Year-End Frenzy Of Cross-Media Activity Sets Stage For Pivotal 2020

As noted here previously, the last several months have brought a noticeable acceleration in the number of new deals, partnerships, solutions and metrics relating to OTT, CTV, addressable and cross media in general.

That was underscored during the past two weeks, which saw a seemingly unceasing string of news developments — sometimes two or three per day.

Just today, we saw the IAB Tech Lab Working Group release guidelines for CTV/OTT devices and app identification.

Dish has been involved in at least two notable new partnerships in recent days.

Yesterday, A+E Networks announced that it has worked with Dish Media and Adcuratio to enable A+E advertisers to deliver multiple versions of national ads tailored to distinct audiences at the household level, within specific MVPDs’ footprints.



During the prior week, the news was a Dish Media partnership with Comcast’s FreeWheel on a new technology for optimizing campaigns across traditional, demo-based buys and household-level, addressable TV campaigns.

Then there’s TiVo. That company’s biggest news by far — revealed yesterday — was its decision to merge with Xperi Corp., an audio, imaging and computing technology products company, in a $3-billion all-stock deal.

But TiVo preceded that major surprise (to the rest of the industry, anyway) with news that it had chosen SpotX as its supply-side platform, to programmatically manage, sell and optimize TiVo’s video ad inventory.

There was also the announcement that VideoAmp has partnered with TiVo to include TiVo’s set-top boxes and DVRs in 19 million U.S. households its TV viewership data pool, along with cable and satellite set-top boxes.

On the critical (if ATV is to move forward with alacrity) metrics front, Nielsen also recently dropped some big news: its launch of a dataset enabling demographically verified measurement across connected TV, linear TV, mobile and desktop.

Even the news that Facebook will run its first Super Bowl ad can be construed as a sign of the advancement of cross-media, if not ATV specifically.

“It shows the strength of traditional linear TV as a branding vehicle,” comments VideoAmp Chief Revenue Officer Michael Parkes.

Facebook, while synonymous with digital advertising, “understands that premium video content is critically important to building its brand, and that the Super Bowl is a way to reach consumers who may not yet have seen their ads," says Parkes.

"Facebook will no doubt leverage its digital capabilities to maximize its Super Bowl buy by aligning its strategies across linear, OTT and digital to deliver value that will justify an investment in the most expensive TV advertising spot in the world.” 

This week also brought the positive news of a merger of Rubicon and Telaria, along with the unfortunate news of the demise of digital video performance marketing company EyeView.

As Simulmedia CEO Dave Morgan observed in his latest astute MediaPost column, those two events “matter and are a sign of some real maturity coming to the industry.”

Why? Because the merger isn’t of the “hail Mary” variety, but rather one of tenured players that’s should result in “real positive value and growth multiplication.” And the EyeView scenario speaks to the inevitable consolidation that occurs (even affecting companies run by strong leaders, like EyeView) when the form of a new, tech-driven industry is beginning to take shape.  

That maturation process will of course continue for some time.

And the almost-frenzied level of activity by major media and solutions players, as indicated by the (partial) list above of what’s gone on in the last two weeks, will no doubt also continue into next year until that maturation process begins to wind down.

In short, I think we can count on 2020’s being a pivotal year for ATV and cross-media as a whole.

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