Report From 4A's: What Does Sea Change In Streaming TV Mean For Agencies?

  • by , Featured Contributor, February 2, 2023
I had the pleasure of participating in a panel discussion yesterday at the 4A’s Decisions conference in downtown Manhattan to talk about the dramatic changes happening in TV viewing with the acceleration of streaming, its impact on the ad business overall -- and on agencies in particular.

In case you haven’t heard, not only is New York City back, but so are ad conferences! As a studied conference-goer, I was super excited to be part of 4A’s event, particularly since I was a subbing for the venerable Sam Bloom, CEO of the Dallas-based media and marketing services firm Camelot, one of our true industry leaders who was stuck in Texas awaiting a snowstorm.

We followed the agency CEO 2023 forecast panel, where Horizon Media Founder and CEO Bill Koenigsberg aptly told the audience to bring their smiles to the conference and to work, since this was the greatest time ever to be working in this industry.

He was absolutely on target. You’re going to have a hard time winning in this business if you can’t bring enjoyment to your teams, your craft and your workspaces.



Our panel was led by Juan C. Suarez, the 4A’s senior vice president, member engagement and strategic partnerships. EDO’s CEO Kevin Krim, DirecTV’s Jason Brum, group vice president, agency sales partnerships, and I talked about the future of streaming.

So, what does the sea change in streaming TV mean for agencies? A lot. Where to start? Here's some of what we covered:

More power, more complexity. Addressability, measurability, more channels, more devices, dynamic creative: Streaming enables so much, and working across streaming and linear channels brings more opportunities for advertisers, but more challenges as well.

More screens. Streaming is not reshaping linear TV viewing in a digital format, but we’re seeing connected TV ad experiences finding their way into console-driven video games and the backs of ride-share vehicles. More streaming means more viewing fragmentation, and more need for reaggregation.

Multicurrencies. The future of linear and streaming TV includes not just Nielsen ratings and posts, but outcome-based measurement covering everything from guaranteed reach and frequency deliveries, to foot traffic, lead generation and sales.

Upfront implications Is the sea change happening fast enough, and in a big enough way, to impact the upfront? Sure seems to be. Every network is announcing solution partners, including Disney’s recent deal with EDO.

What does this mean for agencies?

Everything listed above speaks to more things to consider, more options for reaching target customers, more ways to measure those efforts, and more tools available to help manage the process. All this “more” only means more need for agencies.

Very few marketers are ready to tackle all these issues on their own. The vast majority lack the kind of broad market perspective, dedicated resources and in-house expertise to handle each of those in the time frame needed. That can only mean more opportunities for agencies.

Advertisers are going to need a lot of help finding their way here. There’s never been more opportunities to help them.

2 comments about "Report From 4A's: What Does Sea Change In Streaming TV Mean For Agencies?".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, February 2, 2023 at 7:07 p.m.

    Agreed, Dave---especially about this being the most interesting time to be in the media business. One thing that often goes unnoticed is the way the agencies are organized---in most cases with media silos where "digital" is handled by a "digital-savvy" team that knows nothing about branding or traditional TV---and national "linear"TV is handled by folks who are very knowledgeable about how to deal with the TV networks, cable channels, syndicators, etc. but Know little about digital. So where does CTV stand in this maze of disjionted silos?

    The solution ---which will eventually be forced upon the major media shops and then, the smaller ones---is to think of it as all TV and to train teams---even if there is resistance--- that are well versed  in both "linear TV" and CTV at both the planning and buying levels. So far, clients haven't been clamoring for this nor have their bean counters encouraged the agencies to increase their person charges to facilitate such a move---and it will take some extra funding. Let's be frank---- it's in the advertisers' interests to say to the agencies that they want really integrated media that can handle all forms of TV and that they---the clients--- are willing to share in the added cost---providing it's reasonable---to end the disconnects that we often see  in how various forms of "TV" are being handled. .

  2. Chris Williams from Arima, February 3, 2023 at 8 a.m.

    Agree with Ed + another bit more.
    When fusing linear and connected TV teams - add the search team. It creates an immediate feedback loop upon which the linear and ctv teams can experiment to see what works. We know that share of search is a leading indicator of brand effects. So the combined tv team gets tasked with a quantifiable goal - improve search results but then the question becomes how to view the search results to combine the efforts of the combined tv team? Geography - SOV by market and force the digital team to include geo-markets into their planning, buying and reporting.

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