internet connection for integration into the program. This
ATSC 3.0 IP-based system
gives TV advertisers the same
ability to communicate with
viewers as they do in the digital marketplace. Regardless of
the device, viewers will be able to watch live-streaming TV
programs of their choice — and have relevant ads served that
match their interests.
This should be great news for DR agencies, but the re-
ality is that most agencies are not prepared for the logistics
of working with the ATSC 3.0 standard. In fact, in a recent
conversation with a C-level executive of a broadcast soft-
ware company, he contended that “in two to three years, 90
percent of all current DRTV agencies will no longer exist, as
they will be unable to compete with these industry changes.”
The inability to compete will quickly become apparent to
agencies that find themselves stuck with order management
systems that are not set up to handle the workflow of ad-
dressable TV. With ATSC 3.0, advertisers will be looking to
target TV viewers based upon very specific
criteria, and the agencies that survive will
be the ones that enable their clients to buy
relevant, addressable ads.
Another significant industry change will
occur as the DR marketplace comes under
heavier attack by upfront and spot adver-
tising agencies, who will be better prepared
to work in the ATSC 3.0 environment as they move more
toward a DRTV-ROI relationship with their clients. These
major TV agency holding groups are all at least a year into
retooling their buying and order management systems to
manage this new direct-to-consumer, advanced-data TV ad-
The new data systems utilize technologies that make
every spot a SKU that carries a parent-child relationship for
all data that was used to plan, target, and transact for use in
analyzing the ROI of the spot. These agencies are retooling
themselves to be, in effect, “smart data DRTV agencies” that
standardize all data flow from all media trading partners into
to a single file format to allow seamless data exchange.
If you own or manage
a DR agency, make no
mistake: the major holding
companies are now coming
after your business and you
must be ready to handle
addressable TV data in
order to stay competitive.
I believe that DR agencies
have one year to position their business for the future of TV.
If they do not, the C-level exec I spoke to just may be right:
many DRTV agencies may not survive unless they can pro-
vide addressable-TV capabilities for their clients.
What are you doing today to position your business for the
future of TV? You should ask yourself these questions:
; Is your software system set up and ready to handle spot
; Is your media management system (MMS) software
provider working on a solution to the advanced-data
; Is your software set up to manage the thousands of new
data types and sources that are now available?
; Is your data sent to you today from all media sources in
a single format that allows for seamless integration into your MMS?
; Do you have a data technology partner
who can help you with all of the above?
If you cannot answer “yes” to all of the
above, today is the day to get everyone into
a room to start developing your plan.
Is Your Agency Ready for the Future of TV?
BY RON PERKINS