NBCU’s Yaccarino On The Challenges Facing Broadcasters Today

nbcu-citi-img_edited-1What are broadcast advertising leaders thinking about now, with addressable TV on the horizon but squalls demanding attention?

Linda Yaccarino, NBCU chairman of ad sales and client partnerships, addressed her pressing concerns and goals with Jennifer Breithaupt, Citi’s managing director of media, advertising and global entertainment, at AdExchanger’s Industry Preview on Wednesday.

Below are Yaccarino’s thoughts on the changing TV and digital ecosystems.

On how measurement has changed – and where it still needs to go.

Measurement is on the top of everyone’s mind, and continues to be a narrative on the digital and linear side of the business. … Audiences across all channels can be measured, but for the industry to transact as a whole in a measurable way hasn’t happened yet. It puts national marketers in a bad position.

On the digital side you have measurement and viewability debates, problems with walled gardens and the ability to verify inventory. Then on the linear side you have challenges in viewership for premium content, and it isn’t measured consistently across platforms.

The narrative is always digital vs. TV or digital impacting the long-term stability of linear, which isn’t true. We need to get off that mentality. Not all views are equal, and not every “view” is a “viewer.”

On the way digital attention spans change media and advertising.

This year we reduced commercial load for [“Saturday Night Live”] by 30%. Obviously “SNL” is one of the youngest-skewing shows, so it speaks to new consumers with the expectation of fewer commercials. Digital brings other revenue, though.

Select “SNL” advertisers also work with a creative team on branded content. As a television industry we’re hampered by the fact that it’s difficult to put the right spot in the right place at the right time. I’m excited that addressable TV is now a reality and on the horizon, and we’re pushing forward with Comcast and partners there.

On NBCU’s digital media investments and partnerships.

 The idea about accelerating those partnerships started two and a half years ago after we did a distribution deal with AOL. That eventually led to investments in BuzzFeed and Vox, and partnerships with Snapchat and more recently Apple News. The real strategy resides in the belief that marketers are having a more difficult time aggregating premium audiences and achieving scale.

So it’s harder to get your message out and to do your job without doing a deal across a thousand people and companies. NBCU properties drive the lion share of audiences, but we know we can’t always get you what you need across all media – thus [partnering with] BuzzFeed, Vox, Snapchat and so on.

When we’re responding to RFPs and I need to come back with the most appropriate audiences everywhere, they don’t necessarily reside within the controllable NBCU portfolio.


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