@ pcAds: What ‘TV Everywhere’ Means For Advertisers

Sell the content, not the platform — that’s one of the lessons of “TV everywhere.” Matt Seiler, CEO of Mediabrands, and David Levy, president of sales, distribution and sports at Turner Broadcasting System, discussed the real value of integrated marketing this morning at paidContent Advertising.

“TV everywhere” is now a given, said Levy: “We enter any event or opportunity saying that consumers are watching on the tablet and on smartphones, and our production meetings are about how we’re going to spread that content across all platforms.”

Moderator Edmund Lee of Bloomberg News asked what that means to advertisers: Do they care whether they’re reaching an audience on TV versus mobile? “They care about which platform is best at getting the audience,” Seiler said. “Very few people actually watch TV and that’s it. The television is on, sort of like a nightlight, but their real focus is what’s in their lap — their tablet, phone or laptop.”

“‘TV everywhere’ means protecting the ecosystem of the cable, satellite, telephone business,” Levy said. “As long as you’re a paid subscriber — telco, satellite or cable — you can have your content where you want it, when you want it and on any device you want it.” For advertisers, that’s a huge opportunity.

More highlights from the session:

The problem with pricing: Pricing is a challenge if part of the audience is online and part is watching on TV; Lee asked about aggregated data. Nielsen has to “get its act together” and aggregate impressions, Levy said. Digital data still “isn’t as reliable as it should be,” Seiler said, “so we’re reliant on TV tracking” for now.

What about time-shifting? “No one watches the Super Bowl on Monday,” Levy said. “But our original product [like The Closer] gets a huge amount of viewership the next day and over a three-day period. About 10 to 15 percent of the audience [for those shows] are now coming in through VOD and DVR, not watching it live.”

A twist in viewership: “It used to be that you’d watch something and then have to talk to everybody about it the next day. Now you can’t talk to anybody the next day because half of them haven’t actually seen it.” But, he said, 18- to 24-year-olds are actually watching shows live. How do we know? Conversations on Facebook and Twitter. “Teen-based shows are being consumed more and more frequently in the time they were intended to be watched,” he said. “They want to watch it while it’s airing so that they can be in conversation with their friends” on social networks.

Can you measure engagement? “Data and measurement are the new creative,” Seiler said, and engagement measurement is possible now. “Measurement will get better and better as more content becomes available,” Levy said. “It’s also a question of reach. You can throw up all the content, but if nobody sees it, who cares?…Granular is also important, but at the same time, we believe there’s opportunity for branding. Each base is important. [Still], I do believe we’re becoming more engaged and more granular.”

The value of *YouTube*: “You have to fish where the fish are,” Levy said. “It’s really the commercial agreement you make with YouTube (NSDQ: GOOG) — how is your content shown, in a branded environment? You have to work out your commercial agreement, and once that is made, you certainly want to be there… You have to be where the people are. I’d like to be on almost any platform.”

“We’re talking less about mobile and more about mobility,” Seiler said. “[Advertisers] pay for it where poeple are consuming it. That feels like a hell of a more interesting conversation. Sell the content; not the platform.”

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